Is it scary to put yourself out there? Yeah, but if you help one person, it’s worth it. As Steven Pressfield puts it, “the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
It might scare you to start that business, create that blog, or write that book. But remember, not too many artists have an album full of hits. It’s not about being perfect every time, it’s about sharing your gifts with the world.
I have a process mindset, so I know that an imperfect plan if put into action now, will teach me more than a perfect plan never acted on ever could.
Don’t be afraid to ship your work
It might be hard at first. I was flat out afraid of failing, and still have moments where I face some fear. But, nearly two decades as a trainer and a decade of owning a personal training studio, taught me that failure comes with the territory.
After a while failing won’t bother you, it’s the lack of taking action that will. I’ve seen too many perfectionists wait for the ‘perfect time’. The perfect time is always now.
They’ve said things like, “when I have the perfect business plan, I’ll start my business.” Or “who am I to write a book, give a speech, or start a blog?”
Sometimes what I think is my “best work” gets no likes. But then one person reaches out to me directly and says how much it meant to them. And sometimes what I consider my “worst work” gets a lot of feedback. So I guess that story in my head isn’t always right!
When you feel stuck, it helps to ask yourself, who’s further along?
The person who shipped out 12 articles in 12 weeks with only 2 to 4 of them being a hit?
Or the person who hasn’t shipped their masterpiece because they’re worried about being judged or feel insecure because they’re not the ‘best’ yet.
What my 20 years of experience taught me
There are a few key lessons on fear and failure that I’ve taken away from my career thus far. They include the following:
1. Ship your work, but make sure it’s authentic.
Stop trying to be like everyone else. Art is subject to interpretation. People often flop before you ever hear about them. Even though they flopped, they never quit. Failing is how you learn and it’s where you’ll learn the most.
2. The worst-case scenario isn’t that bad.
If you’re getting started, your audience probably isn’t big. If you flop, not too many people will notice. But, what’ve you gained is experience. And now you have an idea of how to pivot differently.
3. It gets easier over time.
This is especially true after you’ve failed a few times. Because of your so-called ‘failure,’ you realize nothing bad actually happens. When you start to develop this process mindset, you’ll look at things objectively.
4. Haters come with the territory.
Those who haven’t done what you’re doing, think they can do it better than you. But, how could they? They’re sitting on the sidelines, not taking action and simply hating on you.
Don’t let these types of people interfere with your talents, gifts, and creativity. Haters are always going to hate and they’ll always be around, but the more haters the better. It means you’re doing something right.
What is failure, really?
After 20 years in the game and going into a decade of owning a personal training studio, I’ve learned that failure is not your enemy — it’s your friend.
Although we live in a social media world where success is viewed as ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ that doesn’t mean a ‘like’ measures your long-term success. Nor does it measure the influence you have on the people you want to reach.
The more you stay authentic, the more impact your work has. And the more enjoyment you get out of the process.
Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned over the past two decades.
- A bad piece of work is not that bad. It equals a lesson, and it helps you move through the fear of failure.
- Some of your best work might not be well received. But, some of your other work could be a huge success. That’s because someone needed to hear what you had to say at the exact moment you put your work out there.
- If you love the game you’re playing, you will “win” eventually. You’ve already won compared to the person sitting on the fence.
Are you a personal trainer looking to connect? Need advice when it comes to advancing your career? Let us know how we can help. Call or text us at 757-589-7028. Or send an email to [email protected].