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If You Have A Fear Of Failing, Ask Yourself These 7 Questions

If You Have A Fear Of Failing, Ask Yourself These 7 Questions

Everyone is afraid of failing. It hurts our ego, finances, relationships and our vision of who we are, which makes us naturally adverse to jumping off the deep end too often. Here’s the thing though, you never get to take a swim with the big fish if you don’t take that first leap. The key is to ask yourself key questions before you jump!

What Would You Attempt If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

Think big, wild and fun! Where would you go? Who would you connect with? What venture would you pursue? Every decision has the potential for failure, but dreaming about the amazing opportunities that you could make or take helps guide you towards your future decisions.

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What If I Fail – How Will I Recover?

Failure is inevitable if you take a multitude of risks. Think about learning to ride a skateboard. The first time you get on the board you are a bit wobbly. In fact, you will probably wipe out more times than you can keep count, but eventually you will get the hang of it and be riding around with ease. The thing about falling is that you have to know how. You roll with it instead of letting yourself crash flat onto the pavement and you start to get back on the board not letting fear get hold of you. When you are taking a risk you plan for a failure and how you will negotiate your way back into the game.

What If I Succeed?

Success is often the real reason people don’t take risks. We are afraid of our own power, abilities, and strengths and how that will rock the boat in our current lives. What we are afraid of isn’t our success, but the unknown. Your success will bring about new and exciting challenges that you can’t possibly predict and letting that rule your decisions will keep you back 100% of the time.

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“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.” Christian Nestell Bovee

What’s Truly Worth Doing?

Options! That is often what stops us from taking a risk – too many good things in life to do! You have to just choose something and move forward. You can make a list of the pros and cons of each idea, but eventually you have to choose and not regret the decision that you made. Taking a risk is better then being in the forever pattern of wondering what to do.

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What Went Right In This Failure?

Since failure in life is inevitable, if we do anything, it is important to reflect on what went right. Those are the things that you will keep when you take your next risk. Just like when you got on that skateboard and fell off, you quickly figured out what was working while you were riding down the path and you refine that over and over letting what didn’t work go. That refinement and reflection prepares you for your next leap!

What If I Didn’t Care What People Thought?

Thinking about what your parents, friends and family think is often what keeps us back from taking a risk on something we are passionate about. If your risk doesn’t impact them financially or their security it doesn’t matter what they think. People often don’t move forward because they are afraid someone is going to make fun of them or think they are crazy or stupid. Don’t stop yourself from living your dreams because of someone else’s opinion. At the end of your life you don’t want to regret doing what you really wanted to do.

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What If I Don’t Have All The Answers?

You never will. It is that simple. You can prepare, plan and scope out your future with as much caution as you like, but you are not ultimately in control of everything. Life happens and it is so much better when you throw a little caution to the wind and ride with it!

Featured photo credit: Julian Bleeker via

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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