Failure Number 93: Letting Your Fears Dictate Your Direction

Failure Number 93: Letting Your Fears Dictate Your Direction

images-5I’m pretty comfortable with myself. Heck, I shaved my head before moving to a new city. I would say that’s pretty comfortable. I wasn’t always. I used to see a group of people, put my head down and walk the other way. At the time, I wasn’t sure what it was that made me change direction but I did, every single time. So when I became comfortable to walk with my head high, I assumed whatever it was that made me run away was gone.

How little we know ourselves…fast forward to me owning a business and to failure Number 93: Letting Your Fears Dictate Your Direction.

This failure seems ridiculous. Who would knowingly let their fears stand in the way of their success? Unfortunately, fear doesn’t always work with such transparency. Hollywood stars walk red carpets and pose in magazines looking flawless and confident. Then you read their autobiography and it turns out, they are depressed, hate their looks or consistently doubt their abilities. Sometimes we go through life masking our fears or doubts because frankly, we just don’t have time to dissect the root of how and why they exist. Fact is, we can only hide from our issues for so long before they catch up with our daily lives. What I thought was shyness was really a fear of rejection (a very inconvenient fear if I must say). For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I would only get to certain success markers and stop. Or I would come up with completely unique ideas and never execute. I’ve heard it called a fear of success but that preposterous. People want to be successful but their internal fears paralyzes their direction. And if you are unaware that you have a fear, your direction changes and you’re not sure why. That’s when doubt kicks in and you stop believing in your ability to succeed. Have you found yourself stuck in a rut? There’s probably an internal fear stopping you. My fear was rejection. I would literally move full speed with really creative ideas and then come to a screeching halt and change direction; just like when I was young and saw a group of people. How do you fix a fear? The same way you fix a flat. You find the hole, the fear and you mend it by facing it head on. You think to yourself, what’s the worst that can happen if I keep going? Or worst, how will I reach my goals if I let fear stand in the way? Sounds easy? It’s not. I went years trying to understand what my deal was before I realized the reason I wasn’t succeeding was because my pattern was ‘not completing projects’ out of fear of rejection. I was letting my fear dictate my passion to succeed in business. My advice to you, the next time you find yourself stuck, see if there is a pattern and then ask yourself what you can do to get back in control. After all, you start a business to dictate the direction you want to take in your life. If you’re strong enough to start a business, surely your strong enough to tackle a fear!

Dawn Callahan, known as America’s Favorite Business Test Dummy, is an advisor to entrepreneurs and blogger at She is also a special contributor on KPFT-FM Houston on Money Matters Monday’s.

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