One of the biggest forms of Fear of Failure for me to overcome was the need for permission.
All my life, my parents wanted nothing but the best for me. They encouraged me to learn new instruments, take classes and achieve high marks. When I was 20 I landed my dream job; working on Luxury Cruiseliners, cruising around the world, and they were proud as punch.
When I eventually came back to Australia and pursued a corporate career with one of the largest beauty brands in the world, they continued to encourage me to do well.
My dad would always say- When are you going to get your boss’s job? When’s your next promotion? What’s next?
I strove for greatness, kept hitting big targets, winning award after award, and making my way up the corporate ladder until I lost my passion and drive.
I’d gotten over the bureaucracy and politics of the corporate environment and felt like I was selling my soul every day I got ready for work and walked out the door. I became so frustrated with myself and with having to do things their way, that I decided that enough was enough. Something had to change.
It was time to venture out on my own and start my own business. I found what I was passionate about and I took to studying coaching and NLP. I studied hard and practiced my coaching, and started building my business alongside my corporate job. I worked nights and weekends and loved every minute of it, and I did it all in secret from my parents.
When the time came to decide to quit, I knew it was time to tell my parents and I worried about what they would think. What was my dad going to say? Would he be disappointed in me? Would he try to talk me out of it? Would he demand I stay in my job?
The fear set in.
What would my dad think?
Would he get angry that I was leaving my high paying salary, and security of the corporate sector to go into a world of uncertainty with my own business?
Why was I so worried about what my Dad would say or think? This was my life and I got to choose how I wanted to live it.
Yet, I felt frozen in fear, waiting for permission to pursue my dreams.
I stressed out about it every day. I pictured the conversation in my mind, replaying his voice in my head. “When are you going to get your boss’s job, Christine?”.
It wasn’t until I realized that his opinion and advice were all coming from what he deemed to be important to him and how he lived his life, his upbringing and his fears. Not mine.
He has always wanted the best for me, so what made me think it would be different now?
I eventually built up the courage to tell him what I was going to do. I was going to quit my corporate job and pursue my own business.
And when I did, I was so surprised at his reaction.
He wasn’t judgemental or disappointed at all.
He wasn’t angry or upset.
He was proud.
My shoulders dropped as I let out a huge sigh of relief.
It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.
If there is someone in your life that you’re waiting for permission to pursue your dreams – please tell them.
As fearful as it is, you will feel better once the cat is out of the bag.
But remember this, their reaction has nothing to do with you.
No matter how proud, angry, upset, disappointed or happy they are for you, they are only reacting this way based on their own values, beliefs and life experience.
You do not have to take it on board.
You do not have to believe it.
This is your life and you get to choose to live it however you see fit.
In the words of Dr Seuss;
Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.Dr Seuss
– The Cat In The Hat