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Tim in Action

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Piercing through all of the noise

All Success Includes Failure, So Just Get Started

“You are not going to build a reputation based upon what you say you are going to do.”

– Henry Ford, American Inventor

How many of us put off what we know we should do because of that invisible mental blocker, fear of failure? I know I have. A lot more than I care to remember.

I was one of those kids in high school that had to be assured that the girl I wanted to ask out would say “yes.” This need for certainty didn’t just pervade my dating life. It held me back in all areas. You can imagine – or maybe you actually know – how limiting this mindset can be.

I know with every fiber of my being that this is NOT the right strategy for building a great personal brand. Taking a chance and going for it, whatever it may be, is 10x’s better and much more gratifying.

As I am writing this, Magic Johnson comes to mind. It was 1984 and Magic was in his third consecutive NBA Finals, his first against Larry Bird. What should have been a final that brought out his best, resulted in Magic earning the nickname “Tragic.” Why? Because of a costly mistake in game six and another in game seven which some claimed cost the Lakers the series.

Whether the impact of those mistakes was overrated is up for debate, but what is not in dispute is that Magic Johnson didn’t let those mistakes and the brutal criticism stop him from going for it again. How would things have turned out if Magic let those mistakes get inside his head and prevent him from putting himself on the line again?

He certainly wouldn’t have come charging back the following year the way he did and hit that backbreaking sky hook in game six against those very same Celtics. Magic Johnson was not afraid to fail and, as a result, he had enormous success.

Here’s a little strategy that you might want to employ in your decision-making process about whether to take a particular chance or not. Ask yourself three questions:

  • What’s the best thing that can happen?
  • What’s the worst that can happen?
  • What is most likely to happen?

Going through this process helps us realize that more often than not, what we think we should fear is, in reality, very unlikely to happen. This analysis helps us shrink down our fears.

What I often do to help myself overcome a fear is, I  tell myself that “If this does not go as well as I hope it will, all that will happen is that I am right back where I was right before I took the chance.

What risks are you avoiding?

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