Marketing Eye

Why you need to be able to 'own' your fears

I was reading Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Magazine the other day and a headline stuck out which resonated with me. "You need to be able to own your fears, and you need to be able to own your desires. You cannot outsource feelings."

We are in the outsourcing business... but I totally agree. You cannot outsource your feelings and if you own the fact that you are afraid of something, whether it is challenging yourself on a new project, or failing all together on a business deal, you will be in great stead to move forward and challenge yourself in the future, and therefore allow yourself to be more successful.

There are many psychological boundaries around why we fear failure, but it can be summed up by:

"Causes of the fear of failure. Atychiphobia is often linked to traumatic or embarrassing events in one's past. Strict or overly demanding parents or demeaning siblings or friends can also lead a child to suffer extreme fear of failure. Minor failures in one's childhood can cause embarrassment or ridicule." (Source:

When I put myself out of my comfort zone, I always second guess the 'what if's' and I know that this is the single biggest obstacle I have to overcome. If I don't overcome it, I will never know what it is like to succeed. You cannot wrap yourself up in cotton wool, and hope for the best. Life and business just doesn't work like that.

The adrenelin that comes from throwing caution into the wind, and putting yourself in situations that are not always comfortable, or that you can possibly not come out of in a positive light, is an essential part of living life.

Every day, we put ourselves in situations where we can fail:

  • Driving to work in traffic, and taking the wrong turn
  • Not turning up to an appointment on time
  • Not giving someone at work, something that they think is of the standard that it needs to be 
  • People's perception of you, even though you try your best
  • Meeting new people, and making an impression
  • Going to the gym, and not lasting the workout time
  • Conducting a sales meeting, with the chance of not getting the sale.

I say: Screw fear. It is the only thing that is holding you back. Every failure is an important lesson in life and we become stronger, more resilient and smarter through every obstacle we overcome.

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