Episode 34: “I'd Start A Business But...I'm Afraid to Fail”

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I'd Start A Business But...I'm Afraid to Fail

Episode 34

Today’s episode of The Chantiluke Podcast is the first in a mini-series I’m doing called “I’d Start a Business But…”

My intention is to honestly approach the most common reasons my clients (and I) have used to prevent them from starting the business they dream about.

Today’s we’re starting the mini series with: I’d Start A Business But…I’m Afraid to Fail

By the end of the episode, you will finally be able to face your fear of failing in business head on.

Listen to learn:

  • Why healing your past hurt is so vital to facing your fear of failure

  • How your most precious and incredible gifts lie behind the “angry guard dog” or fear...and how to access them


Today’s we’re starting the mini series with: I’d Start A Business But…I’m Afraid to Fail.

I love this one because it’s a reason with little details. I feel like our fear of failing can be an incredible opportunity to lean into our own feelings and see what hurt we’ve buried but have yet to heal.

You may listening to this thinking, “Danielle, what the heck does healing and hurt have to do with me being afraid to fail in my business?” Well, I’m glad you asked boo. Let me tell you.

First, we need to get specific about what exactly you mean by failure. If you can only come up with “failure feels bad” or “failure feels scary” then you’ve got some work to do. I want you to articulate the color, the texture, the scent. Create something with the feeling of failure.

I like to hit my clients with an exercise to help them articulate what failure really looks and feels like to them. I ask my clients to imagine that failure is a house and I want them to walk through the house.What color is the house? What kind of front door does it have? When you walk in, what scent does the house have? Does it smell cloyingly sweet? Musty? Fresh with a tinge of something rotten?

Get all up in that house and tell me as much details you can possibly muster.

Why do I ask my clients to do this? Well my friends it’s because as long as your fear of failure stays amorphous, unspecific, unattended it will continue to haunt you. You may always have this mental construction of your fear of failure and it will always scare you. But it’s not haunting you. It’s not barring you from rooms in the very home that you occupy.

So often we let our fears and feelings go unattended, unexplored because they feel too big for us. And that I understand. But little by little you construct the house, you walk through it, and you come to truly understand what has been haunting you.

The second reason I have to talk about healing, hurt in the same breath as fear of failing in business is this: I believe our angriest, “howliest” fears are like dogs protecting some of the tenderest parts of us. Our fear of failure is a beautiful, strange mechanism our minds have created to protect as extremely tender part of us that had been unprotected in the past.

I firmly believe our fears are simple but scary defense mechanisms our minds create because a tender part of ourselves was exposed, mistreated, betrayed, violated, hurt before. And the work isn’t necessarily to feel fearless; but rather to heal the hurt.

Let’s continue with the example of the dogs for a moment. Our fears are like howling, frothy mouthed dogs. I envision them as the Three Headed Dogs from Harry Potter. They are intimidating, they will cut your throat. But they’ve been put there to guard something incredibly precious. They are there because they believe they can do a much better job of protecting this tender, precious part of you than you have been able to in the past. That’s why I don’t think the fear of failure is a fear of failure at all. It’s really a fear of not being able to protect a tender, precious, vulnerable part of you.

How do you get to the precious thing? Well, you don’t beat the dog. That dog is 10x your size. And it has large teeth. Large claws. That dog will crush you everytime if you try to beat it by force. Instead, you demonstrate to the dog little by little that you are capable of protecting the precious, tender part while using it at the same time.

Which brings me to my very final point about how to address your fear of failing in your business. You heal by doing. You do not heal by thinking about your hurt, thinking about your healing. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our gifts and our tender, precious parts are located in the same place. Trying to share our gifts without healing our tenderness, healing our fears is violent. It’s a betrayal. It’s not sharing, it’s robbery. It’s an assault and an attack on ourselves.

If you really want to start a business that combines your best gifts, your passions, impacts others the way you dream about, then you’ve got to, got to, do the work of healing.

You’ve got to explore and pay attention to your hurt. You do that through meditation. You do that through journaling. AND, this is important, you do that by doing the work you light up doing.

Slowly but surely. Consistently. With care and attention and purpose. With presence and openness to all that you’re feeling.

To help you do the inner work, I’ve put together a fantastic journaling guide that I want you to go through. I want you to do this because BEFORE you start doing the outer work, the practical work of starting your business, I want you to begin doing the work that really matters: the inner work.

if you want to start a business, but you are afraid of failing then you should read this post. i’m sharing how to overcome your fear of failure so you can start the business you dream about.

intro and outro music: danosongs.com

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