Failure to Launch | How to get out of your own way


Failure to Launch | How to get out of your own way and launch your idea

Failure to launch gets the better of us time and time again. It stops us in its tracks with a flighty, restrictive breath feeling right in our chests. What if we were to use this feeling as energy? How can we use fear to fire us up ready to take on the next challenge? Here is how I am using fear as a sign of progress, and turning the fear of failure into the energy to launch.

Today I met new collaborators in a café in town. When talking we initially covered the usually daily chit chat, the subjects of the weather, the endless winter colds. Before long the subject became more intimate. As she spoke with me I could see her shoulders rise and her eyes not quite meeting mine. We were onto the topic of fear. She explained what she would love to be doing but how she wasn’t quite ready yet to do it for real. That she needed a few more years to study. That she wasn’t sure where to start. Countless reasons or excuses that are so common we overlook them. We nod in agreement and give ourselves a pass not to do the scary things, to put off living the life that we yearn for.

The fear of failure is stopping us from dreaming big. We look to what others are doing successful (or what appears to be) on social media. If only I could just pack up my bags and travel the world but I have my support system here? If only I could run my business from home, but I don’t have the same lifestyle as her? By the process of comparison, pursuing our ideas is overwhelming. Ultimately our limiting beliefs hold us back.

It makes me feel sad to think of the creativity, the ideas, and the talents that are hidden away in your mind. We may be living in different circumstances if fear didn’t paralyse us on a daily basis. We all feel safer and more comfortable by not taking the leap.

I am not an outsider when it comes to fear. I feel it so apparent in my gut when I sit down to write, putting my intimate thoughts to paper,I feel it when I organise a client meeting, when I  meet someone for the first time on a Skype call. When I pursue those butterflies that flap around in my chest, when I push past them there is empowerment. There is courage and strength. How have I learnt to overcome the fear of failure and launch?

Sit with the feeling

I want to challenge you to embrace your fear. Start to sit comfortably with the butterflies as you know it is just the beginning of a new and challenging adventure. When I say sit in this instance I mean both in a metaphysical way but also in the literal sense.

Find a comforting and quite place where you feel at peace. Close your eyes and focus your attention on the places in the body that feel the fear emotion. Depending on different people or scenarios this may be most apparent in your chest as a stifling feeling that feels as though someone has set up shop there and is using your lungs as a recliner. You may feel it in your throat as the air is restricted. It may show up in your gut with an ache that sways between nausea and hunger. Or as the quintessential metaphor goes, as butterflies in your lungs.

Be curious, where is this feeling and how exactly does it affect you. The idea is stop the association and instead build a new one. Become familiar with these sensations as these are now the catalyst to stretching yourself and challenging your abilities. Start to feel thankful for that lunp in your throat, the pang in your belly. You are growing and you are getting ready to leap into your biggest adventure yet.

Fear is energy. Its powerful and you have full control over what you do with it.



Failure to Launch | How to get out of your own way and launch your idea

What could go wrong?

Go along with your imagination and imagine ‘what if?’. When you have your answer, distill it, ‘what happens next?’, do this until you get to your final answer. Usually this is not as bad as you think and adding a logical consequence to the feeling of fear makes it a lot easier to deal with. There is always an end scenario that we can deal with {unless your end failure is death but most of our career goals aren’t as risky as this, and those that are inspire those that meet fear with a passion}.

If your one worst scenario is that someone doesn’t like what you are putting out, know that there are billions of others out there that will. Taste is subjective and you are never going to please everyone, no matter how much of your precious energy you waste trying to.

Test it

You have a business idea that fills you with excitement along with the dreaded fear. You know if you pursue it and head right into the deep end, you can risk loosing a lot of money, time or reputation. Your ‘what if’ is really scary as you do have a lot to loose but the alternative is to do nothing and never show your ideas to the world.

The solution? Test that idea with little to no money. Get clear on who your business with help, who is your target audience and why they need your help. You can get clear on your intentions with my free e-mail series. Next, test if it is what your audience actually needs. Find out everything you can about the wants and needs of these people by finding groups they spend their time on online, events they attend in your city, and other businesses in this industry. Reach out to them and offer to help them for free in exchange for asking them questions.

Once you know your why, then you can work out your how. Start small but in a constructive way and you will be overcoming the pangs of fear with action.

Take the leap

This may seem in complete opposition from above but with all things there are different tactics and ways to play the game. Sometimes you just need to leap.

When I decided to travel ten hours away from home on my own, to California, I had no idea how I was going to afford the entirety of the trip, and how I was going to get from San Francisco to San Diego without a driving licence. The one thing I knew was I wanted to do it, so I booked a ticket and worked out the rest because I needed to. Suffice to say this was one of the best trips and by overcoming my fear I felt empowered to take on even more in my life. If I had listened to fear I wouldn’t of met the incredible people I did, I wouldn’t of jumped in a pool fully clothed, I wouldn’t of walked palm lined board walks or climbed over volcanic remains with friends.

Sometimes an investment in what you really want makes you work for it. You make it work when you do have something to loose. You may choose to invest in your business by hiring a designer to set you up with branding that makes your business appeal to your audience, or by renting a studio space, or by quitting your full time job to concentrate on your passions. Only you can make the calculated risk.

What I know is that there is so much beauty and power on the other side of fear. I would much rather live in a world where your ideas, talents and stories are revealed.

If you would like some help along the way I would love you to join our Facebook group of likeminded entrepreneurs. We want to push the boundaries and overcome their fears to create success. Join us! I am also taking on clients looking for unstoppable brand design. If you need the looks to back your irresistible vision, I’d love to chat!



  1. nice

    it‘s so good