How To Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
Do you avoid going after what you most want? Are you holding yourself back, hesitating, waiting?
Usually, because we’re scared. Scared of it not working out. Of trying and not getting the outcome we want. Of failing. And then all the stuff we associate to failing, like embarrassment, shame, and being “a failure.”
Join Dr. Aziz in the second half of his insight-packed interview with author of the best-selling book, Go For No, as the two of them explore the concept of failure and how to rid yourself of fear of it.
Click below to hear this episode!
Click here to learn more Andrea’s amazing work, including her books, teaching, seminars, and much more!
What Does Failure Actually Mean?
Welcome to today’s episode which is all about fail big, fail faster and you’ll learn exactly how to do that. We’re going to continue with our interview with Andrea Waltz, all about Go for No, all about shifting your relationship, to no, to rejection, to failure because think about this. The more you can – so, as you learn in the last week’s episode, when you orient yourself towards no and you stop trying to avoid it, you become more resilient, become more confident and yes lives in the land of no so you end up getting more yesses when you stop becoming so scared of no. But what if you turned it up a notch? What if you got noes faster, right? So, the classic example I do when I’m working with guys who were single and they want to get in the relationship is let’s say you got a no once a month from a woman or you ask one woman out let’s say a month whether she said yes or no. That’s 12 opportunities a year.
What if you ask a woman out every week? That’s 52 opportunities in a year. You just quadrupled your opportunities. What if you ask a woman out every three days and so on and so forth? You can get up to hundreds of opportunities. And that’s what happens when you’re willing to fail faster. Can you see the power that can start to come from that? So, that’s what we’re going to learn more about in our interview with Andrea. If you love to jump in the conversation, go to Facebook.com/shrinkfortheshyguy or shrinkfortheshyguy.com and send me a message. I love reading them. If you’re enjoying the show, if you’re liking us, please rate the show on iTunes, give it a five-star rating if you are a fan of the show and wanted to keep growing and continuing and so we can reach even more people. So, let’s jump back into that interview with Andrea now.
Absolutely, I think that permission like you said to fail and the permission for it to be a learning process, I see this often times in people that I’ve worked with and there’s a perfectionist tendency in myself too that if I don’t catch it, it can get me where it’s like I’m thinking about something new. I’m learning and this is second time I’ve tried it and it didn’t go exactly how I wanted to and there’s a part of my brain that’s like, “Ah, come on. What’s going on here? You sucked.” And I just kind of pause and give myself some permission like “Wait a minute. This is a learning process and of course I don’t know this yet.” And I think that’s so important whether it’s in sales or even learning how to more comfortably talk to someone that you want to date, any area, it’s a learning process always. We can always be improving and we certainly don’t know everything from the get go.
Andrea: Exactly. And you know I mean I think it probably goes to so much of what you teach and just coaching people in building their confidence and meeting new people and all of that and I think so much of it. Again, it’s that perfectionism and that not wanting to feel foolish and just giving somebody the permission and actually telling them like with Go for No. We say go out there and get a no. In fact, we say go out there and find somebody that you are certain to get a no like instead of just like normally when we’re living in that kind of go for yes mindset it’s your sales manager would say, “Well, call somebody who you think you’re going to get yes from” and that will build your confidence. Well, instead from a go for no standpoint our position is “Well, why don’t you call somebody who you’re absolutely certain will tell you no. Maybe they’ve told you no in the past. Let’s get that over with. Let’s prove that you survive that so that you can continue to make calls and prove that you can survive.”
So, it’s never me avoiding that we build ourselves up. It’s in me confronting and then surviving and then moving forward through that.
Dr. Aziz: That is a such a key thing, that’s where you touched on when you said earlier like I can’t – we can’t sell anyone courage. We can only teach someone how to craft it themselves because the key element is that, that confronting and there’s a definition of courage that I actually saw on a t-shirt and I loved it so much that I snapped a photo of it and I want to read them out because I think it really relates to what you’re saying. It says, “Courage also known as fortitude is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. It can be divided into physical courage in the face of physical pain, hardship in the thread of death and emotional courage in the face of shame, scandal, rejection and discouragement. Its vice of deficiency brings cowardice and its vice of excess brings recklessness.
And one thing really stands out to me in that is that it’s the confrontation of that thing. What we’re talking about now is mostly I’m imagining the emotional side. I guess someone could physically attack you when you offer them to sell your product. But usually it’s the emotional side that we’re afraid of and there’s the confrontation of it that I think is the key element that creates the courage.
Andrea: Absolutely. Well, first of all, I love that. That is so cool, so amazing and perfectly described and you’re right and it is human nature especially and I’m sure you see this with your clients you know when people are shy and lacking confidence you’re not on confrontation mode, you’re on run mode.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah.
Andrea: So, this is all about facing that and pushing yourself and you know it and being willing to be vulnerable. I’ve watched several times actually her TED talk, Brene Brown. You’ve probably seen this on shame and it’s fascinating and it’s all about being vulnerable and I think that’s a huge part of learning to build your confidence, learning to go for a no and learning to be successful by sailing is getting over whatever shame you have in your history or your background or whatever and being vulnerable in front of other people. People respond to that but they won’t unless you take a chance and take a risk.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely and what have you seen — one of the biggest fears that people mentioned is “Okay, what if I try this thing and I fail? Then everyone is going to think less of me. They’re going to point the finger and laugh at me.” And what have you seen in your – as people start to go for no and let’s say they really throw themselves out there and try something and it doesn’t quite work, does that really happen? Do people really laugh at them? Or do people have a different response? Or do people not even notice? What have you seen about the reality of that?
Andrea: Yeah. I think the reality is – well, what I’ve seen actually is amazing, amazing story and much of it has been, much of the example that I’ve gotten has been sales examples. But we’ve had letters and people write us who had dreams of becoming artists, singers who end up going on auditions and they don’t make it but they just are kind of living in a totally different mindset because – and they’re so proud of themselves and they are able to live without that regret of “What if – you know I never tried to do this.” Ultimately, even getting rejected and turned down has helped people be more successful because they attempted. They did something that was a passion even if they were rejected. So that’s the one thing that we’ve seen and gotten really cool notes, some letters about some people who have been successful and has gone up and to do amazing things. From a sales standpoint, we get these letters of people who were just blown away by the results that they get. They say, “I started going for no and I didn’t think much of it and all of a sudden I was getting yesses and I got a yes from somebody I didn’t expect” and the next thing you know this person became hugely successful and they helped me in my business and now I’m like a tough leader. It’s just amazing what happens when people take the risk and they try it. So, we’ve seen miraculous things and it’s funny we always get the credit. People are saying gosh and I always say, “Well, you’re the one who took the action because one thing to tell you, to go out and fail and to go out and go for no but it does take courage. You have to put yourself on a line. You have to be willing to risk.” So, all of those people did are all better off for it and living with I think much less regret of what could have been because they made different of towels.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely. You know less regret and you said the word in there which I think is so important which is feeling proud of regardless of the outcome, “Hey I did it. I tried. I put myself out there.” And I think what I’ve seen is not only can a person feel that natural sense of pride in themselves for their successes but also for the attempts and the noes along the way. But I’ve seen other people can actually respect someone who goes out there and tries. It’s consistently what I see when someone is bold, there might be a few haters who challenge them. But most people tend to really admire and appreciate that demonstration of willingness and boldness and courage.
Andrea: Absolutely and you’ll get a kick out of this, too. So, a few years ago, we decided to write a little controversial press release because we were like, “Okay. How do we get the word out of go for no? How do we just continue to market this concept and how people find out about us?” So, when American Idol was really big at its height, this is like 2006 or something, we did a press release and we said – I think we call ourselves failure experts in this press release and we said, “Failure experts claim that rejected American Idol contestants are more successful than most Americans.” And the whole point of the press release that we wrote up was that most people are sitting on their couch eating potato chips, mocking these bad contestants and some other people were bad. Some of the people were just okay. They weren’t good enough to go on. They didn’t have the talent. They have the tenacity. But in our minds, they were more successful than most people being rejected on the show because they’re the ones who were going out and risking and attempting, you know, auditioning and putting themselves through all of these potential rejections and that press release went I mean wild. We got so much press. I ended up going on American Idol talk show to talk about it all because people thought that was so interesting that that was our position. But that is our position.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah, absolutely. I know it’s a great story. I mean even in that self, there’s just a sign of you being willing to put something out there that’s going to get noes. People are going to disagree with it. People are going to have something to say about but that’s where the energy comes from and actually that’s a great question to have if you’d like to share, how would you say most currently apply go for no in your life, in your business or other areas of your life, like where is it showing up now? How do you keep using this philosophy? We’re going to pause and take a quick break and then we’re going to get back into that interview with Andrea Waltz.
Andrea: Oh, gosh all the time. We go for no trying to get speaking clients and we are constantly reaching out to people to do work with whether it’s have us on an interview like this or doing a training call or all the kind of ways that we share go for no. So, we continue to sell and market our products and our services all the time and then Richard and I are trying some really, I guess I call it crazy off the wall interesting projects. We just launched a kick starter campaign for a paranormal suspense series that we’re launching. He’s kind of take in the lead on that. So, that’s a dream project for us. I don’t know that without Go for No and knowing that we’ve got to put ourselves up there and take a chance. I don’t know if we would be trying some of these, these wild things that we try. So, we definitely live it all the time.
Dr. Aziz: That is great. And what I love about it is it can help someone who and I have a kind of a range and listeners. So, someone might be listening and they’re kind of really stuck just to go start a conversation with someone just to develop more friends or maybe even meet someone they’re interested in and the Go for No is tremendously powerful for that. Someone might be further along, more successful socially but they’re held back in business in creating their own business or marketing themselves or for a salesperson and that’s tremendously useful. But what’s beautiful about this philosophy is no matter where you are, you can be at a place like where you and Richard are where you’re successful, you have a business that is teaching something that is of tremendous value, you do speaking conferences and trainings sort of like the high level stuff but you’re always looking for the next thing. Like, “Okay, what’s the crazy project we can do? What’s the next way that we can get no?” and so there’s really no limit to how far you can expand with this approach to life, I love it.
Andrea: Yeah and you’re so right and I’m glad that you said that and I do appreciate that for sure.
Dr. Aziz: So, the question I have and some listeners might be having this as well as, “Okay. So, success, achievement, glory, that sounds great. But how many noes do I need to get before that fear starts to go down a little bit? Like how many, how many do I need to get in?” And I know it’s probably different person history, situation but just you know, in a general sense, is it like five noes? Is it 500 noes? How much do people need to really put themselves out there before it starts to go down?
Andrea: Yeah. That is a great question and it’s so hard to say because like I was telling you earlier, you know we have all of these different levels, I see these different levels of people and again some people just taking the – it’s like they get it intellectually and they can kind of get it emotionally quickly, too. I think about 60% of people fall somewhere in the middle. And so, how many noes it takes to really kind of get over some of that? It really depends upon the person. One of the things that we do which is kind of fun though and it’s a great way to, I think accelerate the process is we do a – and this is like just totally informal. I do it through our Facebook group and sometimes I’ll do a webinar around it. We do a 30-day go for no challenge so we challenge people get as many noes as you can get for yourself in 30 days. Now some people come up with these crazy goals. So, I’ll say, “Well, I’m going to get 1000 or 500 or whatever.” Now a person who maybe they are super shy, they’re online all the time, they don’t talk to people, they haven’t gotten a no since 1997, they may say, “Well gosh, my 30-day challenge would be to get 10 noes.” Well, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s whatever would really challenge your comfort zone and so, for 30 days, we just tell people get as many noes as you can or set a goal, challenge yourself and see what happens and I think by accelerating that and we have a thing that we mentioned in our book called the Five Failure Levels. Level four is fail bigger and fail faster that allows people to do that, set, make something challenging, try to fail fast and if you can do that in a short period of time and do that fast, I think that will really accelerate your progress not to say that there won’t be somebody down the line that you want to ask out that scares the heck out of you where you just like, “Oh, my God this is my dream person and I’m really scared.” But I think it would help.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely. And I love that the fail bigger, faster and so the idea of failing your way to success that you can really accelerate your progress by just willing to go out there and I teach, that sometimes I’m working with the man, he wants to find a partner, meet a woman and he’s like, “Well, I’m willing to get rejected once a month.” It’s like, “Well, that’s the likelihood of finding the love of your life on the first chance. Good luck.” And so, it was once a month and maybe you’re looking at 10, 20 months before you really click with the exact right person for you. Whereas if you’re willing to get one no a day then who knows you might be really be able to make that happen so much faster in your life.
Andrea: Oh, absolutely yeah.
Dr. Aziz: I really have one, one question is have you notice does the fear ever really just kind of completely go away or is there always that kind of something that you need to just – it doesn’t stop you but you still feel it in your heart or your stomach or your chest or something along those lines?
Andrea: For me personally?
Dr. Aziz: For you personally and maybe what you’ve seen in people that you’ve taught and worked with?
Andrea: Yeah. I think, well for me personally I can say the almost entirely unless there is something for some reason that’s just something I really want to have a yes, I really wanted to happen, I can get super nervous over it and I’ve heard from a wide variety of people who say that their fears are greatly diminished. I don’t know if anybody is completely fearless. It would be – emotions really guide us and I think to try to rid ourselves of emotion entirely is not necessarily a productive thing. It’s when it inhibits us from living the kind of life we want to live, from achieving our dreams, from living a great life as when our emotions become a problem, right? So, it’s about being able to manage them in such a way that we can continue to move forward even if we have a little bit of that nervousness and the butterflies which is what I get in the pit of my stomach. So, I think no one has ever said to me, “You know it’s completely – I’m perfect. I’m good.” But lots of people have made 180-degree turns.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely. I think that’s the biggest outcome is to not be inhibited by that fear, not to be held back by it, just to have an energy that is there but it no longer has such a control over you. One question, one last question, I’m really curious about is how does this work? If you’re going for noes, where is the role of changing your approach? Because you might be going for noes but you might be, say, your sales approach might be ineffective or maybe when it comes to dating and relationships, you might be approaching some people in a way that is getting you noes but it also is going to consistently keep getting you noes. Like basically, how did you get better at whatever it is you’re doing while you also are going for these noes?
Andrea: Yeah. I’m so glad you said that and I always forget to mention that. Oh, I’m so glad you brought that up. It’s very important because yeah, you don’t want to just keep doing the same thing over and over again and we all know that’s the definition of insanity. So, clearly your goal is to get go for no and yet at some point, you – if it’s just no, no, no and you’re not seeing any yesses which I’ve had people tell me that before. They say, “I’ve done this and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere.” My advice is always, “Okay, so at this point you need to seek help from an expert in your field, in your endeavor if you will of whatever it is you’re trying to do and change up your approach and get – maybe you just get creative. Maybe just do something a little crazy. Maybe it’s just take a look and see what the best people are doing. See what your – if your best friend has a ton of date, see what they’re doing. If the top sales guy in your company, find out what his approach or her approach is.”
So, definitely, learning from those noes and being able to fill in the gaps. But here’s the interesting thing about that and I had a lady write me and I love what she said. She did a 30-day go for no challenge and she said, “It was only by really getting out there and forcing myself to go for no was I really able to see where I was getting noes and where my gaps were so that I knew that I needed to get more training in these particular areas.” So, she was actually seeing, “Okay, this is the point where I’m not able to close the sale. This is the point where the person is telling me no. They don’t want to meet with me.” And so, she saw where her opportunities where. I think for a lot of people especially if somebody really lacks confidence and they’re not putting themselves out there at all, they don’t even get to that point to analyze it.
So, if you can go for a no and you can start getting those noes and maybe see, maybe learn a little bit about what you’re doing and what they’re telling you and figure out, “Okay, how can I change this up? How can I get creative and do a little differently?” I think that goes a long way in teaching you where your gaps are.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely. I love so much what you said in there and I’m thinking about the clients that I worked with who make the most dramatic and rapid progress in their confidence and then that translates into their romantic life, their business life, their social life. It’s in our session we focus on their mindset, the emotions that might be holding it back, specific strategies they could use. But the ones that really rapidly accelerate and grow are the ones who were in between sessions they’re out there trying it a lot.
And that’s because you can, I think I’ve seen a couple errors people make. One is people get very, very little data that they’ll try once in a month or do a couple of weeks and they’ll try to make all kinds of conclusions about that. “Oh, I should do this. Next time, I should do that.” It’s like well maybe you need to do five before you can start notice any sort of trends and another thing I notice people do is they’ll take the wrong lesson. I was working with one fellow and he was working on getting more comfortable with women and in dating and wanting to find a partner and sometimes get uncomfortable on the phone. He was a little better in person or face-to-face but on the phone he would get nervous or not knowing to say and so, he sure enough he was on the phone with a woman and it ended going well via texting he says. But when I got on the phone, they chatted for a while and seemed doing well and all of a sudden about 20 or 30 minutes in the conversation, she seemed really withdrawn and shut down and get a little distant or cold and then quickly ended the conversation. And so, we’re trying to explore what happen. It was like, “What did he learn? What did he take from it?” and he said, “I learned to never talk on the phone with a woman that I’m interested in.”
Dr. Aziz: I say well that’s – that is one possible lesson and I think we often do that and the lesson we take is, “Oh, I should avoid no.”
Dr. Aziz: I should avoid failure. And that’s what I love about what you’re teaching is like no, no, no. You can tweak your approach. You can see, you can learn from this by consulting someone who knows more than you. But the takeaway is not to avoid but to keep going into it.
Andrea: Completely. I mean can I just add one thing to that, too? I think there is a tendency and this goes for finding that your life partner, finding and this is going to sound really kind of horrible but finding the next sale is. I know people believe in soulmates and I get that and everything. But the reality is, is that if you don’t get this one yes on this one sales, your sales career is not over. If you want to date this one person and that doesn’t happen, you’re not dateless forever.
Dr. Aziz: That’s right.
Andrea: You know this is not like this one person was it and this is the one time and that’s it. I mean the reality is it does have to be the kind of the – almost the quantity approach and that’s one of the things actually we teach quite a bit is when you’re going for no, you know we said go for no. We said fail bigger faster. Well, part of that is when you’re trying this, if you can tell your story to a lot of people and whether it’s just meeting people, relationships, and you’re out there and you’re sharing and talking to a lot of people, the rejection, the nervousness, a lot of that goes away when you have a higher quantity of people you’re interacting with. So, yeah, I guess it’s not – and I apologize, it doesn’t mean dovetail like totally against what you teach but it’s kind of like if you’re talking, if you have like five women you’re kind of conversing with over a week, it tends to I think remove some of the nervousness as opposed to like what if she’s the one? What if I screw this up, that’s it. I’m never getting married.
Dr. Aziz: Oh, yeah absolutely. I’m in total alignment with you on that. I think that we can – that is so amazing and interesting one and we can have a probably fascinating discussion about. But one thing I know for sure is because you saw her across the room and she was beautiful or had something about her that compelled you, first of all that doesn’t mean that she’s your soulmate and I wouldn’t necessarily say, “Okay, this is the one.” And you get all attached to the outcome and then even if there isn’t a potential with that attachment and that the anxiety of messing it up, you tend to not really be yourself and then the next thing you know you lose that opportunity which could be a good wake up call and it could also be just to there’s if it didn’t work out then she’s not your soulmate, right? It is like – if she wasn’t interested then there’s someone out there who will reciprocate and you just need to keep working on yourself to find them. And I think that’s so true. What you’re highlighting is that the confidence that comes from abundance in terms of – and not necessarily abundance of yesses but “I have five more sales calls or five more sales conversations or presentations in the next two weeks” versus “It’s a ghost town out there.” And you’re going to be so much more nervous and anxious and ultimately not be as effective if you don’t have all that stuff lined up and the all new way to get stuff lined up is to go for a no.
Andrea: Completely yes. Yeah. I totally agree.
Dr. Aziz: That’s just great. I mean I’m really enjoying talking with you. I feel like there are so much more we could jump into but maybe we’ll have to save that for a future conversation. But people that are listening and if they’re intrigued and interested, what will be the best way to find out more about what you offer and books and maybe even opportunities to see you and Richard speak?
Andrea: Yeah absolutely. Well, I would encourage everybody to go to GoForNo.com which is our website and it’s spelled out in the words GONOFORNO.com. If they’re Amazon shoppers, they can find the Go for No book on Amazon, Kindle and physical books. So, I would say pick up the book. That’s the best way to kind of get to know the concept and we’ve got some free stuff on our website. I mean we have videos and tons of blogs and a fun little free no quotient assessment. So, there are plenty ways to interact without purchasing. So, yeah go to the website, check it out and see what you can learn.
Dr. Aziz: Fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing with us today and I really appreciate it.
Andrea: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Dr. Aziz: That brings us to the end of the interview and almost to the end of our show but we have to end with one thing because we always end with your action step.
Today’s action step is to be one of the following a) fail bigger or b) fail faster. So, pick one thing that you would like to fail bigger. What’s a way to up your game, up your projects, up something, taking something on that you could fail at that’s bigger than you’ve done before that’s a little outside your comfort zones. So, that’s a, option A is to take that one on. Option B is continue with something that you’re doing, something a little bit smaller but do it faster, get more noes more quickly, make more calls, talk to more people, whatever it is in your particular situation whether it’s sales, business, conversations, dating, relationships, public speaking. Let’s say you’re scared of public speaking, how can you fail faster at that? Well, how many speaking gigs can you line up, can you find toastmasters?
When you go to toastmaster, you know every time I went to a toastmaster when I was younger and I was working on my public speaking fear, I wouldn’t just go and kind of hang out in the back of the room and check out the scene, no. I was there to feel the fear and do it anyway. So, I’d get there and I’d look for the opportunity and say sure enough, someone is like, “So and so is not going to be here today. Does anyone who can give an impromptu speech?” and bam! My hand went up right away because I knew I’m here to fail faster. The more I can do this, the more uncomfortable I can be, the quicker I’m going to get the confidence that I need and I want. So, that is what I encourage you to do in today’s action step.
Take your pick A or B or if you want extra credit A and B. But whatever you do, remember to have compassion with yourself in this process to be on your side, to not criticize yourself and to really learn how to accept yourself and be on your own side no matter what happens especially when you get those noes and then when you combine the going for no with self-compassion, you got rocket fuel for your confidence boosters, my friend. So, thank you so much for listening. I enjoyed talking with you this week. I look forward to speaking with you more in the future and if you’re interested in that total social confidence group that you heard about earlier in this episode, by all means go to the website under the coaching section look up groups or under the events section, it will be in both of those places and you can find out all about the group there and look about – filling out the application and so on and so forth. I love to talk with you more about that if you’re ready to really up your game and handle this confidence area once and for all. So, I look forward to speaking with you and talking with you in the future and until we do, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know that you’re awesome.
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