Maybe it was my upbringing, but I’ve always expected and planned for the worst. It has been a great motivation for trying to do exactly what I’ve really wanted to do with my life, and not necessarily sticking to the “safe bets” in life.
In the early days of my business, I would sit in front of my telephone and try to get up the nerve to make calls and ask perfect strangers to toss some work my way. I wondered why it was so difficult to make each call – what was I afraid of? Then I’d ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I make this call? Will the person reach through the wires, grab me by the throat and start squeezing?”
I knew this kind of phone assault was fiction, science fiction, even. The worst anyone could do was say no and hang up. Big deal. I didn’t have their business in the first place, so what had I lost? Nothing.
But I also came to realize that if I did make that telephone call, I might just get some business. If they said yes, I’d be that much closer to my dream of financial independence as an entrepreneur. But there was absolutely NO CHANCE of getting their business if I didn’t ask for it – so I picked up the phone, over and over again.
Guess what? I worked.
It’s natural to try to avoid discomfort and embarrassment. Not everyone’s born to sell – let alone to sell themselves. Pride’s at stake, but you have to push yourself past pride to get ahead. Failure makes you better, not worse, as long as you get back up and try again. That’s the only was you build confidence. With any luck at all, you’ll get to do things in life you really dream of doing if you just open yourself up to the risk of failure.
If you really want to push yourself to do the things you want to do in life, just consider what I learned, and how I learned it. Tell yourself that the worst that can happen is dead end, and what the heck, life has a serious punctuation mark at the end, even if you don’t take chances. You shouldn’t let fear of failure – like having to move on a rundown condo 10 miles outside of town – stop you from trying. Life’s not that cheap, and success is well worth the worry.
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.- Pope John XXIII