How to avoid the weight of expected failures

Mar 01, 2023

Let’s talk about the weight of expected failure slowing you down.

Welcome to the 30th edition of the SPS Newsletter.


“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”

- George Edward Woodberry


I have failed more times in my mind than I have in reality.


The weight of failure has pressed down hard on me. Like a gravitational force freezing me into non-action.


The most significant side effect of fearing failure is the slow implementation of ideas.


I would get an idea and get excited. Then think of reasons it won’t work. The idea would get shelved.


As a business owner, I have had to fight this over the last two years.


When I get a new idea I know it should be tested.


But a cage match in my brain kicks off. The new idea which barely has legs comes up against excuses. These excuses have the fighting skills of a peak Conner McGregor.


It gets ugly fast.


How do I overcome this?


Journaling is the most effective tool I use.


I will use exercises like Fear Setting. Ask the worst-case scenario and develop competing logical answers to the fears. This always shows me that I am in my head overthinking everything.


The other tool I use is seeing everything as a test.


While studying behavioural economics I came across this process:



It’s been helpful to think of everything as an ongoing process and to detach as much as you can from the process emotionally.


But that is not always easy.


Finally, through coaching others, studying my inner game, and being coached.


I have discovered 6 common barriers to be aware of if you want to defeat the weight of failure.


The weight of expected failure has led to half-assed results for my clients and myself.




Because you mentally self-sabotage. You overthink. You procrastinate.


💡 If you avoid the following 6 barriers you will crush your fear of failure, flow freely toward your goals, and exploit newfound confidence:



1) Fear of the Unknown:

This is a powerful barrier causing you to hesitate in new situations.


Starting a new project is daunting. Especially if you have never done it before. Or you desire the result.


The sense of dread you have is mental noise.


Action solves this.



2) Previous Experiences:

Negative experiences create the weight of future failure.


You tried something similar before. It didn’t work out. You hyper-focus on the negatives.


A tricky barrier to overcome.


It’s why you should focus on what went right or your previous BIG wins.



3) Pressure to Succeed:

As a business owner, leader, or solopreneur there is a ton of pressure on you to succeed.


This pressure can make it difficult for you to take risks. Try new things. Make big changes.


Because you’re afraid of falling short of expectations.


But in today’s fast-moving world not changing often creates greater pressure.



4) Perfectionism:

Perfectionism is procrastination in disguise.


You set high standards as a defense mechanism not to take action. You say everything must be right. But nothing is ever right.


To defeat this barrier use the 80% rule.


If it’s 80% done - ship it - let the world see your work.



5) Lack of Confidence:

A lack of confidence has tripped me up a few times.


I struggled to believe in my ability to succeed online. I was hesitant to post. But in 2017 I started a YouTube channel. Now 6 years later I make a full-time income online.


Action builds confidence.


Don’t forget that.



6) Miss use of data:

Data is helpful but can be misleading.


They say 9 out of 10 businesses fail. That stat is a lie. Around 50% close after 5 years.


But what they don’t tell you...

Most owners move on to another project.


Don’t let stats convince you of failure before trying.



⚙️ Conclusion


The fear of failure is a complex emotion that is caused by a variety of factors.


It is essential to recognize that failure is a natural part of your business journey.


It’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. I wouldn’t be writing this Newsletter today without learning from my mistakes.


By acknowledging and addressing the underlying causes of the fear of failure you can take steps to overcome it.


Then pursue your goals with the confidence of a Wall Street trader on cocaine.


Big Love,





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