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Issue #44: I'm terrified of public failure
What I'm deciding to hold on to during this season of fear and decision-making.
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Want to know one of the many features on Facebook that annoy me? The memories. Sure, they often share cute pictures of my kiddo when she was tiny or remind me about the day my husband proposed, but it also tends to stir up memories that I have worked hard to push to the back of my mind.
This week, Facebook reminded me that five years ago I experienced my biggest public failure to date. In an effort to gain funding for my then business, Living Over Existing, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $30,000. I put my heart into the campaign video, I jumped on live nearly every day, and I stepped outside of my comfort zone and emailed people that I didn’t even know to ask for support.
I created all the graphics and showed up consistently just like they told me to.
And at the end of the 30 days, I raised just a little over $2,000. $28,000 short of my original goal. 🙃
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I was devastated and spent months trying to emerge from the dark hole that I had crawled into. I can’t lie, the pain and embarrassment that I felt 5 years ago, still haunts me to this day. It was the first time that I vulnerably put myself out into the world, loudly asking (more like begging) for help and I fell flat on my face. Even taking myself back to that moment to tell you this story makes my heart hurt a little.
Needless to say, since then I have been terrified to have another big public failure and I’m sure that moment is the root of where a lot of my decision fatigue comes from.
Especially as of late.
Can I tell you a secret? I really want to launch a paid community for Mind Body Brand. It has been on my heart for a while now and building community outside of social media has always been a part of my ultimate goal. After experiencing Podcast Movement last week, I finally got the confirmation that I needed to go for it.
The problem is, I’m terrified of failing publicly again. It’s easy for me to pivot and tell the world that I have changed my mind about what direction I’m taking my business in because I’m in charge of that narrative. But standing up and saying that something I worked hard on failed just hits my ego differently. The thought of falling on my face again takes me back to that moment 5 years ago when I knew for a fact that I couldn’t hit my $30,000 goal before the 30-day deadline.
I’m afraid that I’ll talk all about this community and no one will want it.
I’m afraid that a small amount of people will join and I’ll still look like a fraud.
I’m afraid of putting my hard work and energy into this project with no reassurance that it will work or not.
And I’m well aware that these fears are causing me a ton of decision fatigue, confusion, and an unhealthy need for outside validation that is adding nothing but stress and overwhelm to my life.
But even with all the mind-drama happening to me right now, I know that building this space aligns with not only my mission for Mind Body Brand now but also my ultimate goal that I desire to reach years from now.
So in this season of fear and uncertainty, here’s what I’m holding on to.
In a recent episode of the Independent Business podcast, I heard Mary Marantz say that a lot of our fears are self-serving. When we’re afraid we’re always focused on how our possible failures will affect US and not those that we are creating for. Mary mentioned that when we begin to feel these feelings, we have to remove ourselves from the situation and focus on serving our people and giving them what they need.
That one mindset shift really helped me to see how selfish my fears are. Yes, this would be a space that I created but ultimately it’s a space that is being created for you. If I don’t push past my fears, then I’m just doing you a disservice.
I’m also leaning into what my friend Monique, the queen of pushing past fear, tells me all the time whenever I get hung up on fear and decision fatigue. She always tells me to “Just make a decision.” I have a habit of wanting to analyze every possible outcome when it comes to decision fatigue and I often end up not doing anything. But she always reminds me that I can just make a decision and change or pivot when necessary.
Which brings me to my next point. If I fail, really, what’s the worst that could happen? I can decide to pivot or close down the community and continue writing here on Substack like I have been (and will continue to do). And I’m still actively looking for full-time employment so at least I’ll have something to fall back on.
For years I have preached about not staying somewhere that no longer serves you so who am I to not take my own advice? Failure is a big part of life and entrepreneurship. Even though it’s ugly, painful, and embarrassing, you experience it, build a bridge, and get over it. 🤷🏽♀️
That’s what I’m trying to keep in mind. And I hope that by vulnerably sharing what’s really happening in my head, it’ll inspire you to push past some of your own fears.
I want to know, what big goals have you been allowing fear to hold you back from?
Cheers to an incredible week!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
😧 This year is flying by. But don’t worry, there is still time for you to hit the career and finance goals you set for this year.
🏝 Who said you had to be married in order to enjoy a honeymoon? Now is the perfect time to treat yourself and fly off to that beautiful island.
⏰ Has everything we’ve been told about waking up early a lie? This CEO says ditching her alarm clock has been a game changer.
🙌🏾 What do you do when you don’t have enough? Remember that God is a multiplier.