Fear and Silver Linings
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
All business owners have felt fear of failure at one point or another – whether a new opportunity, an important hiring decision, or a new technology adaptation. “What if I mess this up?” runs on an endless loop in the back of your mind, often leading to analysis paralysis. But one thing I know for sure, the most successful entrepreneurs embrace failure, remain nimble, and adjust to new conditions.
One of my career mentors, a director at Texas Gas Service, recently posted on LinkedIn about learning from failure, and the key was starting with your mindset. She wrote:
“Reframe failure as a stepping stone rather than an endpoint to help overcome fear and take on new calculated risks that might possibly lead to significant payoffs.”
By embracing failure as an opportunity for growth and learning, we can overcome fear and be more willing – possibly even eager – to venture into new territory. Be resilient and use that fear as a catalyst for growth so you can take calculated risks more confidently. Easy for me to say, right?
Yet, in specialty lending, fear is a natural response when dealing with risks, as the potential consequences of failure can be daunting for both us and the client. Our work inherently involves a level of uncertainty, making resilience a crucial trait. We develop resilience by learning from setbacks and adapting our lending strategies. Over time, this resilience allows us to confidently approach risks and navigate complex lending scenarios more effectively. This overall mindset shift allows us to identify and capitalize on opportunities that others may have shied away from due to fear of failure, and that’s what sets successful entrepreneurs apart.
So, when that little voice in your head says, “what if I fail?” answer it with, “it’s not the end of the world, it’s just a stepping stone, and I’ll learn from it.” (and yes, it’s okay to talk to yourself!) Those lessons are the silver linings from every dark cloud of fear that end up bringing progress.