How to Overcome the Fear of Failure and Build Your Creative Confidence

What Are You Afraid Of?

Last week I read an article, “The Only Difference Between Successful and Unsuccessful People,” that inspired this weeks episode. The article said, “If you find yourself asking thinking or asking your friends am I really a writer? Am I really an artist? Should I start that business? Do you really think people will read my blog? Chances are you are on to something.”

“The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

Steven Pressfield

Why Success is a Complicated Word

So if you are feeling scared and that sense of fear is holding you back, then take that as a sign that you are on to something. The number one reason we don’t execute on ideas that we have is a fear of failure. We get so caught up in what might go wrong that we neglect to ask, “What’s the risk if I, or we don’t do this.”

We often associate a fear of failure with the idea of success. Success is a complicated word that means different things to different people, today I’m going to go with Bob Dylan’s definition.

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between he does what he wants to do.

Bob Dylan

Many of you may have tuned into this podcast thinking we would be talking about the five stages of design thinking, making, maybe 3D printing and all the other typical things it is you hear. Don’t worry we’ll get to the ins and outs of design thinking and design sprints soon enough. However it was really important to me to start this podcast and conversation with an emphasis on mindset. Mindset is the key to being your own best advocate when trying to push forward a new idea, product or experience. 

As individuals this is particularly important to help you thrive in today’s world. There are two overarching skills that are highlighted as critical by organizations today and they are 1) being able to solve complex problems and 2) engage in complex communication. The current situation with the Corona Virus is a perfect example of why everyone needs to have a design thinking mindset to lead swiftly at all levels and collaborate to design solutions. As we’ve seen, responses vary from city to city, state to state and country to country highlighting why learning how to empathize, the first stage in the design thinking process is critical to designing effective solutions.

ICBD Framework – Getting to Hell Yes

Next time you find yourself second guessing yourself, or if someone comes to you with an idea, give them tangible strategies to build upon so they can increase their creative confidence. One of my favorite strategies is from a book, “Getting to Hell Yes,” that shares a method called ICBD. You can use this framework as an individual or as a team to talk about an upcoming project or idea. In this framework you discuss four categories – intentions, concerns, boundaries and dreams. Reframing the project using the ICBD framework will help you begin to see how the risk of trying something new far outweighs the fear of failure.

Episode Overview

This week I want to discuss this topic of how to overcome the fear of failure or fear of trying something new. A few months back I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my good friend Michael Hernandez. His podcast, Change the Narrative, is one of my absolute favorites! His unique and captivating style of telling stories is unlike any other. On his podcast, Michael and I talk about strategies for overcoming the fear of failure and how we can embrace change in our lives and in the workplace. 

These strategies I share today in the episode are ones that I implement on a daily basis. Some days are easier than others and the mindset battle is one that you are always fighting, and with time you become stronger. So if you are wondering how to turn a fear of failure into the fire that fuels you then I’m excited for you to listen in.

In this episode Sabba shares:

  • Why empathy is key to designing a culture of innovation
  • What a collaborative sounding board is and why you need one
  • Why and how you need to develop your sense of self efficacy
  • Strategies for how to overcome a fear of failure

Connect with Us

I hope you all enjoy my conversation with Michael Hernandez, and as always we’d love if you tag us online and share your thoughts and takeaways. 

Listen in to Michael’s podcast here to learn more and learn more on his website.
You can connect with me, Sabba on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter @AskMsQ or visit my website askmsq.com.

I’m Sabba.

I believe that the future should be designed. Not left to chance.

Over the past decade, using design thinking practices I've helped schools and businesses create a culture of innovation where everyone is empowered to move from idea to impact, to address complex challenges and discover opportunities. 

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  1. Cabrina Lett says:

    Sabba captures her audienceś interest by inviting her listeners into deep, intellectual thought with a friendly, yet professional tone. As Sabba and Micheal Hernandez discuss everything from education to business, as it relates to design thinking, there is a captivating comradery between the speakers. When listening to this podcast, do not be surprised if you get the sense that you are at a local coffee shop with close friends, celebrating all that life has to offer through personal growth and innovation. This warm, collaborative spirit motivates the listener to dig deeper, make meaningful connections, and stretch their imagination.

    Sabba highlights three keys to overcome fear of failure and build creative confidence. She suggests exploring your personal lack of knowledge, support, and self-efficacy to maximize your potential. By addressing these gaps, an individual can rise to the challenge through exposure to different industries, attracting mentors who push thinking, and building on past experiences to problem solve, respectively.

    While confronting these obstacles, which might create a source of tension for most, Sabbaś focus on empathy allows the listener to let down their guard, freeing up any form of self-doubt. Her passion for education, creativity, and perspective taking shines through the narrative, encouraging the listener to radiate her enthusiasm for improvement through design-thinking.

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