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Are You Sabotaging Your Success? Ready To Flip Fear and Failure? - Debra Trappen
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Are You Sabotaging Your Success? Ready To Flip Fear and Failure?

We all battle with nasty, negative self-talk.  We focus on our fears and failures.  As entrepreneurs,  they stifle our success, squash dreams or worse – push us into quitting.

Here are three things you can do today to move from frightened to FOCUSED:

1. Change how you look at your fears and failures!

FLIP your fears and failures.  Look at them from another angle.

Instead of fear being something that stops you from doing the things to move you forward and achieving your goals – harness it as your fuel to excel.  Start by understanding what fear is.  Fear is merely a chain reaction in the brain.  It begins with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a series of physical responses like a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, light-headedness, analysis paralysis, etc.  The stimulus could be a massive business proposal due date, decision (or deciding) to start a business, or a giant theater full of people waiting for you to speak!  For some it is a spider, snake, birds or (fill in the blank with yours).

When your voice of fear is getting louder, use it as a sign you are getting closer to achieving a goal.  Let it be the sign to celebrate that you are stepping out of your comfort zone, stretching yourself and GROWING!  When you tackle the very thing that frightens you, the fear dissipates.  Go after your fear, harness it and ride a positive wave with it.

Now, let’s talk about failure.

Who decided that failure is a negative thing?

Let’s face it – most of us need to do something more than once to get it right.  Helllooooooo!  Not doing something perfectly on the first try is PART OF LIFE.   I am betting it took you several tries before you learned to tie your shoes.  What if you let this fundamental lesson elude you because you didn’t master “the bunny ears”, “magic fingers” or the “circle technique”  the first time?  Looking at failure negatively sets you up for a life of many more negative moments than positive.

Remember, by definition, learning requires not knowing something.  Start seeing your failures as beacons leading to a learning opportunity, signals that a new mentor is waiting for you and experiences that get you closer to success!

Failure is fabulously inevitable. Let’s make it more FUN to fail… and always be focused on failing forward.

2. What would your best friend say?

Whenever you start to have thoughts filled with fear or failure that are holding you back – talk with your bestie.  If you have wisely chosen your inner circle – she/he will give it to you straight.  They will sing your song to you when you have forgotten it and be there with you as you pivot your thoughts from fear to freedom.  Oh, and they will be ready with a divine bottle of wine and two glasses to celebrate your successes!

On the flip side of this one – be this best friend for your dearests.


3. What would you say to your 7-year-old self?

Close your eyes and imagine yourself when you were 5.  What if that little cutie pie said, “I am too stupid, loud, lame, goofy, (fill in your word here) to make my dreams come true” – what would you say?  My guess is that it wouldn’t be “You are so right.  You are dumb and lame, and will never achieve your dreams. Give up now and just go back to bed.”

It would likely be more like “I believe in you.  You have everything you need inside you to achieve your dreams. You will accomplish great things. “Can I hear an amen?

Now, repeat those words to yourself.
Over and over again.


  • Rita
    Posted at 20:21h, 08 September Reply

    VERY timely post, Miss Debra! I have had this same conversation with a number of friends recently who are going thru the going thru phase.

    I find it interesting that in December each year, we are full of hope and plans for the coming January. We set off with our very best intentions and a bottle of courage tucked under our arm. Somewhere along the journey of the year, we become derailed by life’s circumstances…. or so we say. Old hurts and belief systems kick in, despite the conscious best of intentions.

    “What if….???” is a phrase I learned from Mary Morrissey, Life Coach and Author. I find I am asking myself that more often. Not “Why…” but “What if I….?” which is a different attitude and opens the creative mind to seek alternatives that might work for me.

    I am working and focusing diligently every day on a gap that is open for me to work my magic. Sometimes it feels like it’s really small gap and I’m having a hard time pushing thru the opening or transitioning into the new butterfly, but I AM doing my work! “What if I” has come in handy in sales, in relationships at home, in kind gestures to the elderly, in extending my possibilities of what could be on the horizon for tomorrow, heck even furniture placement! LOL

    Yes, that little 5 yr old of by-gone days has had a world of hard knocks and bruises. Sadly, it can take a lifetime to outgrow those hurt put upon us by unthinking adults, school-mates, coworkers, etc , So your regular email reminders as well as our choice choice of supportive peeps along the way, make the restorative journey, and positive path toward one’s future, more encouraging.

    Thanks again for posting!!!

    Rita Harris, Broker
    Seattle, WA

    • Debra Trappen
      Posted at 14:04h, 10 September Reply

      You are such a bold, brilliant, brave woman, Rita. I am honored to know you. Thank you for your encouragement, support and feedback! We are better together… for sure! :)

  • Irish Carter
    Posted at 13:43h, 02 October Reply

    What a great message here. I totally agree that the closer one gets to their end game and goal, the bigger the fear becomes. However, like you said — fear is so often a false expectation and if we fall down along the way….oh well! We learn a great lesson in life along the way.

    Love this article.


    • Debra Trappen
      Posted at 14:34h, 02 October Reply

      Thank you, Irish! That is why it is so important to make sure we surround ourselves with CHAMPIONS who know, love and support us. They can always help us beat the fear and move forward! :)

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