Don't Let Fear Steal Your Dream

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Valorie Burton is one of my favorite authors. In her book, "What's Really Holding You Back?", she explains that fear of failure is one of the main reasons that people fall short of their dreams. So, what's the answer to overcoming that fear? The solution is simple, but the implementation can sometimes be difficult: Be Willing to Fail.

Some of the greatest names in history have been some of the biggest failures. You've probably heard that Thomas Edison actually failed 10,000 times before he successfully demonstrated the first incandescent light bulb. Fabulous stories of failure are not limited to inventors either. You may recall that Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy more than a decade ago and filed bankruptcy for his casinos just a couple of years ago. Yet, I read an article just the other day that he is selling a Palm Beach mansion for $125 million that he bought for $41 million in 2004. After a $25 million renovation, he stands to make over $50 million on one transaction. Now, that's the kind of failure I'm talking about.

The fear of failure will never go away if you are stretching. So, what's the answer? Do it afraid! Quite simply, develop a tolerance for failure. When you accept that failure is a critical part of success, then you will develop the patience to see your dreams become a reality. Failure is a part of success in this way: If you attempt to do anything that you've never done before, you have to learn how to do it. Whether it's learning to walk, to ride a bicycle, or to pick winning stocks; there is a learning curve. If you don't fail, you won't know what works.

Every successful person I know is a risk-taker. If you are honest with yourself, every successful person you know is a risk-taker as well. Generally, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Let's be clear, I'm not advocating stupidity here. I'm telling you that it's okay to take risks and it's okay to fail.

Overcome your fear of failure, learn from your mistakes, and persevere. This is the formula for seeing your dreams manifest in your life.
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