Today, I’m going to tell you a story about my own fear of failure, and something that a friend once said to me that literally changed the course of my life.
I decided that I wanted to help veterinarians live better lives in October of 2016. I’ve told this story before, but this was the month that I attended a conference about women and money. This conference had nothing to do with veterinary medicine and it was basically a large retreat. There were about 60 women there, mostly entrepreneurs but not all, spanning all ages and fields.
This was the first time I let myself experience something outside of the veterinary world. And it was this weekend, at this retreat, that I realized my mission in life was to help other veterinarians live happier more joyful lives (whether in the field or out of it).
But guess what?
I did nothing. Instead, I talked myself out of that mission and I let that fear of failure derail me from my goals.
Fast forward to September of 2017. While I was at that retreat in 2016, I met the woman who became my mentor and later my first official coach. In October of 2017, she held a retreat specifically for women who wanted to be retreat leaders (to hold retreats for other people).
This retreat was not cheap. It was the first time I had ever invested a large sum of money on myself. Afterwards, I might have second guessed it, but at the time I just said “yes.”
Keep in mind that up until this point, I had not actually done anything, had not taken any action towards my goal of helping veterinary women. In fact, I spent much of my time convincing myself of all the reasons why I COULDN’T do what I wanted to do! Again, that fear of failure was talking me out of taking action.
But I went anyway.
One of the nights, we were sitting around dinner. I was talking to the woman next to me who had built a business helping women with their money. She had left corporate to follow her dreams of helping those women. And I was jealous. I was telling her how I really wanted to be able to help veterinary women, but I was terrified. What if I failed?
And she said something to me that changed my life.
“Jenny, it’s not about you.”
I literally didn’t even know how to respond to that, but she continued.
She told me that it wasn’t about me, because I was here to make a difference on this planet. I was here to make a big change. And if I let that fear of failure hold me back, then I was actually HURTING the people who I wanted to help!
By not letting myself try, by not letting myself take action towards my goal, I was keeping women from potentially making progress towards their OWN dreams!
And that would be on my shoulders.
Now, obviously it’s true that those women might figure things out themselves, but didn’t I think I could help them get their faster? Make a difference in their lives?
Yes, I did.
More, that was what every inch of my body wanted to be doing.
And she was right, it wasn’t about me.
Now, you have your own goals.
And maybe they’re goals to change the world in a different way. Maybe they’re goals to help as many animals live long healthy lives as possible. Maybe it’s a goal to raise your children to be the best children possible.
Whatever the goal is, it’s going to affect the lives of others.
One of my other goals is to raise my children to truly understand that they can be anything they want to be, which is not how I was raised.
So even if that were my only goal, by taking the steps towards the life I actually want to be living? Rather than settling for feeling stuck?
By taking those steps, I’m still showing my children that it’s possible.
So even then, it’s not just about me.
Whatever your example is, whatever it is you’re wanting to achieve, think about the impact it will have on others.
If you let fear of failure hold you back, how will that affect your impact? Versus if you were to take action today, even if you don’t get the immediate success you want and have to tweak things along the way?
How would that impact those you are passionate about?
Something to think about today.
That one message made a huge impact in my life. It changed everything for me.
How would achieving your goals impact the lives of those around you?
Know someone who could use this article? Feel free to forward it! Thank you for helping me create a world of happier vets!
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