professional development

Focusing on success: How to conquer fear of failure and follow your dreams

Martin Kovacs /

Fear of failure can be overwhelming at times, however there are techniques that can be employed to reconfigure your approach and realise your goals.

Writing at Medium, LexION Capital founder and chief executive Elle Kaplan outlines three steps to transforming fear of failure and accomplishing dreams.

Kaplan said when starting out in New York City, “it’s not an exaggeration to say that I was full of fear”.

“In the end, it turned out that my fear, as overwhelming as it was, showed me the right path to follow, not what to avoid,” she said.

Kaplan said “all the symptoms of fear were pointing to success ”, which is what she needed to recognise.

Heading into the unknown

Kaplan pointed to the benefits of operating outside of comfort zones and stresses the importance of not being deterred by the opinions of others.

“When I started LexION Capital, the idea of a woman starting a fiduciary wealth management firm was not exactly encouraged,” she said.

“Many people thought I was crazy when I said I’d accept clients who had less than a million dollars. I know they thought I was crazy because they said so to my face.

“Nevertheless, I embraced my concept, and I was able to make waves  –  huge waves – in the financial world. You can do the same thing in any field by embracing the unknown and taking daily steps to destroy your comfort zone, rather than shying away because of what others say.”

Different perspectives on the path to success

Goals may not always be achieved in full, however different perspectives need to be taken in measuring success.

Kaplan observed “progress is non-linear, and it’s always in motion”.

“Every failure is about perspective,” she said.

“So even if your radical idea doesn’t succeed, you still made an immense positive impact.

“Instead of focusing on the finish line, put your goals into perspective and realise that any step forward is a success in its own right.”

Going with the flow

Having a flexible attitude is important when dealing with change or unexpected outcomes.

“First business models rarely pan out, but successful owners don’t throw up their hands and accept defeat when that happens,” Kaplan said.

“They adjust. They adjust thousands of times if they have to, until it works.

“Even if your plan fails, it can still have an impact. By modifying it, you can make it successful, even if it isn’t what you originally intended.”

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Martin Kovacs

Martin Kovacs is a journalist with experience covering the IT, consumer electronics, retail, finance and energy sectors.

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