Overcoming Your Fear of Failure and Stepping Into the Future You Deserve

Posted on: Jul 22, 2020

Categories: Career Growth, Podcast

I feel honored to have met and talked on the phone to more people than the average person because of my career as an inspirational speaker.

That means I have gotten to hear thousands of people’s stories, dreams and goals.

It also means I get to hear the old scripts that they’re still re-reading and all of the many fears that can hold a person back from the future they deserve.

Perhaps the most common fear that I have heard over and over is the fear of failure—either the fear that their past failure defines them or that their future failures will.

And of course, neither of those are true. But it can be a very difficult mindset to get out of if you’re used to living in the fear of failure.

So, on episode #55 of The Next 24 Hours, I’m sharing everything I know about leaving behind old-scripts, putting down what you shouldn’t be carrying and living in the present so that you can step into the life that you deserve.

This may be the most important episode I’ve ever recorded, so if you’re feeling stuck and ready to move forward and live your dream, please listen in.

You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play

Click for Episode Transcript:
[00:00:00] Curtis Zimmerman: In this episode of the next 24 hours, we’re going to talk about the next 24 hours, because that’s all you have control over. And so many people live in  fear, and carry guilt and all these things from their past, and they let those things rob their dreams of the future. So listen to this if you want to in the now and make real changes in your life.

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[00:00:22] Welcome to the next 24 hours where I’m going to give you real information you can really use to transform your life and work one day at a time. I’ll be your host Curtis Zimmerman.

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[00:00:39] All right. Well, on this episode of the next 24 hours, we’re going to take a journey together and we’re going to be talking in depth about, you know, failure and the fear of failure has crushed more people’s dreams than failure ever has. I want to talk to you about that in a deep way, because I know there are a lot of people right now that have had a lot of change going on in their life and changes that were forced on them and changes that they’ve decided to make.

[00:01:08] And we have to address this concept of our past self. And we have to address this concept of what really happened in our real life to put us in the position we’re in and what are we going to do? And what kind of vision are we going to use to help take us where it is we want to go? So I wanted to start out with a Zen parable or story, and I heard it years and years ago.

[00:01:38] And I think of it often. And it’s a story about two monks that are walking along and they come to a stream and it has kind of a hard current that’s going by and they’re preparing to cross the stream to get the other side. And just then they notice a woman, beautiful young woman standing there, looking at crossing and she walks over and asks if they can assist her in making it across the river.

[00:02:05] And the two monks look at each other, and there’s an older monk and there’s a younger, kind of, apprentice. And they look at each other because they’ve taken a vow not to touch any woman. That’s part of being a monk. But the older monk without hesitation reaches right over, picks her up and carries her across the river and sets her down safely on the opposite side and continues his journey while the younger monk watches with amazement and then quickly crosses and catches back up to him.

[00:02:38] But the older monk doesn’t say anything. So he just walks along and he’s pondering, which just happened. He can’t kind of believe what just happened and a whole hour goes by and then another two hours go by and after three hours, he can’t stand it anymore. And he finally turns to the older monk and says, “I can’t believe that you carried that woman across the river.

[00:03:00] When you know that, you know, we made a promise not to touch women!” And the older monk looks at the younger monk and says, “Well, I sat that woman down on the other side of the river three hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?” I love that story. Because we’ve made promises to other people we’ve made promises to ourself and we tried to keep those promises and then something comes in our path.

[00:03:29] And we see that, even though we made a promise to someone, or even though we’ve made a promise to ourself in this situation, it’s better to put that promise or that thing that we decided on to the side in order to do the right thing in the moment. Or even because we’re going to make a wrong choice in that moment and we’re going to make that choice and we’re going to live with the circumstances and then we’re going to set it down and we’re going to continue on our path.

[00:03:58] And so many people that I talk to are still carrying something that they really did three years ago, three months ago. Let alone three hours ago. What do you carry around with you as part of this negative talk as part of this as part of who I am, when really it isn’t who you are today, it’s not the way you behave today.

[00:04:22] It isn’t the actions you would take today. And yet you still carry that around with you. I want to give you permission in this podcast right here right now to set it down. Think about it one more time and then set it down. And disassociate who you are today with that action disassociate yourself, even though it was you.

[00:04:45] And you’re not saying it didn’t happen, you’re looking at it for what it is, but that doesn’t mean that’s the action you would take today. And that doesn’t mean that’s a person that you are today. You know, I say often that failing is an event, not a person, and you have this crazy thing you’re going through.

[00:05:02] And I have the same thing. It’s, it’s this condition we have called the human condition and you are flawed and I am flawed and I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made big mistakes, but I can’t carry those with me into my future. If I think I’m not going to allow those to limit. My dreams and limit my successes because they will. Like I started this podcast with, fear has squelched more people’s dreams than failure ever has. The fear of failure.

[00:05:40] And I’m telling you drop the ball. It’s okay to fail. You’re going to make mistakes. I’m human and you’re human. And I love this as a quote from a captain Picard in one of his episodes, he’s talking to Data. Now, Data is a android. And he is dealing with something and he’s playing this game and he loses and he goes back to his room because he thinks, wow, there’s no way I can lose a game.

[00:06:06] I must be short circuiting or something. And Captain Picard tells him this. “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” And what happens when we have failure? What happens when something goes, not the way we wanted it to is we go to us, we look at ourselves and we place blame.

[00:06:36] If only I’d have done this differently, if only I could have explained this, if only I wouldn’t have done that. And what I’m telling you is, is that you need to let that go now. You did what you did in the moment. And now it’s gone. Put it down on the side of the river and walk away into the future you really deserve.

[00:06:59] Of course, those things that we carry around with us, I have a special name for, and they’re called old scripts. And what I say is if you’re going to keep rereading old scripts and think you’re going to be able to write the next chapter of your life, you can’t do that. You have to stop rereading those old scripts, put them down, walk away into the future you deserve.

[00:07:23] As you look through your life and you look at your past, you know, I want you to take full ownership. I want you to understand that was you and you have full ownership of that. But I also want you to come to the place where you say, even though that was me and I take full ownership and I’m looking at it in real life.

[00:07:41] But I also have to have a time when I put that down and I decide that I’m not going to keep carrying that around. I made a mistake. That happened. I get it. But now I want to move into the next chapter. I want to move into the next phase. I want to move into a new relationship and I want to bring all of me and all of the goodness I have with me as I continue this journey.

[00:08:09] And crossing many, many rivers, like we’re all going to, sometimes we’re going to carry somebody else across and sometimes somebody is going to carry us. But no matter what, when we get there and we’re on firm footing. I want you to start your journey starting from listening to this podcast with a new vision and new choices that you get to make moving forward.

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[00:08:35] Noah Zimmerman: Hello everyone. My name is Noah Zimmerman and I’m the narrator of the audio book version of life at performance level. I’m sorry to interrupt this episode, but I just wanted to let you know. That right now at curtiszimmerman.com the audio book, version of life at performance level is being offered absolutely free.

[00:08:52] It’s right there on the center of the landing page. There’s a button that says free VIP experience. Just click that and you’ll have access to the audio book and lots of other content, that’ll help you live the dream. Thank you so much for listening and let’s get back to the program.

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[00:09:10] Curtis Zimmerman: [00:09:10] So I was at Morehead State University doing a new student orientation program. I’ve been there. I don’t know, maybe 15 years. And following my program, I had a young person come up, remember this as a new student and said, “Wow, that was really a great program and I want to show you something I haven’t shown anyone.”

[00:09:32] And I was like, “Oh, okay, great. What is it?” They said, “Well, let me run back to my dorm. It’s a sketchpad. And I’d like to show you some of my sketches. You’ve inspired me to share what my dreams are a little deeper.” And I said, “Okay, great. That’d be awesome.” So I stood there and I was grading other students. And after my program, I often stand around and talk to students and faculty and, you know, clean up my juggling balls and get my stuff together and sure enough, the student comes back and everyone else was gone by then.

[00:10:06] So I was waiting and student comes in and opens this giant folder. And the most amazing art work that I’ve ever seen. I mean, it was a amazing, it was crazy. And I was looking at it and, and this, this young person was telling me about when they started first drawing and sketching and then adding color and then coming up with.

[00:10:34] Full stories and doing whole cartoon strips and, uh, developing the characters and naming them. And it went on and on and on and on, and I was just completely blown away. And I said, “So are you studying art? Are you studying graphic design? Are you studying computer graphics? What are you studying?” And the major was completely nothing to do with this passion that the person had.

[00:10:59] And, uh, I was just … floored. And it was because this person had been told that that’s something that is not gonna make any money. You’re never going to get a job doing that. You’re going to go to college and you’re going to figure out what she really needed to do. So you can get money and you can get a job and you can work and you can, and this is something you’ll do on the side.

[00:11:20] And I have to tell you that. You know, I’ve spoken at Savannah College of Art and Design many times and seen many of the students’ work there. And this was on par with many of the things I’ve seen there. And this is where some of the most talented kids in the world go. And, uh, artists and, and I just said, “Listen, let me just tell you this.

[00:11:46] I want you to do whatever the path is. You’re here and you’re going to try different things, but I want you to try some other classes and I want you to try some classes that deal more with graphic design and deal with art and deal with the things that you’re so talented in. It’s amazing. How come you haven’t shared this with anyone?

[00:12:03] Did you bring this, uh, up, you know, when you started applying to college?” And. And the person said, “No, you know, I just don’t think it’s very good and I didn’t think anyone would appreciate it.” And so in that moment, I said, “Listen, I want you to know right now today. Here’s $100. I want to give you a $100 down payment because I want to commission you to do a piece of art for me.

[00:12:31] I want you to do a giant sketch or whatever it is you think that’s the most the amazing thing. And I want to commission you today. I want to give you a hundred dollars to commission, a piece of art.” And the person said, “Oh, wow really?” And I said, “Absolutely.” I gave that person a hundred dollars right then and there and my address.

[00:12:51] And then I waited. And sure enough, an amazing piece of artwork came by way. Uh, that was like a cartoon strip and it had characters and it’s awesome. And I still have it. And that person went on to completely, change their major and their trajectory of their life.

[00:13:12] And the fear of sharing.  That inner you, the fear of failure. I want you to be honest with yourself, don’t worry about failure. Worry about you only have so many days on the planet and I want you to honestly say, what am I on the planet to do? And how can I do it and be happy more days of my life by being joyous and giving joy to others and sharing what I’m really supposed to do. That’s what this podcast has been all about, please embrace it, hear that story and make sure that, that story. Isn’t your story.

[00:13:52] You know, there are two kinds of people. I don’t want you to be. One is a person that is living in the future and looking into the future and thinking about failure and thinking about them failing and it paralyzes them.

[00:14:04] And then there are those people that look in their past and spend their time in the past. And they look at where they have failed and they just keep carrying that around and identifying themselves as that. Either one of those makes you paralyzed. You cannot hold that. I want you to live in the now. I want you to live with unbridled, excitement and honesty that I am an amazing person and I can go out and create the changes I want. Even if I dropped the ball, even if failure happens, don’t identify yourself in that it is an event, not a person and definitely. Not you.

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[00:14:43] And now it’s time for the 24 hour challenge. Now, so many people listen to a podcast and then forget about it. I want you to listen to the podcast, but I want you to do something in the next 24 hours to actualize some of the information and bring it into your real life. So here is your 24 hour challenge.

[00:15:01] Many people spend most of their day. Projecting and living in the future, their brain is always thinking about what’s next? What do I have? What’s my time do list other people, a lot of people spend most of the day thinking of the past, what is it I do in the past? What happened to me? Oh, good memories, bad memories.

[00:15:18] But really this podcast has been all about living in the present and living right now and seeing the world right now. And you can’t be doing that. If you’re so distracted and your brain is so distracted with projecting or going back to the past. So in the next 24 hours, I want you to sit for five minutes and I want you to be totally present.

[00:15:41] I want you to not think about the future. I want you to not think about the past. I want you to just breathe and live in the moment you’re in sit quietly and just be in the room. You’re in, be outside. If you’re outside, be wherever you are and just be there, close your eyes, and just think about where you are and try to have no future thoughts and no thoughts of the past.

[00:16:06] Just be ultra focused on the now, because all you have control over in your life is the now. So go do that in the next 24 hours. And then see as you’re projecting the future and projecting the past in your real life. If you can turn that off a little bit, because you’ll be more present in your relationships and you’ll be able to address your dreams and your goals in the moment, your real life moment.

[00:16:34] And that makes all the difference.

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[00:16:42] Noah Zimmerman: Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode of the next 24 hours. Don’t forget that to access the free audio book. That’s available right now. Go to curtiszimmerman.com and click free VIP experience on the landing page. Have a great day and remember to keep living the dream.

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