Overcoming Fear of Failure – My Big Idea
Recently, My business partner Doug and I attended a Media Conference in the resort town of Banff. This wasn’t just any conference as some of the most powerful people in media and television show up there. It’s 4 days of networking and pitching ideas for documentaries and television series and for me represented a huge chokehold. Overcoming fear of failure was a huge part of this for me.
Although I feel confident in my story telling abilities there is still alot I’d like to learn and master to truly become a world class filmmaker. I’ve wanted to attend this event for at least 20 years but I always found an excuse not to go. When the time came this year I still wasn’t sure but in discussing it with Doug I realized it was really my fear that was holding me back. Oddly enough I actually felt better when I admitted this to myself since it was buried deep inside my mind.
So I decided to face this fear head on and attend the conference. At first it was exciting , thinking about the possibilities … who’d I meet and what I could perhaps move forward as a project. But then as the date drew near I began to get cold feet. The negative self talk came flooding in. Fortunately, I now have a great support system so I was able to work through it but a couple of days before the event I just couldn’t shake the anxiety. I should tell you that I’m comfortable with pitching and talking to people , I have to be as an entrepreneur. But there was something different knowing that I was going to talk to executives from Warner Bros and a host of others. This just blew my confidence.
So I decided the only way to overcome my fear was to do something big that would make the one to one pitching seem easy. As I looked over the agenda I noticed that on the first day there was a how to pitch session where instructors gave you the do’s and don’t s of pitching at Banff. Once I saw that, I knew I had my answer. Not only was I going to attend that session, I was going to volunteer myself and get on stage and do my pitch. So for the next couple of days I spent some time just visualizing what that might look like. I never told anyone I just kept it to myself.
On that first day of the conference, Doug and I found ourselves having lunch in the hotel where the session was to later take place. As I looked around I noticed that the couple sitting 10 feet away were the two that were going to host the session. Now, not sure about you, but I’m a big believer of things coming to you if you visualize them. In fact, I’ve been reading a great book by Wallace D. Wattles called The Science of Getting Rich that supports this. One of his theories is that our thoughts can create things but that you also need to act now to receive what you want. I must admit that until that moment I never really understood what he meant by “acting now in a certain way to receive what you want.” But in that moment in the coffee shop, I knew that to receive what I wanted ( to overcome my fear) I needed to go over and ask them to pick me as a volunteer. That was hard but I did it and they said yes.
An hour later I found myself in the session, butterflies where dancing in my stomach as I looked around the room and realized that there were 150 people in the audience. And when they called me up , there was a part of me that felt like running the other way but as I made my way to the stage the butterflies slowed and stopped as I reached the stage.
I stumbled through my pitch it wasn’t award winning but I got through it. The hosts had some great suggestions which I decided to add into the pitch. After I left the stage I felt like there was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
Several hours later I had 4 people who had been in the audience come up and applaud me for having the courage to get up there on stage.
They said it was inspiring …. and that’s all I needed to hear.
After that the pitching was a breeze.
George Tsougrianis and Doug Howorko
Join our Community and Receive Lots of Great Free Stuff!