Trying to overcome the fear of failure is one of the issues most of my readers & students have asked me to write about. A number of unhealthy mindsets have plagued my Home Apothecary, but anxiety and fear have challenged me most of my life, so believe me you are not alone.
SO many friends have told me: “Don’t worry about it! What’s the worst that can happen?” I know they mean well, but that question does not bring an herbalist comfort! In fact, when they ask me this I have a super detailed scenario in my mind of the “worst that can happen”:
What if I invest all this time and love and resources in my herbalism business and then no one likes my stuff? And instead of talking to me about it, they end up writing a horrible Facebook review on my page, and then no one orders from me again! There are tons of scenarios and what-ifs that play out in my mind, trust me you don't want to get in there.
I’ve had countless sleepless nights. The nights before craft markets, before massive orders, health expo’s, the holidays... Another popular favorite in my early days of creating was that my clients would lose interest over time and I would need to return to my "desk job."
BUT I also know now that I DO NOT have to live my life like this… AND NEITHER DO YOU. I’ve learned how to understand fear & anxiety works, how to manage them, and how to overcome the fear of failure. Please note that these are my personal experiences on what has worked for me. These tips might not necessarily work for you or appeal to you. But I’m 99% confident that they will bring SIGNIFICANT relief to the quality of your making life and release a lot of chains from your Home Apothecary.
I’m convinced that it’s nearly impossible to build up a sustainable, successful apothecary business without dealing with your fear & anxiety issues. Your future success is on the table here, so I encourage you to be open while reading this post.
I’ll start by explaining the most obvious causes and how to overcome the fear of failure in your home apothecary business.
Overcome the Fear of Failure in your Home Apothecary Business
1. Uncertainty Breeds Fear
Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off? Or any related competition show? Place insecure, unqualified humans with limited experience in a foreign environment with famously perfectionistic judges… All broadcast on TV for the world to see!
It's madness! The whole set-up is built to encourage uncertainty. Uncertainty elevates emotions like excitement and fear which makes great television because your mind will constantly come up with different scenarios of how this might all pan out.
I’m sure you’ve seen some contestants make some obvious mistakes that could easily have been prevented if they had just researched techniques a bit more. If they understood the required techniques they would have an exact strategy they could DEPEND on! But very often they don’t and now you see them in an utter PANIC, just “HOPING for the best.”
HOPE is a wonderful thing, but not in herbalism and absolutely not in business either. If a doctor based his decisions and courses of action on hope instead of scientific research, he would run out of business really soon and possibly lose a lot of lives in the process. I know this is an extreme example, but I’m using it intentionally to get my point across.
The point is, they should have done their homework! They should have RESEARCHED into the last detail so that they can UNDERSTAND the science of what they are doing and develop a STRATEGY to use on the day.
Their insecurities, talent, lack of qualifications, lack of resources and “luck” are NOT the reason they are failing. It’s because they didn’t do enough research or develop a strategy. Not having a strategy leads to “hoping for the best” which leads to total uncertainty and results in total fear of failure. And very often actual failure as well to be honest.
By resorting to “hoping for the best”, you are giving your brain no strategy to rely on. This gives it no other option but to imagine a list of scary outcomes so that you can be prepared for the worst and not be shocked to death by it. It’s your mind’s way of protecting you.
But if you do your homework, research herbalism AND business, learn from experts and adopt their strategies; then you are GIVING YOUR BRAIN A COURSE OF ACTION IT CAN FOCUS & RELY on. It will no longer need to prepare you for the worst and turn on your fear alarms.
STRATEGY CULTIVATES CERTAINTY.
If you feel that your current approach in your Home Apothecary is “hoping for the best”, I invite you to check out How To Start, Grow, & Monetize A Successful Herbal Business with helpful tips, tools, and even an Apothecary Workbook. These resources will help you to start developing a clear strategy for your Home Apothecary and help overcome the fear of failure.
When there is certainty, fear is not needed for your survival, so your brain won’t call on Mr. Fear to protect you.
2. Failure is just an Event, not an Identity
MOST home herbalists are SEVERELY CRITICAL of themselves and their products. And I am NO exception to that! I once received an email from one of my students about her fear of failure. The most heart-breaking line in her email was this: “It’s embarrassingly awkward to enter my online shop… I feel like I’ve failed, really. Do I do something about it or give up?“
The key to stepping out of that miserable overwhelm of fear of failure is a total change in perspective. And here is the perspective:
LEARNING does not equal FAILING. They are NOT the same thing. Do not mistake learning for failing. I bet if you look back to where you started out you will see how much you have grown and how much you have learned. Learning what does not work is just as important as what does work. As a business owner, you will need to learn to have grace for yourself – you are a wonderful, hardworking student of herbalist. Be kind to yourself.
A business is not successful because the owner never made any mistakes or never failed. A business is successful because the owner knew how to learn everything they could from mistakes and failures. Mistakes and failure are inevitable on this journey
“There is actually no such thing as failure. You either get the result you wanted or the lesson you needed.” – James Wedmore
There’s no need to fear failure, there’s only a need to LEARN FROM IT. REMEMBER: FAILURE IS AN EVENT, NOT AN IDENTITY.
3. Release the Expectation to be an Herbalist Prodigy
I can make pretty much anything, but I don't. I don't necessarily like making everything, so I don’t. Simple as that. A successful Home Apothecary is not built by trying to make for EVERYONE. You don’t have to do this to yourself.
If you’ve researched and practiced a specific thing, but it still causes you anxiety, then do yourself a favor and remove it from your menu! Certain products are just better suited for certain types of personalities. Your reasons can even go beyond that. So look through your menu and list of services you offer. If they cause fear and anxiety in your life (even after you’ve researched effective strategies) then remove those items.
Your Home Apothecary will be a lot more sustainable and successful once you remove them because all that fear will not be draining you every second of the day and night anymore! Making products you are comfortable with and ENJOY making will increase CERTAINTY in your home apothecary. A niche enables you to produce higher quality products and eliminate buckets of anxiety in your herbalist life.
Do you have any more fear & anxiety challenges? Share your thoughts in the comments below because I would love to help.