If fear of failure is keeping you from taking the next step in your speaking business, here’s how to bulldoze it out of your way:

1. Label the fear and define it. First and foremost, you have to clearly label the specific fear you’re experiencing. Is it a fear of success, a fear of failure, a fear of the unknown, etc. Once you know what it is, you can do something about it. Next, define the fear. If you were to look it up in a dictionary, what would the definition be?

2. Say what that fear means to you. In other words, what are you thinking the negative consequences of acting on your fear are going to be? For example, if you are afraid to ask for a higher fee because you don't want to be turned down, what do you tell yourself about you? Do you say, "I'm not good enough," "I'm not cut out to make a lot of money," etc. Spend some time on this, because this is where the healing begins. It's these things that you told yourself that are the foundation of all fear. Recognize them and you’ll set yourself free. These are the things you don't want the world to see. These are the things that stop you from moving ahead. This is your core negative self-image.

3. Establish the origin of your fear. Once you know the nature of your fear, how you define it and what you make it mean about you, you now need to understand how it started in order to be able to take control of it. The things you told yourself when you were young are the beliefs that run your life right now. Think back to the earliest memories you have of being rejected and write them down along with all the memories you can recall from school, from interactions with your friends, your family, your teachers, your significant others, co-workers etc. The point is that you have to get to the core. When you deal with a problem at its core, it doesn't come back anymore. When you stop running from it, it will stop running you.

4. Examine what is painful and what is pleasurable and reverse them. People are all motivated by avoiding pain or by gaining pleasure. So, if you have failed repeatedly and are about to give up, look what your life will be like 20 years from now if you let failure win. The key is to create a great deal of pain in the present by looking to your future and seeing what you won’t have if you let fear stop you now. If the pain of you not reaching your dreams far outweighs the pain of the temporary defeat you just experienced, you’ll continue on your path to success. If not, you’ll stay where you are.

Ask yourself this, "What will the pain be if I don’t do this thing that I'm afraid to do?" Don't ask yourself, "What will the pain be if I do this thing I'm afraid to do?" The first question gets you to take action — the second question stops you.

In order to do this, first, write down the costs of being stopped by these fears. There are untold costs in terms of your money, your joy, your satisfaction, and your freedom. To find those costs, ask yourself these questions. How much money would you have made? How much happiness, joy, and satisfaction did you miss out on? Have you not gone for a dream? Have you held back in your relationships? Have you settled for a career that you don't really like? Did you stop reaching out? Did you stop taking chances? Did you hold back from taking advantage of opportunities? Then write down the payoffs you get by keeping the fear in place. We all do things because we get something out of it. What are you getting out of it? Don't say, "Nothing." You are getting something(s) positive or else you wouldn’t keep doing it. People use their fear as an excuse to not be successful. If you didn’t have fear, what would you do? You could do anything. But that hits you right back in face because if your belief is that you're not good enough, you really couldn't do anything. Why? What if you failed? What if you let people down? Your core negative self-image won't allow you to get very far from it. That's why people repeat so many of the same patterns over and over and over and nothing ever seems to change.

5. Reevaluate the meanings of your fear and develop a Thomas Edison philosophy. That is, reframe how you look at failure. Edison did not fail 10,000 times while trying to perfect the light bulb, but rather he was successful 10,000 times at what did not work. When you change your thoughts and perceptions, you change your life. When you look at failure, not as failure, but as an opportunity to improve yourself and your ideas, you'll motivate yourself from now on. The truth is, you weren't really rejected. What you made up about yourself had no basis in reality. Here's what I mean: The person you asked out may have said no for a dozen different reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with you. He/she may have been afraid to go out with anyone. Since you really don't know the real reason, any other scenario is just as valid. Here's the kicker. Even if the other person thought you were the biggest idiot, so what. That person's opinion of you is not you.

6. Take total responsibility for all the goodness that you are. The moment you take full responsibility for your greatness and magnificence, and love yourself unconditionally, then start living your life from that place, without exception. That's when you will end all internal struggles, stop fearing failure, rejection and once and for all, live the life you were born to live and have the success that you've always wanted. When you see yourself as priceless, not worthless, fear disappears because you are no longer afraid of what people think of you.

7. Take a risk. Do something you have been afraid to do. When you do the thing you've feared, you will discover that it wasn't such a big deal after all. And when you face the fear, it will disappear. At that point, you'll wonder why you were scared in the first place. It's the avoidance of the fear that keeps making it bigger. Bottom line: Fear is BS. It's just a survival mechanism. It's not real. You're better
than your fear.

You now have everything you need within you to be incredibly successful. Just believe, value, respect, honor and trust yourself. And pay no attention to the negative. Focus on what you want, know that you deserve it, believe you can have it, and soon it will all start to arrive.

Darshan G. Shanti is the President of Freedom Incorporated, Inc., and a revolutionary and innovative personal and professional development company. Shanti is a professional ontologist, facilitator, speaker, transformational trainer and author. He has trained extensively in personal development for two decades and has worked with over 30,000 people. Contact him at darshan@ foreverfreetobe.com or visit his Web site at www.foreverfreetobe.com.