How to Overcome the Fear of Launching

You have this great idea, product or service that often consumes your waking hours...
You have a burning passion to share it with those who you know you can help...
You can visualize yourself finding joy and fulfillment if you move forward…

But, you just can't bring yourself to take the big step to launch.

Why not?  What's holding you back?

There are a lot of reasons you could come up with to not launch a new business, product or idea.  Some of those reasons may be completely legit.  However, it is often simply a fear of rejection and possible failure that paralyzes you.  If that's the case, how do you step beyond that fear and make the decision to go for it?

1. Put fear in perspective.

Even though failure is a possibility, it is not an inevitability, and it certainly does not have to mean the end of your dream or idea.  Dennis Waitley said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

2. Do not expect perfection.

To expect your launch to be perfect is not realistic.  In fact, perfection is probably not the goal anyway.  Accept that you will not get everything right the first time, but know that you can make corrections along the way and still have an incredible launch.  Can you remember the first time you used an iPhone, Waze, Disney's MagicBand or Uber?  Your experience was likely far from perfect, but these products and services have evolved (and continue to evolve) into tools we love and can't imagine doing without.

Related Resource: The Pathway to Launch: Your Cyclical Guide to Launching and Evolving

3. Prepare for criticism.

Let's face it, there will likely be naysayers to just about anything you do. As the saying goes: Haters will hate.  You can't control that.  But you can control your response.  How should you respond?  I would suggest that you accept the truly well-intentioned criticism as a gift to help you make changes and enhancements.  The other stuff—give yourself permission to ignore it. 

4. Build a support group.

Don't go it alone.  We all need someone to go with us, stand with us, or just pick us up when we get knocked down.  Find a few people who are really good at encouraging you, and will be there when you need them.  Be honest and let them know you are doing something hard and will need help maintaining proper perspective.

Having a mentor - especially someone who has already launched successfully - that you can go to for answers and wisdom would be perfect in your support group. Here are 3 ways to find a mentor.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

Find a creative way to keep yourself focused on the payoff - that sense of accomplishment that will come once you've launched.   Whether it’s a picture, a note, or a meaningful and motivational object associated with your idea, make sure you take time regularly to reflect on it and visualize yourself post-launch.  You can do it.  One step at a time.

What's your biggest fear when it comes to launching? Tell us in the comments.