When I was younger I worked with a colleague who was extremely good at what he did. Despite receiving lots of praise for the high standard of work he would consistently produce, it seemed he never quite realised just how talented he was. A position in the company became available which would have been a promotion for my colleague and it was widely expected that he would get the job. In fact, I overheard people talking about future plans within the company as if this person was already in the new role. So imagine my surprise a few days later when it was announced that a less qualified, less experienced and by and large weaker candidate had been given the job?
How had this happened? I’d found out that it was because my colleague had not applied for the job despite previously expressing an interest in taking the role. Why was this? A little while later he confided in me that he didn’t apply because he didn’t think he was good enough, therefore he probably wouldn’t have got it and as a result he didn’t even try. In other words, his fear of failure stopped him from achieving what he wanted. This example highlights one of the fundamental aspects of becoming rich described in the book: “Fear of failing is the single biggest impediment to amassing wealth”.
You need to be willing to fail, even if it might mean failing publicly. You need to not care what other people think. You need to convince yourself that you’re ‘good enough’ to be rich. If you never get started, you’ll never get prosperous.
In short, you need to face up to your fear of failure.
It has been an ambition of mine for a long time to run a marathon. A couple of years ago, I achieved that goal. I was not a strong runner; in fact I had not run much since I was at school. However, I decided to run for charity and was lucky to have many friends and family sponsor and support me. I did not want to let them down and I did not want to let the charity down. It was this fear of failing that helped me to stay consistent in my training runs, to stay steadfast with my diet throughout the preceding weeks and months before race day. I used this fear to my advantage, using it as a fuel to be successful.
It’s this mind-set that Felix Dennis advocates in his writing, which had helped him in his quest for prosperity. To be rich you must harness fear to your advantage.