How to Get Over Your Fear of Failure (Mike Robbins)

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Doctor Neha: Welcome to Talk Rx with Doctor Neha. This week I have an incredibly special guest, Mike Robbins, here with me. He’s part of the Hay House family and author of Nothing Changes Until You Do. And he’s agreed to ask one of his communication questions so that all of you can learn. Welcome, Mike.

Mike: Thanks for having me.

Doctor Neha:  What’s a communication dilemma or something that keeps you up at night?

Mike: Well, I’m actually in the midst of a negotiation right now. Negotiating isn’t my favorite thing and this one has been going on for a while, so my challenge is to how do I stay true and authentic and still try to get what I want? There’s definitely an agenda here, and I’m not used to having that strong of an agenda.

Doctor Neha:  Are you the one negotiating it?

Mike:  Yeah, we’re trying to buy a house so I’m negotiating directly to get the price that we want. It keeps going back and forth, and it’s out of my normal realm of what I do.

Doctor Neha:  Yeah, so it gets you a little. All right, so let’s start with what physical sensations you can feel in your body? Where is your body talking to you if you take a deep breath in?

Mike: It’s like my heart races a little bit. And I kind of feel a little bit in my stomach.

Doctor Neha: Okay, so a little heart racing and stomach turning?

Mike:  Yep.

Doctor Neha: The second piece is what are you most afraid of here?

Mike:  I think I’m most afraid of screwing it up. I’m afraid I’ll back down, or I’ll get scared. The guy I’m negotiating with has more experience. He’ll beat me so it’s like the competitive part of me doesn’t want to lose. I’m afraid, but it’s a big deal. We want this house, and it would be great if we could get it.

Doctor Neha:  Okay, so there’s a few things here. One of them is the status piece that you said, “He has more experience than I do.” That was the first thing I heard, right?

Mike:  Yes.

Doctor Neha:  The comparison piece is number one. Are you letting that undermine you? Because it seems that you’re pretty sharp yet there’s something emotional there.

Mike:  Yeah.

Doctor Neha:  And then it’s about your family. You think you’ve got to get [this house] because the emotional component is you love this home, right?

Mike:  Definitely. We bought a home a number of years ago and then we lost our home during the housing crisis. So there’s that piece of feeling like we’re in a good position, but there’s still a voice in my head saying, “Don’t screw it up again.”

Doctor Neha:  This is good because a lot of people out there had trouble in the housing market. Then when you go through something that traumatic, where you lose something in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs on such a basic level, it’s a big hit. In a situation like that, nobody’s trying to heal; they’re trying to survive.

Mike:  For sure.

Doctor Neha:  It’s one of those things you shove it under the rug, you start making money, and you start figuring out, “How do I get back on track?”

Mike:  Right.

Doctor Neha:  The beautiful part about this is that it is resurfacing. It is knocking on your heart and turning your stomach and saying, “Hey Mike, I’ve been waiting really patiently…”

Doctor Neha:  So I want to know what is it that is unhealed for you. How about if I ask you the 5 questions that I ask my patients when they have a physical illness but let’s apply it to the purchase of this home or to the experience of losing a home in the financial crisis.

Mike:  Okay.

Doctor Neha:  Why is this important? Why was losing your home so important to you?

Mike:  Why was it important? You mean like the pain of it or the lesson of it?

Doctor Neha:  All of it. In that moment, why this? Why did it need to happen in your life?

Mike:  It taught me a lot about myself, about my wife, about what was important, about money. I mean it actually turned out to be such a blessing.

Doctor Neha:  In that moment it was like you needed a wake up call, on a primal level?

Mike:  For sure.

Doctor Neha:  The next question is why now? Why did you need it in that moment? In 2008, 2009?

Mike:  It was time to grow up and time to stop pretending like we were grown-ups but actually be grown-ups.

Doctor Neha:  That’s so good. Now, looking back, what signals did you miss?

Mike:  I didn’t trust my own gut and intuition. What happened was I didn’t think we were ready [to buy a house] but the fear kind of got in the way, Well, if you don’t get a house now, you’re going to get priced out of the market. So then I thought, Well, I’m just being scared. So as opposed to being just insecurity, it was my gut saying this isn’t quite right, and I didn’t listen to that.

Doctor Neha:  You went anyway?

Mike:  Yeah, so the challenge now is to try to listen to what my gut is really telling me—as opposed to what I think it’s supposed to be telling me.

Doctor Neha:  What is your gut really telling you and what part of you is just scared from what happened.

Mike:  Yeah.

Doctor Neha:  Right now you’re in a different place.

Mike:  Totally different place.

Doctor Neha:  The fourth question is what else needs to be healed? You answered a little bit of this already. But what else needs to be healed, if you were asking yourself back then?

Mike:  I think it’s around trust, self-trust, and belief. It’s also a reminder that it’s okay to make mistakes. Even as we’re talking I’m thinking, Even if I screw this up, whatever that means, it’s fine. I screwed it up really badly before and yet it’s pretty good now. Things have really turned around in so many ways so maybe there’s not as much to lose as I really think there is.

Doctor Neha:  Final question. If you spoke from the heart what would you say? What would you say to that self, that one in 2008? What did that person need to know?

Mike:  It’s funny; the answer is that it doesn’t really matter. [The outcome] doesn’t really matter.

Doctor Neha:  It matters a lot, and it doesn’t matter.

Mike:  That’s the paradox, right?

Doctor Neha:  Yes. Is that helpful?

Mike:  Totally helpful, thank you.

Doctor Neha:  As soon as you let this come out and be healed, you’ll be like, “Oh that was the monster under the bed”—and it’s only dust bunnies.

I think now when you go with your gut, it’s going to be a lot easier.

Doctor Neha:  You’ll know what’s your gut and what’s the fear of the old.

Mike:  Thank you.

Doctor Neha:  Great, you’re welcome.

If any of you watching (or reading) are facing a challenge similar to what Mike went through, make sure that you ask yourself some questions to sort out what is your fear of the past, what is unhealed, and what is actually your current reality right now.

Your Awareness Prescription

  1. Why this?
  2. Why now?
  3. What might I have missed?
  4. What else needs to be healed?
  5. If you could speak from the heart, what would you say?

To getting off repeat,

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  • Val

    Very insightful interview! Good questions, Dr. Neha. I appreciate Mike’s vulnerability in sharing his personal story.