Jason Gelios On Becoming Free From The Fear Of Failure

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

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The first step would be to identify that the fear exists. Being aware of when you are having fear will help you to get over your fear faster. If you’re faced with a decision to do something new, your brain and body will communicate with you and imply that you should be fearful of the new task. Identifying that this will happen will allow you to make a sound decision much faster.

The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.

Jason Gelios is a top producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book ‘Think Like a REALTOR®: A little book about buying and selling residential real estate through the eyes of a REALTOR®, creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show, and an Expert Media Contributor of real estate expertise to major media outlets such as Money, Yahoo, Realtor.com, Bankrate and more.

Jason educates aspiring home buyers, sellers and existing home owner’s tips and real world knowledge to help achieve their real estate goals. Jason is also a local speaker educating home buyers on the process of purchasing a home. He is known for his transparent and honest way of representing buyers and sellers so that they have a deeper understanding of the process and walk away feeling valued.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Thank you for having me! Back in my younger years, I had spent time working at jobs with no real opportunity to grow and advance in my positions, not to mention having no passion for the work I was doing. After sharing this frustration with others, I was told that I should get into professional sales because it seemed like a perfect fit for me. After doing some research, I decided on a career in the lending industry and went on to spend many successful years in that space. As a housing recession hit, plus already having developed the feeling of being burnt out in this role, I had chosen a sales position outside the real estate industry so that I could prove I could be successful in any type of sales role. I eventually got back into a career in real estate as a licensed Realtor.

Being on the Realtor side of the business allows me to have more interaction with the clients and the homes I was showing and selling. It’s very satisfying when you see home buyers fall in love with a home. The buyers begin talking about how they would design each room and how each family member would spend their time in the home. I didn’t get this type of feeling when I was on the mortgage side of the business. I also love when home sellers get to meet their financial goal(s) by selling their property and walking away from closing with a healthy amount of proceeds. Real estate can be a great way to enhance someone’s financial position to help them achieve their goals. I can’t think of any other form of investment that has such an impact on someone’s life.

Outside of work I spend time with my two wonderful children and my lovely wife, attending any one of their extracurricular activities.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I had an interesting story that involves not making assumptions. In 2019, I had completed and launched my real estate book titled ‘Think Like a Realtor’. I created this book to be a helpful read for anyone looking to buy or sell residential real estate, offering real world situations that I have come across. While I was doing promotions for the book, it wasn’t until 2021 that I had decided to send a copy to one of my most admired sales topic authors, Jeffrey Gitomer. At first, I had some reservations about sending Jeffrey a copy of my book because of the doubts I had about whether or not he would actually see it. After all, this is a guy who is very busy handling many projects of his own. Once I overcame the self doubt of sending the book and convinced myself that I should just do it, I mailed a copy. I had gotten his office address, which he openly shares, and sent him a signed copy of my book. While I don’t remember the exact words I had written, the message went something like, “Jeffrey, you inspired me to write this book, and I thank you for that”. About a month or so went by without a response back, which was ok due to his schedule. I felt confident he saw the book and that he was just busy. One day I get a voicemail on my phone because I was unable to take the call. It was Jeffrey Gitomer! He had reached out to me, referenced my book and invited me to call him back. Later that day, we connected and had a great conversation about books and sales in general. Jeffrey provided me some tips that I happily took note of and we ended the phone call with me being inspired beyond all imagines. Who knows, maybe he was inspired as well.

Not only is this the most interesting story of my professional career, it was also a lesson on how important it is to overcome the self doubt and fear we have and the feeling that we are not worthy of positive recognition and success in whatever we do. I could have easily missed out on this opportunity by allowing myself to not take that step in sending my book to this famous author. Believe me; I had some reasons floating around in my head as to why it would have been a waste of time and postage. But as I just shared, it was well worth the time and effort spent.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Having a strong work ethic is the first trait. Nothing will happen in our lives unless we apply a solid work ethic to whatever it is we do. This is a key trait to becoming and staying successful long term. I credit much of my success to applying an immeasurable work ethic by working harder than the next person. There is a great quote by Tim Notke that reads “Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard”. You can have all the talent in the world and be more knowledgeable in what you do, but if you don’t work hard, success will never happen. Having a strong work ethic has always been one of my secrets to success. A great example of this is how I plan my own schedule. I tend to live by my calendar and set expectations for myself that can be demanding at times. If my work ethic was lacking, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish those things I’ve planned for myself. A strong work ethic keeps me going to being the productive person that I am.

The second character trait is passion. It’s important to be passionate about what you want to do for the long haul. Much of what I have and would like to achieve was and is tied to being passionate about the journey, as well as the end result. Having a passion for what you do will get you through those rough times that will come about. I can think back to when I first had the idea of writing a real estate book sharing real world tips and situations from the field. I came up with this idea one day and my passion grew for the project. There were many things to learn about creating a book, from creating a rough draft to designing the final book, and it was my passion that kept me involved to see the project to its completion. If that passion didn’t exist, I would have never completed the book.

The third character trait is optimism. While I was not always the optimist that I am today, I learned over the years what optimism is and how it can be applied to life. When you are faced with hard times that challenge you, it’s important to have the optimism trait to get over challenges faster. No matter what happens in my life, I try to look at the positive side of things, and remind myself that the setback may only be temporary.

When I was in the mortgage industry watching my colleagues get laid off due to the recession, I felt as though everything I had built was about to come crashing down. The successful career that I worked so hard to attain was about to be no more. While I did spend time wondering what my next step was going to be, I reminded myself of the dramatic change I made in my life to get to where I was in that moment in time. I told myself that I could reinvent myself again, in any career, just like I did the first time. This self-realization was an eye opener for me, allowing me to gain further success outside of the mortgage industry in another capacity. Optimism got me through that time, and other times, which is why I feel it’s an important trait to have.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?

I think many people are afraid of failure because they focus too much on what could potentially go wrong, the negative outcome, while never really thinking of a positive outcome. A negative outcome plays out in their mind, causing them to never move forward. They don’t think about what could go right about what they want to do. Take for example a young boy at a school dance who desperately wants to ask a girl to dance. The boy has certainly thought of this moment all day leading up to the dance, yet he never asks her to dance and the opportunity passes. The boy allowed the thought of rejection to consume his mind, causing him to never extend the invite. Had the boy thought of the possibility of her saying yes to the dance, he may have had a chance. The same thing happens when someone wants to do something new; the negative outcome keeps them from moving forward. Fear has this power to have someone fail before they even begin, that is if they allow it.

Having a fear of failure could also stem from someone who experienced a past failure and they feel stuck about moving forward towards something new. They don’t want to relive that experience so they end up fearing any new objective. While this is certainly understandable, a past failure or experience should never rob us of future opportunity. Those who have not learned from failure will always fear it because they haven’t properly moved on from the past failure.

What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?

A major downside of being afraid of failure is how it can emotionally drain someone of their motivation and drive. If someone doesn’t have these two things, there really isn’t much left. People who allow the fear of failure to power their decision making will end up not achieving much in life. This is why it’s important to learn how to not fear failure but to break through it.

If people only focus on the negative outcome of doing something new or challenging, then they will never realize the potential they have to experience a great outcome. They will come across failure in everything they do. Being afraid of failure limits someone’s beliefs and thoughts into keeping them in a position they probably don’t want to be in. Let’s say you have someone who really dislikes their job, but they never apply for anything better because they have limited themselves to their current thinking. They don’t visualize the positive outcome and face that fear head on.

Being afraid of failure could also rob people of becoming the best version of themselves. Someone could really improve their life if they didn’t have that fear of failure holding them back. People could visualize the possibilities that could happen instead of everything that could go wrong.

In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?

One of the best ways to not fear failure is to visualize what could go right if they did that something they want to do. I would even go as far as to write down all the benefits that could come about if they don’t allow fear to stop them. That example of the boy at the school dance who wants to ask the girl to dance is a great example. Instead of focusing on the negative potential, the girl rejecting him, the boy should be asking what would happen if she says yes.

Another great way to become free of failure is to ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen. Will conquering the fear of doing the thing you want to do cause harsh consequences or a positive result? Will it cause you deep bodily harm? Most of the time when we fear failure, we are over exaggerating our feeling of what could happen. We should reverse our thinking by realizing the potential positive outcome first before analyzing what could go wrong.

A third way to break free from fearing failure is to believe that you are worthy of doing what you want to do. Having a strong belief system in place can really help someone break free from only thinking of the negative outcomes of what a new choice could bring. If you believe you are worthy of trying something new and gaining a positive outcome, you can empower yourself to conquer fear-every time.

We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?

Growing up it was becoming evident that I was going to be a tall person. In my middle school years I grew to be one of the tallest kids in my school. This prompted many people to tell me I should try out for the basketball team. After giving it much thought, I decided to try out. After being accepted onto the team and playing some games, we headed towards an away game where we were matched up to a pretty good team. It was the last quarter and things were heated between the teams. As the ball came flying into my hands, I had turned to take what I thought would be the dream shot. I imagined everyone praising me for taking such a great shot, not to mention how popular I would be once news got around that I scored the winning shot. As the basketball left my hands and made its way towards the net, a kind of slow motion effect took place. Many screams had occurred, what felt like thousands of people, screaming the word no. The harsh reality hit. I quickly learned was that I had taken a shot at the other team’s basket! While the ball never went into the net, this experience set me back big time. It was humiliating. The smell of failure reeked as I left the court. The after effects of that failure remained with me for the rest of the school year. I had also quit the team.

How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?

Eventually, as they say, the smoke cleared. The take away I gained from that failure is that no one is perfect and everybody makes mistakes. I reminded myself that there isn’t anyone on this planet that can come across as perfect because if you were to analyze anyone’s life, you would find a mistake or two. It took time, but I wrote that moment off as a learning opportunity and moved on from it.

No matter how good we are at something or how confident we may be, a setback will occur that is out of our control. It’s important to realize that their usually is a positive outcome or lesson to be learned from a failure we have. Had I made the choice to learn from that failure of shooting at the wrong team’s basket, I may have continued to play basketball for the school creating some good memories. Never let the sting of a bad experience last too long. Learn from the event and move forward.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.

The first step would be to identify that the fear exists. Being aware of when you are having fear will help you to get over your fear faster. If you’re faced with a decision to do something new, your brain and body will communicate with you and imply that you should be fearful of the new task. Identifying that this will happen will allow you to make a sound decision much faster.

The second step is to create the goals to push you through the fear you’re having. Taking action is the best way to conquer your fear instead of pondering about doing nothing at all. For example, an employee is looking to speak to the manager about getting a raise. Instead of sitting around allowing fear to halt them in asking for the raise, they set a goal to meet with the manager by a specific time and date. This is what I call a must goal and action step. Taking action is a great way to get past the fear of doing something because it limits the time spent debating the decision.

The third step is leaning into what you want to do with maximum effort. I was thinking of this the other day when I was watching the movie Deadpool. As our fearless hero is sitting on the interstate sign above tons of high speed traffic blazing by on the highway below him, he jumps up, takes a breath and says “maximum effort”. This is followed by him descending upon the villains and taking them out. We can apply this same type of action to lean into whatever it is we want to do. We should never allow ourselves to over think about something we want to do. Lean in with maximum effort.

The fourth step is to realize that having fear will have you creating excuses. An example of this is when someone complains about their job, without ever applying for something better. They make an excuse that goes something like “Maybe I should just deal with my current job, or maybe I can’t get something better now”. Procrastination kicks in causing us to stay fearful while never moving forward towards what we want to do.

The fifth step is to visualize a positive outcome, not a negative one. As a matter of fact, all negative thinking should be thrown to the waste side because it does us no good. Visualize a positive outcome in anything you are looking to do and you will be able to move forward with the existence of fear behind you.

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?

This is absolute truth. I think Aristotle was talking about how there will be more failures and less successes. I’ve learned this in my career in sales. I’ve become successful in my career, but I have had more people tell me no then they have told me yes. Successful people tend to face more failure and rejection than those who don’t succeed, leading them to better opportunities because they persisted onward. They don’t get hung up on the fear of failure. They keep going after what they want. So Aristotle is saying that you will be faced with more failures to overcome, leading you to the success you want.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would love to see more of the pay it forward movement take place in the world. When someone makes a small gesture like paying for someone’s coffee or clearing the snow for a neighbor, it can really make someone’s day. It takes such little effort to do these things, but it provides a profound effect on others.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)

I would love to have a private breakfast with Christopher Gardner, the man behind the popular story ‘The Pursuit Of Happyness’. For those not familiar with this story, it’s about a man who faces many different types of hardship as he attempts to be a different type of father to his son Christopher. He goes through dealing with a spouse leaving to a multitude of financial issues, becoming homeless at one point. Christopher goes on to share how he turned all that around by going after what he has wanted for a while, a life on his own terms and a better life for his son. It’s such an inspiring story of how someone could go through all those tough times and come out the other end highly successful and winning. This story is one I keep top of mind.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I invite people to visit my websites
www.ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate.com and www.JasonGelios.com. My social media links are on the website as well.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.

About The Interviewer: Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. Savio is a Board Certified wellness coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), stage 3 cancer survivor, podcaster, writer, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.

Savio pens a weekly newsletter at thehumanresolve.com where he delves into secrets from living smarter to feeding your “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.

He has been featured on Fox News, and has collaborated with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, Food Network, WW, and Bloomberg. His mission is to offer clients, listeners, and viewers alike tangible takeaways in living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.

Savio lives in the suburbs of Westchester County, New York and continues to follow his boundless curiosity. He hopes to one day live out a childhood fantasy and explore outer space.

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Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor