Understanding Fear of Failure.
Fear of failure is quite common. It’s normal for us to experience this to some extent, although in extreme cases it can become a phobia. More specifically, atychiphobia. Of course, there is a phobia to describe just about every fear imaginable, so don’t throw yourself into that category just yet. A powerful emotion that is a driving force behind fear of failure, is shame. The shame in knowing that you are not good enough if you do fail. The shame in others knowing too. It can drive us to self-sabotage and procrastinate until we give up. So don’t let these feelings mount, combat them by putting some simple strategies in to place…
The 5 Fail-Proof Tips to Overcome Fear of Failure
We all have dreams and aspirations. And they wouldn’t be dreamy, if they weren’t somewhat difficult to achieve. Achieving your dreams is never going to be easy, and sometimes we tend to talk ourselves out of even trying. Because, what if I don’t succeed? Well, the reality is that you won’t always succeed. And yes, failure can be a scary thought. But don’t let that get in the way of trying. Trying leads to opportunity, and with every small step that you take, your chances of success increase. Maybe only slightly, but they do increase. As will your access to more new opportunities. But the closer you get, and the more work you put in, your fear of failure mounts. We’d prefer to believe that the reason we didn’t achieve our goals is that we didn’t try in the first place. Because trying, and not being good enough is terrifying. So, we stop trying. But before you give up, and continue working in a job that doesn’t motivate you, consider our first ‘Fail-Proof Tip’…
1. Embrace Your Fear.
Are you afraid? Good. You should be. If you aren’t, then you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone yet. There isn’t a great deal of personal development that happens there, so step number one is to throw yourself into the path of fear, simply by trying. Your fear of failure is necessary in order to balance out the positivity that is associated with courage and bravery. Without fear, these positives could not exist. So be brave enough to try! Yes, you may not succeed your first go, or your second, or your third… But if you can succeed at trying, that is a big step towards achieving something of value, even if that something isn’t what you initially set out for… “Well, Columbus wasn’t looking for America, my man, but that turned out to be pretty okay for everyone.” – Beanie, Oldschool.
2. Plan for Success.
Through planning, you allow yourself to visualise your path towards achieving your goals. Breaking down your goals into smaller, more achievable steps will help you to create a pathway towards your long-term goal. In doing this, your approach becomes far more realistic, and your fear of failure will be combatted by the confidence you feel after achieving each step. Don’t expect it to disappear though. It won’t, and it shouldn’t. Rather, use it to remind yourself how you felt before reaching the last small milestone. If you were able to overcome your fear of failure once, you can do it again, and again, and again…
3. Leverage Your Passion.
Hopefully, it is your desire to succeed in an area that you are passionate about. Don’t let success/failure dictate your level of enjoyment. Your passion should not be dependent on either of those things. If you are doing it because you love to, and not because you have to, then you will immediately have an advantage. Of course, to excel in an area you are passionate about, you’ll have to do some things you may not want to do in order to improve your position. Next time you’re undertaking one of these tasks, just remember it is your passion that will benefit, and give you satisfaction, rather than solely focusing on what you will gain from success.
4. Manage Your Emotions.
If you’ve just trawled through instagram and seen all the happy, smiling faces earning six figures a month working from home, you might think it looks easy. Firstly, it’s not. Secondly, most of these people are probably liars, and not earning anywhere near what they claim (nor are they helping anybody in the process). Aim to be realistic about your expectations of what your journey towards success will look like. A few months in, after strictly following your plan and seeing little to no reward, you will be upset. Disappointed, angry, dejected, embarrassed… Any combination of negative emotions that stop people from doing what they want to every single day. Emotions will arise without your permission. How you respond though, is completely within your control.
5. Build Your Resilience.
Accepting your fears is the first step towards developing mental toughness. But don’t stop there. Be resilient as you face your fear of failure, and keep going. There is much to be gained by embracing the old saying ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. As the negative emotions arise, and try to keep you from realising your dreams, remember that it is action that will make them subside. You will build a resistance to this internal negativity by proving to yourself that you can overcome it through your actions. The road to success shouldn’t be a dark and miserable one. It will be tough, but happiness can (and should) be found in hard work, and not just the end result.
One step at a time, you will be able to overcome your fear of failure. It won’t disappear forever, but it doesn’t have to for you to achieve success in your chosen field. Never stop trying, and enjoy the trying part too, not just the succeeding part… As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.