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Overcoming Fear of Failure

22 Feb Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments
Overcoming Fear of Failure
 

Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try it at all? Or has a fear of failure meant that, subconsciously, you undermined your own efforts to avoid the possibility of a larger failure.
Fear of failure can be linked to many causes. For instance, having critical or unsupportive parents is a cause for some people. Because they were routinely undermined or humiliated in childhood, they carry those negative feelings into adulthood.
Experiencing a traumatic event at some point in your life can also be a cause. For example, say that several years ago you gave an important presentation in front of a large group, and you did very poorly. The experience might have been so terrible that you developed a fear of failure about other things. And you carry that fear even now, years later.
You might experience some of these symptoms if you have a fear of failure

A reluctance to try new things or get involved in challenging projects.

Self sabotage – for example, procrastination, excessive anxiety, or a failure to follow through with goals

Low self-esteem or self confidence– Commonly using negative statements such as “I’ll never be good enough to get that promotion,” or “I’m not smart enough to get on that team.”

Perfectionism – A willingness to try only those things that you know you’ll finish perfectly and successfully.

It’s almost impossible to go through life without experiencing some kind of failure. People who do so probably live so cautiously that they go nowhere. Put simply, they’re not really living at all.
The wonderful thing about failure is that it’s entirely up to us to decide how to look at it.
We can choose to see failure as “the end of the world,” or as proof of just how inadequate we are. Or, we can look at failure as the incredible learning experience that it often is. Every time we fail at something, we can choose to look for the lesson we’re meant to learn. These lessons are very important; they’re how we grow, and how we keep from making that same mistake again. Failures stop us only if we let them

Most of us will stumble and fall in life. Doors will get slammed in our faces, and we might make some bad decisions. But imagine if Richard Branson had listened to the people who told him he’d never do anything worthwhile without a university degree!

Failure can also teach us things about ourselves that we would never have learned otherwise. For instance, failure can help you discover how strong a person you are. Failing at something can help you discover your truest friends, or help you find unexpected motivation to succeed.
Often, valuable insights come only after a failure. Accepting and learning from those insights is key to succeeding in life.

However, here are a few ways to reduce the fear of failing:

Analyze all potential outcomes – Many people experience fear of failure because they fear the unknown. Remove that fear by considering all of the potential outcomes of your decision.

Learn to think more positively – Positive thinking is an incredibly powerful way to build self-confidence and neutralize self-sabotage.

Look at the worse-case scenario – In some cases, the worst case scenario may be genuinely disastrous, and it may be perfectly rational to fear failure. In other cases, however, this worst case may actually not be that bad, and recognizing this can help.

Have a contingency plan – If you’re afraid of failing at something, having a “Plan B” in place can help you feel more confident about moving forward. So, what can you do instead?

Goal-setting can also help to start us to define where we want to go and motivate us towards that destination. Start by setting a few small goals. These should be goals that are slightly, but not overwhelmingly, challenging. Think of these goals as “early wins” that are designed to help boost your confidence. Try to make your goals tiny steps on the route to much bigger goals. Don’t focus on the end picture.

Taking one small step at a time will help build your confidence, keep you moving forward, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed with visions of your final goal.

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