Fear Of Failure – To be successful in anything in life, you have to fail before you succeed. Every successful entrepreneur, entertainer, athlete, or artist has failed more times than they succeeded throughout their path to reach the top of their industry.
We all see these individuals celebrating their successes in the media, but you never hear about their failures. These individuals are not gods. I am pretty sure all of them have experienced the fear of failure on their path of achieving their goals to be the best of the best.
Why is that?
Here are some of the most successful people in the world who have experienced significant failures:
- Michael Jordan, widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was cut from his high school basketball team because his coach didn’t think he had enough skill.
- Warren Buffet, one of the richest and most successful businessmen ever, was rejected by Harvard.
- Richard Branson, the owner of the Virgin empire, dropped out of high school.
I always think of the quote by Wayne Gretzky, who in my opinion is the greatest hockey player that ever lived, and the quote is “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.“
What does that quote mean to you?
Now think about yourself. Have you ever wanted to achieve a goal in your life but the possibility of failing stops you from moving forward? Many of us who want to achieve something in our lives always have that fear of failing in the back of our minds that consumes us.
Is there something that you have wanted to achieve like getting your dream job, get in shape, or learn a new skill but your insecurities and anxiety consume you, and you automatically set yourself up for failure before even trying?
Want to know the most common thing that people regret before they die? They wish they had taken more risks in their lives.
Fear of failure is termed ‘atychiphobia‘. Individuals coping with atychiphobia can experience crippling self-doubt and extreme fear of failure due to the perceived ridicule one might face after a failure.
Atychiphobia can happen for many reasons, but one of the main causes for many is that many grew up with parents who were emotionally unavailable or unsupportive.
If you were constantly trying to please their parents in any way, in which failure was not an option nor was it tolerated well and so the thought of failure was overwhelming.
If this sounds familiar, there are ways to begin to overcome your fears of failing to move forward. The first step you need to take is to not allow your fear of failure to overcome you and accept the fact that this natural emotion happens to everyone.
There are so many things in my life that I never did because I had the fear of failure take over and stop me from achieving things that I wish I could have back then.
But there are things I have done in my life that accepted my fear of failing and was able to accept my failures along my path, and accomplished things I never thought were possible.
If you have that fear of failing that overcomes you, I understand, and you are not alone. It’s a part of who we are. But if we all stop doing things that we want to achieve at our first failure, how will we learn?
If you are wondering about ways to help you try facing your fear of failure, here are some tricks and tips I use to overcome my fear of failure to achieve things I never thought were possible to achieve.
While these tips and tricks may or may not work for you, just trying them in your everyday lives might be the start of a new change in your life.
Related Article: HOW TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS: 15+ BEST TIPS OF ALL TIME
Overcome Fear Of Failure | 7+ Best Ways To Change Your Mindset
Change Your Attitude
A change in attitude can have a major impact on your life. If you are a glass half empty or a glass half full person, you look at the world differently. Changes in your life happen positively or negatively depending on your mindset.
Now, if you were a glass-half-empty type of person, would you perceive failure as a success? Or would you stop dead in your tracks and not move forward?
Now, what would happen if you change your mindset to a glass-half-full attitude in which you perceive that each failure is a positive piece of the puzzle to keep you moving? It will make you have a stronger mindset, right?
What you have to realize is that failing in something doesn’t equate to being a failure. It just means you have to learn to be patient and fair with yourself to understand that you’re only human and you’re doing the best you can.
Allow yourself to fail. You need to fail sooner because the more you fail the closer you are to your goal.
I know that sounds like something a motivational speaker would say, but it’s true.
We often see failure as something that forces us to stop in going after our goals, but what if failure is a new path towards a new chapter in your life?
You are the only one that can create your own attitude. Others around you shouldn’t do it for you.
Try not to let failure cloud your judgment on doing things you want in life, as it will only torture yourself with that crippling fear of failure, and therefore never be able to keep moving forward in life.
Celebrate Success Even If It Is Small
Another way to overcome your fear of failure is to celebrate your success on even the smallest of wins.
If you are celebrating your successes, you can’t be a failure right? Every time you celebrate a win, then in your mind you need to think you are a winner!
I know for myself that when I celebrate the small wins, it helps ease the fear I feel from failing.
Also by celebrating your successes, it trains you to believe in yourself and helps give you the courage if nobody around you is there to give you the support you need. The pressure is off then knowing that you believe in yourself, and you don’t need others around you to give you the pat on the back.
When you are goal planning for something you want to achieve in your life, break your goals down into small steps, so when you achieve them each time, celebrating these wins helps boosts your confidence and self-esteem.
Don’t think of failing as a loss, but more of another chance to win.
Related Article: 7 Best Ways to Ignite Your Motivation When Things Are Tough
Set Achievable Goals
When you think about it, many of us actually set ourselves up for failure more times than we think. It’s a self-sabotaging behavior we do subconsciously or consciously.
What can cause this is we sometimes set unrealistic and unreachable goals, that if they fail, we beat ourselves up for months without rethinking the goal plan and trying again.
We all want the best in life, and we should push ourselves to accomplish our goals, but set realistic time frames for our goals, and be patient.
A major part of growing is also recognizing the role you play in your own failures. Could it be procrastination or other self-sabotage behavior?
This mental fight can become mentally exhausting, and each time you become less confident and less sure because you keep failing and wondering why.
Learning to set small and reachable goals will keep your fear off to the side and reduce emotional distress.
Create A Fear Checklist
A Fear Checklist? What is that?
If you are thinking that question to yourself right now, this technique is something that I do when the fear starts creeping into my plans and how I overcome that fear of failing.
It’s actually a fun activity to do because it provides logic and reasoning to each interfering thought you may have moving forward in your plans.
How it works. What you do is write down on a piece of paper what your fear is, and then draw out some lines from that fear and ask yourself why you fear it and the “what ifs.”
For example: Say you are worried about losing your job.
- Your fear – Losing your job
- Your reasons – You feel like a failure and you fear starting a new career all over will completely change your life and others around you.
- What if – Losing your job will provide the opportunity for me to get to know myself and also to find a new job so I can find out exactly what I want vs what I don’t want. It’s an opportunity for me to start over, and I don’t need to be defined by it.
While facing your fears head-on by coming up with a plan of attack, it makes you less scared and more realistic about how it’s not the end of the world if an unexpected change happens. This helps you reduce your anxiety around your fear, and you will feel less overwhelmed when you are faced with a failure.
Start A Dairy
Having someone to talk to about your fear of failure and what exactly you fear is always great. But there are times when there are some fears you face that you just don’t feel talking about in front of even people you love and respect.
Journaling is a perfect way to vent about the things you fear, so you can get it out of your head and onto paper. I love journaling for the fact that I can just write and write about everything that was going on in my head at that time.
I also make sure to date each entry, because I can look back and reflect years later about what I did to overcome my fear of failure on a particular thing to remind myself that I have overcome this fear once, I can do it again.
Focus On What You Can Control
Self-doubt is a killer for your self-esteem and self-confidence.
We always “what if” things all the time because our fear of failure tends to kick in when we are faced with a difficult challenge ahead.
We would rather come up with situations in our head of “what could go wrong,” that we convince ourselves to not pursue particular tasks that we fear.
Don’t give into self-doubt, and be confident in your abilities for whatever you are facing. You can never see what’s ahead of you, so the key is to control the controllable and allow everything else around you to fall into place.
Let’s look at the example of the fear of losing a job. This happened to me a few years ago, which I knew my days were numbered because the company I worked for was close to bankruptcy.
The only thing I could control was my fate and not the companies financial fate.
To overcome the fear of losing my job, I had to be proactive and start networking at events after work and sending out my resume to recruiting companies.
By being proactive, I am protecting myself from failure, just in case, a day comes where I find out that I no longer have a job.
The key to overcoming your fear of failing is to know that you can only control what you can control.
So when things begin to spiral out of control, take a step back and ask, “what can you control right now, and what can’t you control right now.” This way you have a better plan of attack when things go array.
Embrace The Possibility Of Failure Head One
Your fear of failure usually tries to stand between you and your goals. So face your fears head-on, because with every new challenge lies new opportunities and self-discovery.
Think of your fear of failure like a bully who has been bullying you for years. Don’t let your bully win, again and again, stop your bully from controlling you moving forward.
Always look for challenges that will force you to plan for any possibility that could happen that would cause you to have that fear of failure.
Always be prepared. That’s my motto.
Reassurance is great to hear every now and then. It can come from a friend, colleague, or family member. It’s just good to hear from others that we are doing a good job on a bad day in whatever challenge we are facing at the time.
For me, when I am doing stand-up, and 3/4’s of my set bombs but one person is laughing in the back of the room, just to hear one person in the back laughing at my set gives me reassurance that I am on to something with my set. Check out my video below to see one of my sets. (Let me know in the comments what you thought.)
When we face self-doubt just like hearing one person laughing, can give you the reassurance you need to feel confident again, and to remind yourself that you are capable of anything you do.
While I know you may or may not perform standup like myself, but with anything thing that you fear in doing, but you are taking the challenge head-on, just getting some reassurance will remind you of your capabilities.
If you like this article and want more posts on how to improve your life skills check out 10 Simple Things You Are Doing That Kills Your Productivity, Encourage Personal Development In Your Life – 15 Best Ways, 15 Amazing Self-Improvement Books To Change Your Life, and 7 Best Masterclass Online Cooking Classes | Learn From Professional Chefs At Home
I hope that this article will give you insight into how you can overcome your fear of failure, and achieve things that you never thought were possible to achieve.
Just remember the following to overcome your fears:
- Change your attitude
- Celebrate any success even if its small
- Achievable goals
- Create a fear checklist
- Start a dairy
- Focus on what you can control
- Embrace failure and hit it head-on
While these tips and tricks may or may not work for some, just trying them in your everyday lives might be the start of a new positive change in your life.
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