Everyone can relate to the fear of failure at some point in his or her life. When a positive trait like achievement becomes too strong in someone's life, its on the way to becoming a major handicap. Often time's we view failure as more of a bigger story we tell ourselves "I am not good enough" " I will never become a successful entrepreneur" "My ex spouse was right- I'll never make it on my own-I am a loser." However, we have to remind ourselves it is just that-a story. We have to reframe our minds and turn failures as something positive and something we can learn from. It's important to not turn to external activities (drinking, drugs, eating etc ) to avoid your fear of failure and instead create more positive ways to deal with it.
Here are 5 Tools to Get Over Your Fear of Failure:
1. Talking it Out
It is important to face your fears and not suppress them by having someone you can trust to discuss your discomforts or shortcomings. By having someone to talk to about your fears it can better frame the situation by objectively looking at it from afar and realizing that the big problem was not so big after all. By talking with someone its also important to not dwell on your fears and an opportunity to strategize how you can break down the tasks into smaller pieces to not make it look so daunting and motivate you to face your fears.
Meditation is an excellent way to reduce fears of failure. As you begin practice you begin to notice patterns of fear arise and the hold they have on you. With practice you can recognize these thoughts as just that-thoughts-and not to become attached to them. You'll no longer find your subconscious fear or resentment running your life from beneath your awareness. Through meditation, as you train yourself to not let your emotions control you or to be completely subject to them it will become easier to do this in your life as a whole as well.
3. Surround Yourself with Positivity
Another tool to help you with your fear of failure is to surround yourself with positivity. Getting rid of toxic people in your life who only dwell on why something will and cannot be done is not very motivating and puts additional fears into your mind. Also, do not read negative media often. Sure it is important to keep up with world events but constantly listening to the traffic accident on the highway or the latest terrorist attack is stifling in your attempt to move forward in your own personal goals. Your physical surroundings are key as well. If you work from home and hate the colour of your walls, do not get enough sunlight and are not energized by your atmosphere that can make things worse. Surround yourself with pictures, positive affirmations, and anything else that generally makes you feel good to improve your mindset and attitude towards your goals.
4. Failing More Leads to Success
Yes that's right-failing more leads to success! Persistence is key. Successful people do not give up after suffering a defeat. Even Malcolm Gladwell said it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Statistics say that most entrepreneurs fail in their first business and that on average they finally succeed on their third business attempt. Failure seems to be the stepping stone to success. Understanding what happened and what you learned from it is the most important aspect of failing and the wisdom you will bring towards your next attempt of success. We all fail, its how quickly you pick yourself up and how long you waste time feeling sorry for yourself that usually determines success.
5. Self Growth
Every time you fail, your fear of failure becomes much smaller, which allows you to take on even bigger challenges. Each failure makes you stronger, bigger, and better. Failure teaches you that a certain approach may not be ideal for a specific situation and there are better approaches. Every mistake is a learning opportunity and a chance to look at your mistakes with a new perspective. Failing is essential in personal development and you simply will never grow as a person if you don't put yourself out there and be willing to try and inevitably make mistakes.
So there you have it folks! Setting yourself up for failure is integral to your success in your personal and professional development. Just remember that failure is a stepping stone to your goals and to not let the failure define you as a person.