The fear of failure is a powerful force that will hinder you from chasing your dreams. It will handicap your potential. It will convince you to play it safe. It will tell you to stay where you are because if you move forward with your dream then you might fail. The fear of failure comes in different disguises to hinder your success.
The fear of failure is the critical voice in your head saying: “You’ll never succeed, so why try? People will laugh at you.” Or “Why try? You failed the last two times.” Fear convinces you to listen to those voices and give up before you even start.
The Fear of failure is a crucial problem because it can damage everything in your life. It can ruin your productivity, damage your commitments, destroy your dreams, and keep you from living a more fulfilling life. The fear of failure will kill your destiny and rob your life of its joy.
In order to live your best life, you must overcome something big, the fear of failure. The Fear of failure is not an isolated problem for a select few; it has the ability to attack anyone at any time and any place.
You can’t escape it by working harder, avoiding it or pretending that it does not exist. You must deal with it.
Accept that failure will happen
To deal with the fear of failure, you must realize that you will fail. No one has ever achieved everything that they set out to do. No matter what it looks like from the outside no one ever achieves everything he or she dreams. I don’t care what they post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Failure is a part of life. The most gifted and talented people fail. The greatest hitters in baseball get three hits out of every ten at bats. The most to get a hit to readjust our view of “failure.” We tend to think that failure is a bad thing, but that’s simply not true.
“Failure” is a matter of perspective. You may have “failed” at starting a business, graduating college or getting out of debt, but look at what you have gained. If you look at your failure as a learning opportunity then you position yourself one step closer to success. In failure you and I can learn valuable lessons.
Michael Jordan, whom many believe is the greatest basketball player of all time, shed light about the importance of failure.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Rather than turn and run from failure, run towards it. You are not running towards disaster but you are running towards success.
Here are six steps to help you deal with the fear of failure and move forward to get the results you desire.
- Identify past failures. Make a list of your past failures and what caused them. This is difficult, but it helps you confront your past failures in a real way. You cannot change what happened in the past, but you can learn and grow from it.
If you do not honestly identify your past failures and their causes, the chances of moving forward will be limited. You will stumble through life and fumble opportunities for success if you keep repeating the same mistakes. When you take the time to seriously identify your failures and their causes, you position yourself for success.
- Understand that failure happens. Thomas Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors, understood that failure happens. He said, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
Even the best leaders in the world have endured instances of failure. Failure is a part of life. When failure happens, deal with it and move on.
- Learn from past failures. The best thing about a past failure is that it gives you an opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes and prevent the same mistakes from happening again.
Ask yourself these questions:
What did you learn from the experience that will help you in the future? How can you use the experience to improve yourself or your situation? Then use what you learned from the experience to do things differently so you get different results the next time.
- Count the cost. What will you gain if you pursue your dreams? What will you lose if you keep waiting?? Who will miss out if you continue procrastinating?
There is a cost for following and not following your dreams. You don’t know what is possible until you move forward. You could be missing a million dollar business, a new loving relationship, or an opportunity to live a victorious life. Are you willing to pay the price?
- Set goals. A goal helps you define where you desire to go in life. Without a goal, you have no direction to your destination. Start by setting one to two goals. These goals should challenge you, without overwhelming you so that you give up.
Taking small steps to achieve one or two goals sets you up for ‘timely wins’ that will boost your confidence. They will motivate you to keep moving forward and prevent you from over-extending yourself by focusing on too many goals.
- Do it afraid. The fear of failure immobilizes you. To overcome this fear, you must act. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Don’t wait to do it tomorrow. Don’t wait for the fear to totally go away.
You must act now because if you do not, you allow the fear of failure to win. I know it is scary, but do it anyway. I know there is the possibility of failure, but move forward in spite of the doubts. It is time to be courageous and just do it. If it doesn’t work out the way you anticipated, then do something different. The key is to do something now.
Although we all encounter failures in life, implementing these six steps can position you to achieve your dreams.
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Abraham Lincoln
How can you overcome the fear of failure and achieve a dream? Leave a comment below.
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