Fear of failure is common among many of us. All of us want to experience success; however, only a few of us are brave enough to confront this type of fear. Those who do are able to rise above their fears and achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves. Once overcome with fear, it becomes extremely difficult to realize our full potential.
One of the damaging side effects caused by fear of failure is the inability to accept that we all make mistakes and it’s a normal part of change and growth. Some of us begin to magnify the mistakes created along the way until it overtakes our mindset to the point that it is difficult to get rid of them. Fear will either motivate you or paralyze you. For example, someone makes a mistake in selecting their first love and then decides to never date again for fear of being hurt. There are other instances where fear of failure becomes so limiting that it halts people in their growth and development causing them to lose faith in their own abilities to accomplish their dreams and desires.
Steps to Overcoming This Fear
Fear of failure is often a deeply rooted emotion that entraps us in the past. Unless we can let go of the fear of failure, we will be most likely unable to achieve our goals. We become incapable of achieving something when in fact we can master it. Once we are confident enough to overcome our fear, we will recognize our power and ability to do what we need to do and succeed at it. Here are some basic strategies that can be used to overcome the fear of failure.
· Do Something About the Fear
Fear of failure immobilizes us. We can become so wrapped up in the fear that we will eventually fail that we rather not try. But when we don't try, we neither fail nor succeed. Therefore, we must take decisive action towards conquering our fear. Even if we should fail, it will provide us with a sense of what further actions should be taken to contribute towards our success. If we succeed, then we should take the time to reward ourselves for progress made no matter how big or small.
· Try Something Different
There are several factors that contribute as to why we fail or succeed at doing something. Whichever it is, we need to look at our behavior towards something and the result achieved. But the most important step we can take is never to associate our failure with ourselves. Let’s not make failure a personal reflection of our ability to succeed. I remember falling off a horse when I was around 10 years old while riding too fast. I hate to admit that because of fear of falling again, it took me more than 40 years before getting the courage to get back on a horse. I often reflect on how I could have enjoyed horseback riding over the years if I overcame my fear to get back on and try again. We must be willing to always get back up and try different strategies to achieve our goals. All I probably needed to do was ride slower until I was capable of riding faster.
· Learning from Failure
This is the best that we can take away from the experience and one of the more effective ways to get rid of this fear. Instead of putting all the blame on ourselves as to why we failed in our endeavors, let’s use failure as a learning experience instead. Identify what were the lessons learned from the experience. This might enable us to avoid failing in the future. Consider the following questions as they can provide the answers in the desire to conquer the fear of failure:
• Where did I commit the mistakes?
• How could I have prevented the mistake from happening?
• Where can I make improvements?
Failure must always be translated into a learning experience. In return, we gain opportunities to learn and do better. Without having experienced any type of failure, we would not have the capacity to change for the better. To conquer this type of fear, it is important that we learn how to confront and overcome them. Otherwise, we are likely to end up repeating the same mistake or worse our fear of failure could cause us to sell ourselves short at the bargaining table of life.
Written by Dr. RL Kight for Mind Power Solutions. Visit www.mindpowersolutions.com to learn more about our personal development and training services.