How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

Fail. Observe. Learn. Succeed.

I’ll be very honest… I am afraid of quite a few things. Certain heights, sharks and my biggest fear snakes. (Literally laughing out loud at the fact I typed snacks instead of snakes first, I mean who’s biggest fear is snacks haha, okay back to reality). My weirdest fear is *drum roll please*… coins! The texture, the colour, the smell, BLEH! But somehow I got over that except, 1p and 2p, keep them well away from me!

Now the fear of failure is a topic I find rather special, as it’s something we ALL deal with and have to face in our lives, especially since mankind is made to grow and continue learning. Now, let’s be clear, even though I am in the personal development world and pretty proud of how far I’ve come and grown myself, I still suffer from the fear of failure. It’s a learning process that one doesn’t overcome easily, and certainly a skill take can take years and years to master. Nonetheless I believe that it’s never too late to start somewhere, so today we’re putting the first steps into working on overcoming this fear with these 4 tips.

1. Eliminate worst case scenarios

“Well, what if this happens?” “What if it doesn’t happen?” “What if he/she doesn’t like me?”

“What if I’m not good enough?”

We are all so guilty of creating the worst case scenarios in our minds to any situation, and today I’m giving you a simple tip… STOP! All that mumbling in your mind is just causing you to eventually not go head on into the situation, and you know what that leads to… Regret! Having regrets are 10x worse than failures, because you’ll constantly be asking yourself the two words, “What if”. Now, instead of thinking about the action, do the action and just see where it takes you. Even the smallest actions are steps into the right direction.

Other ways to eliminate negative thinking are:
– Changing your body language and stance in that moment. Standing with your feet firm on the ground or sitting up straight in a more confident manner.
– Putting your thoughts on paper or into words. If something is really bothering you or stressing you out, it’s totally okay to address a friend about your concern. We’re all here to help each other out and put things into perspective for a clear mind.
– Once the negative thought is identified, immediately counteract it by saying something positive. “Although my morning was rough, my day will get better.” “Although I spilled coffee on my shirt this morning, I will have something fun to talk about at lunch time other than work.”

Read more about 5 ways to be more positive in life here.

2. Identify the root cause

Facing your anxiety heads on is very daunting, but how is it holding you back from doing what you want to do? It’s time to dig deep and uncover what it is that is causing this constant knot in your stomach.

This could be an experience, an emotional comment (either from your childhood or recently), or simply a story from the past. Often times it’s that little thing from the past that has the biggest effect on your current failure.

In the moment of stress and anxiety, the best thing to do is to simply allow yourself to feel fear when it shows up. What helps me in these situations is to sit in silence and take 10 deep breaths to process the feeling. Often times this is just enough to trigger my body to a calm state and make the situation more manageable. If you have more time on your hands and you’re aiming for a deeper connection to the root cause, I advice you to immediately write down what your heart is telling you in that moment after your deep breaths, and what you feel is causing this disruption. Write down the failure, and link the two (failure & feeling) together.

3. Learn from the lesson

Failures are seen as negative events, but what if we turn that around. Transform the word failure into the word lesson by asking yourself the following questions:

– What did I learn from this situation?
– How can I grow as a person from this situation?
– What are three positive things I can learn from this situation?

Failure is a part of life, it makes us stronger and more persistent to achieve our goals. Like any other fear, you have to surrender yourself to the failure to overcome it. Learning from the lesson and using that wisdom to pass on to the next person is pretty incredible, and something we need to do more of in this society.

A lesson can come in different forms, shapes and sizes, and the bigger the failure, the greater the lesson. If the same failures are recurring, it might be time to reframe your goals. Instead of being so specific and willing to reach a certain number, look at the growth made towards your goal and how you are learning something new each time.  You will then never “fail” as every lesson will have been of value to your life and development.

4. Trust your inner guide

Let’s be honest, a lot of failures come from not trusting ourselves. This has all to do with self-sabotage. Our thoughts and our actions keep us from what we desire most in life, and we’re letting it happen, because of past experiences we haven’t let into our system and processed yet.

Your inner guide is more powerful than any other external influence or substance that comes into your life. It can dim down your fears to reach your goals, but the only thing you have to do is trust it and listen to it!

When something does go wrong just accept it, because you will let the natural growth to your inner life guide you to other insights and guide you into directions that may help and may eventually be and feel right.

Read more about how to enhance your inner growth here.

How did you overcome your last failure?
I’d love to hear your side of the story and support each other when times can get a little tough.

“I failed my exam in some subjects, but my friend passed. Now he’s an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner.”
– Bill Gates

Keep dreaming and believing!

Love, Y x

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