- Dr. Nancy
Breakthrough Fear of Failure in 4 Steps
Does the stress of analysis paralysis and fear of failure keep you from taking the first step toward your goal? Too often people focus on all the steps and everything that is required, rather than concentrating on making progress each day.
The truth is, many people experience, or have sometimes experienced, fear of failure. Luckily, according to research, we can influence the way we perceive and feel about failure. All of us have to think of failure as part of the learning experience and the journey forward.
Why? - Because if we fail, it means that we have taken risks and that we are being brave and taking bold action. Plus, we cannot know in advance whether these risks will turn out to be great successes or failures. Having said that, taking risks indicates that we are improving our chances of experiencing some amazing things.
All of this sounds really simple in theory. However, we have to learn how to take advantage of our failures. Namely, the most important thing is to overcome the fear of failure. So, let's see which steps can help you achieve that:
1. Identify the Benefits of Your Past Failures
Surprisingly, but true, you can find at least one benefit in a negative experience. It can be challenging to see it in that specific moment, but you will soon realize what good came out of that situation. And, finding benefits in past failures may help you become more robust and more prepared the next time you fail.
But, how can you make finding benefits a regular practice? First, begin by thinking about your past failures and note the top three things you have learned. Then, think about how to use what you have learned to keep such failures from happening in the future.
Next, don't be afraid to talk about failures with your friends or family. For example, you can try asking your friends about how they have taken advantage of their past failures. By listening to other's stories, you can minimize your fear and learn from their experiences.
2. Consider Failures as Challenges
The second step you should master if you want to overcome failure fears is to learn how to approach stress. When trying to fulfill some essential tasks, it is natural that you feel fear of failure and become incredibly stressed.
And, if you see stress as a threat or obstacle, your body will act as it is preparing for a battle. But, if you decide to think of stress as a challenge to grow, you will definitely feel more confident and find the strength to handle that specific task. Viewing fear as a challenge will increase the chances of your success.
Having said that, it is essential that you build a challenge mindset. Luckily, it is quite simple to do this. You should just reflect on your past successes and identify the strategies you used to overcome the challenges. Once you remind yourself that you have succeeded before, it would be much easier to do it again. So, just visualize success, and it will happen again for sure!
3. Learn to Think More Positively
The third step you should take if you want to overcome the fear of failure is confronting the fear by changing the attitude towards it. In other words, you should learn to think more positively about possibilities and stop expecting the worst to happen. Instead, you should always expect great things to arise in your life. So, stop dwelling on the worst, and visualize the best.
Possibility thinking is an effective technique to build self-confidence and counteract self-sabotage. You should just make a decision always to think positively, see the possibilities and expect successful results. By doing this, you will rewire your brain and nervous system for optimism and success.
Remember, it is all in the mind. By thinking positively and anticipating positive outcomes, you will act accordingly and do your best to make success happen.
4. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself when You Fail
Even though you are doing your best and trying as hard as you can to accomplish your goal successfully, failure happens. However, you shouldn't be too hard on yourself and feel disappointed. Contrarily, you should treat yourself kindly and embrace a positive attitude that will help you avoid negative feelings such as guilt, shame, and embarrassment.
Give yourself some grace. Self-care is one of the ways you can practice kindness toward yourself. For instance, you can take care of yourself and your feelings by talking to a friend who will show compassion and won't judge. Alternatively, you may want to deal with negative emotions by taking on some stress-relieving activities like meditation.
Then, you can practice self-compassion to reduce the harmful effects of failure. Keep remembering that no one is perfect and that everyone fails at times. Thus, get rid of the guilty feeling and stop putting yourself down. Instead, start being supportive, kind, and caring to yourself which will help you identify the mistakes made and how to avoid them next time.
Success is a mindset! All you need to do to overcome the destructive fear of failure is practicing the steps mentioned above. Once you master them, you'll only experience success in life!