You might be reluctant to admit it, but we all have a fear of failure. Like many others, you probably worry that your incompetency or lack of skill will result in failure. However, having these emotions and thoughts are normal. Really, it’s how you deal with overcoming your fear of failure that matters.
If you are able to push through your fear, it can drive you to be better. Fear can even transform into a hurdle to overcome or a goal to accomplish.
If you get stuck in fear though, you can become your own worst enemy. Some people can conquer their fears and live a happier life. But many, get trapped in their own self-doubt.
In this article, we’ll talk about overcoming your fear of failure. We’ll provide you with five effective strategies to conquer your fear of failure.
1. Ask Yourself What Failure Is
Fear is an immobilizing emotion. It traps you in doubt and makes you wonder why you ever bothered trying. It’s a vicious cycle that no one wants to be caught in.
But what can you do to move forward when you are afraid of failing?
Defining failure for yourself is one way to combat your fear. When you understand your fear, you can reduce its power over you. This is because setting the limits of failure helps you objectively view your fears.
On the other hand, when you let your fears grow unchecked, they become exaggerated and turn into something that no longer resembles reality.
In truth, your imagination of what failure entails is likely much worse than the actual outcome of your failure. Still, failure is difficult to define.
Maybe you see it as giving up entirely on your pursuits. Or maybe it is an inability to chase after what you desire. Alternatively, it might be the fear of not achieving the outcomes you want, or not achieving them when you want to.
Try settling on a concrete definition of your fear. Clearly state what you consider a failure. While you might want to work on overcoming your fear of failure, but you can’t overcome it and be successful if you don’t know what it is.
Additionally, when you finally define failure, you’ll realize that you have not actually failed
If you are still trying to pursue your dreams, you are not a failure. So don’t be hard on yourself.
There is no reason to fear failure as long as you continue to take steps towards your goal. When you are able to truly give up on these fears, you can walk even closer to your dreams.
2. Create Manageable Goals
Like many, you might have a vision for yourself.
You might dream of breaking into a certain career path, making a lot of money, or perfecting some form of art. However, there is a big distance between where you are and where you want to be.
This gap can easily create a fear of failure. Especially when you begin to think of how you can actually achieve that end goal.
While you might be overwhelmed, there are solutions to overcoming your fear of failure. You don’t have to stay in a state of fear and apprehension over the future.
Not only should you define your failure, but you should also take action against failure. In taking proactive action, you can prove your fear of failure wrong.
This is especially true when you create manageable goals for yourself. Small steps can reduce your fears greatly and even prevent failure.
To overcome your fear, you’ll want to create feasible objectives. This way you can pace yourself and have something real to work towards.
Dreams that are unplanned are just ideas. But when you have achievable steps you can take, this allows you to let go of your fears. You have a path to follow and a way to be successful. However, without any of this, you will remain lost and uncertain about what you should do.
Additionally, your ability to take action towards your goals naturally reduces much of the fears you may have over failure.
When you are busy working towards your goals, you have less time to worry. You actually get things done when the path to success is manageable.
Of course, things can get difficult or tiring, and success is not a guarantee. But at least this way you know you did everything you could to get the results you want. This way, you have less to fear.
3. Reframe Your Mindset And Cut Out Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts can find there way into your mind even when you are on the track to success. These thoughts can derail your hard work and put you in a state of fear over potential failure.
As a result, you might start saying and thinking all kinds of negative things to yourself. That you are talentless, that you will never be good enough, that you are destined to mess up.
Still, when you have these thoughts, you want to remember something important. You aren’t the first person to feel this way. Everyone fears failure.
And in fact, most people have failed at one thing or another. This is true of even the most successful people in society. But they were able to work hard at overcoming their fear of failure and go on to achieve greatness.
Think of it in this way, every failure is an opportunity to try again and do things better. As long as you can get back up after a setback, you will eventually succeed. But when you give in to negative thoughts and believe that failure is something to fear, you cannot succeed.
Considering all of this, failure isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s to be expected. You fail in order to learn and become successful.
You don’t want to avoid failure, you want to embrace it. It’s easy to have a negative view of failure and stay stuck in negative ruminations. But if you want to really get over your fears, it’s best to accept the role of failure.
4. Be Kind To Yourself And Make Room For Failure
When you take time to care for your body and mind, you get a chance to recharge and rethink your situation. Being kind to yourself is probably the best thing you can during this stressful time.
Still, health and wellness are probably the least of your concerns, especially when you are working at overcoming your fear failure.
Most people end up running themselves ragged with work, trying to avoid their doubts and fears. Others get stuck in a circle of negative emotions and cognitions. You might think you are helping yourself, but you are only making your fears worse.
You could work yourself to exhaustion or stress yourself out worrying. But these actions only worsens your mood and your ability to handle fear.
Instead, try taking some time to yourself. Remove yourself from your fears. Clear up your mind and get yourself back on track.
Exercise a little, listen to some music, maybe cook a good meal. You want to get yourself out of your thoughts and give yourself distance from your fear.
This way you can come back to your thoughts and deal with them more clearly. And when it does come time to deal with your fear, treat yourself with empathy.
You can be kind to yourself, you don’t have to put yourself down, or call yourself a failure. No one is perfect. No one succeeds all the time.
You are allowed to fail. You are even allowed to be afraid. Just don’t let that fear overtake your life and your ability to pursue your goals.
5. Imagine The Worst-Case Scenario
Becoming familiar with failure can reduce your fear substantially. The uncertainty of failure is what is most terrifying. However, when you imagine a worst-case scenario, you are no longer uncertain about what could happen.
By thinking about the outcomes of failure, you mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. It is one way of overcoming the fear of failure.
Maybe you lose money or time. Maybe you miss out on an opportunity. Whatever the case, thinking rationally about failure can put your fears into context.
It puts you into a more logical state and removes you from the powerful sway of your emotions. Emotions, like fear, can distort your thoughts. But when you take the time to calmly rationalize failure, your fear is more manageable.
Think realistically about what might actually happen. And don’t go to extremes.
Magnifying your fears is not the goal of this exercise. You just want to be more comfortable with the thought of failing.
Again, failure is not bad. What you put your time into provides you with a chance to learn and grow.
Sometimes you have to take risks in life even if you know you will fail. You don’t want to wait until the end of your life to get over your fears. By that point, it will be too late to change anything. You will be left regretting your choices.
Maybe you don’t get to follow your dreams. Maybe you will end up failing.
This doesn’t mean that your life is ending. In fact, this could be the beginning of a new path. Failure isn’t an ending, it is a chance to start over. A chance to keep pushing forward to find success.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count