What is it that you fear most? If you go deep enough, chances are you’re like many others – the majority of fear comes from the possibility of failure.
Is the problem ever really the fear itself? Or is it more about what the fear makes you feel?
Is it based on the severity of likely outcomes? Or instead, imagined scenarios that either a) are unlikely to occur or b) wouldn’t be the end of the world if they did?
The Feeling Of Fear Itself
If fear has ever clenched you in its grasp, you are well aware of its intense effects.
From physical symptoms like shakiness, sweating, and irregular heartbeat to sensations of pain in the head or chest – anyone who tells you fear isn’t a big deal doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
But the mental and emotional feelings of fear can be even worse. The sense of crushing overwhelm can almost paralyze you and keep you from taking any action at all.
As if that’s not enough, it’s a vicious cycle. The more time spent dwelling on the fear, the worse it gets. It’s so easy to get caught in a downward spiral with seemingly no way out.
What If You Flip Fear On Its Head?
Consider this. What would happen if you consciously and intentionally thought about all the positive outcomes that lie ahead of failure?
What would happen if you think about the absolute worst-case scenario, then pre-plan your response?
You could reclaim some of your power and use fear as a means of growing stronger, wiser and gaining better control in your life.
Perhaps, then, what you need during great times of fear is nothing more than an attitude adjustment.
With proper thinking, fear of failure is small stuff. It’s simple. It’s only a challenge – and one you can beat with flying colors.
So fear of failure flipped on its head becomes a tool for personal growth.
5 Keys to Conquering The Fear Of Failure
1- Break It Down Into Pieces
Your first inclination might be to avoid whatever frightens you all together and take the easy way out. Don’t do that. Instead, commit to tackling your task by taking small steps to complete it. Break it down and start with the very first thing that you can manage. As you chip away at the big obstacle in front of you, you’ll grow stronger, more confident and more courageous.
2- Put A Positive Spin On Failure
For everything you can be afraid of about your situation, there’s often at least one or two things from which you can benefit. Even if it isn’t apparent at first, pay close attention. If there’s a lesson to be learned, that’s still a positive outcome. See how facing your fear (even if you fail) might make you a better, stronger person.
3- Seek Ways To Improve Yourself
One of the main reasons we fear failure is lack of preparation. Think about it. Let’s say you have a big presentation to give tomorrow. Sure, it’s natural to be a bit nervous – that happens to everyone.
But consider the difference in how you’d feel if you spent the previous three weeks preparing, versus only getting started prepping two days prior?
You might experience an overwhelming fear of failure in the latter situation.
When you’re staring fear in the face, use it as an opportunity to fill the gaps in what you can control – your preparation and readiness.
4- Consider What You’ve Achieved
If you fear failure, consider what you’ve already achieved in your life that somehow relates. Continuing with the example of a presentation or something where you have to be “on the spot.”
Well, being put on the spot in the first place means you already passed some test or another even to have the chance to fail at all, right?
If you have a big presentation at work, you already successfully made it through an also-stressful job interview – and got the job.
If then, why not now?
5- Consider Other Failures In The Past
It can also be helpful to remember other times where you’ve failed in the past. While embarrassing or hurtful in some way – sure – you’ve likely since moved on from that and are in a decent position.
Remembering how you’ve overcome previous failures is evidence that failure is not the end of the world. It’s okay to fail. Nobody gets everything perfect 100% of the time. You’ve failed before; you’ll fail again (but not necessarily this time). You’ll be okay.
While tempting, avoid resisting the fear of failure. Though unpleasant, it happens to everybody at some point or another. Trust and believe that you are on your right path, and you are resilient. Any failure is a lesson you can grow from, which helps you become a better person. Only when you face what scares you, and overcome it, will you be on track to being the best version of yourself possible.
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