One of the most common obstacles holding people back from reaching their potential in business and life is the fear of failure. This fear prevents people from trying new things, taking risks, and being who they want to be.
This fear makes people conform to win the approval of others. Many give up their identity so they can feel safe and earn validation. A fear of failure is also a fear of looking bad, being embarrassed and/or being rejected.
Is this fear a factor for you?
Do you avoid people and prefer to spend time alone? Do you refrain from sharing your opinions with others, because it feels safer not to?
Do you avoid difficult conversations? Do you struggle to say no and if possible avoid the person all together?
Are you afraid to take risks, try new things or venture from your comfort zone?
If you said yes to any of these, you may be suffering from a fear of failure.
This fear often stems from a traumatic childhood experience, but you are a grown up now, it is time to leave this fear behind.
Here are five ways to eliminate the fear of failure from your life.
1) Indentify the worst case scenario.
Imagine yourself in that worst case scenario. Is it as bad as your subconscious mind wants you to think it is? Chances are you could handle it, live and be stronger for it.
Remember “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” –Ambrose Redmoon
Decide that living your life to the fullest is more important.
2) Take action and do something - break out of your comfort zone.
"He who never makes mistakes, never makes anything," goes an English Proverb
Taking any positive action builds confidence. Try new things, be innovative, be creative. You will be surprised how much you learn, regardless of the results.
Every step in the right direction makes the next step less scary. If you fail, make it a point to keep going and try again. Don't let failure stop you from taking more action
3) Don’t take failure personally.
Jonathon Brown, at the University of Washington, found people lacking in self esteem take failure personally. They think it means they aren’t smart, competent or good enough. Confident people understand that failure is about the issue or the technique, it isn’t about them.
You can’t be a failure. Failure is an event, not a person.
Many of us attach our self worth to mistakes. This is not accurate. You are not the idea, the performance, the property or the experience. You are the person who will learn and grow from the experience.
4) Expect to fail some of the time… everyone does.
Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
Failure makes you stronger and smarter. Most affluent people will tell you that they failed their way to the top.
Paul Graham said “Managers at big companies prefer to hire someone who tried to start a startup and failed, over someone who spent the same time working at a big company.”
People who have tried and failed know more than people who never tried.
5) When you fail, embrace the experience.
What does it feel like? What is it showing you about yourself? How can you use the experience to make you stronger?
Turn it into a positive. What can you learn from it? How can it make you better?
Be good at failing. Most successful people are.
6) Work on building your self esteem by choosing trust and love.
The confidence experts at Claritypoint Life Coaching say loving other people builds self esteem. The more you love others, the more you like who you are.
You can only feel one emotion at a time. When you are actively focused on love, all fear disappears.
They also say to practice choosing trust that your value isn’t on the line at all. Choose to trust your value is infinite and absolute.
Trust your journey is perfect and you are perfectly who you are meant to be right now. Choose to trust that you cannot fail. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
You are here to learn and grow, that is the purpose of your life. It is time to get out there and live, take some risks and start learning.
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” - Elbert Hubbard