How to Overcome the Fear of Failure
Almost everyone has one kind of fear or the other, and the fear of failing is one common type of fear. The fear of failing can vary widely for different categories of people, while a student have the fear of failing examinations, an employee may have the fear of losing a job, not having enough money, and becoming broke. Sometimes when you have a tough target to meet, the fear of not being able to meet up with the target could be there, the fear of a task being too difficult can affect the courage to face the task. The fear of failure, while in certain cases could propel a person to work towards success, it could have very negative impacts and paralyse the courage to go for it. It can actually lead to failure. The following tips can help you to overcome the fear of failure.
1. What is Failure to You?
The way you define failure can go a long way to affect your mind-set to make you think that failure defines you. If you define the failure you experience as part of who you are, then failing in anything would only continue to confirm the fact that you are failure. If you have this kind of mind-set, it will make you so dread failure because you think failing means a person is a failure, but if you separate yourself from the failure and take the failure as a feedback, that will help you to have a better perception that failing at one thing or more does not imply that you are a failure, and you will be better equipped to handle failure and the fear of failure. Failure is not a tag on your identity, it is only a feedback about your decisions and actions.
2. Focus on the Result, Not the Risk or Pain
The fear of failure can be aggravated when a person focuses on the pain involved in a particular hard task than if you focused on the pleasing result. The more you look at how hard a thing is to accomplish, the more likely you are to fear attempting or approaching it, the more you push it to another time and the more the likelihood of failure. Therefore instead of putting your focus on how hard or difficult the thing is, shift your focus to the rewarding experience of accomplishment. That will serve as a motivation towards the activity/task at hand instead of the other mid-set which would have continued to hinder accomplishment.
3. What if it Happened?
What if you dealt with the fear of failure by asking yourself, what if it even happened? What then? What if you looked at the situation from that angle, not afraid of considering that extreme. If you then go ahead and make a plan on how to handle the worst if it gets to happen. This kind of preparation could be helpful, because now you have a way to go about dealing with what you feared, even if it happened so.
4. Why are You Afraid
Try looking at the exact reason why you are afraid or the root of your fear. This could help in dealing with the fear. For example, if a student is afraid of examinations or tests and he discovers that lack of preparation is the major reason for his fear, he already knows what to do to eliminate the fear of failure in that instance. It is therefore important for you to know the exact reason for your fear, is it because of something you should do that you’ve not done, or a lag in your preparation? When you have been able to nail the reason for your fear, then you can go ahead and take care of the cause, so that the fear can disappear. If the fear of failure is there because you are not adequately ready for the thing, then when you get yourself ready, the fear will not be there as such again. When it is a legitimate fear, doing what you should and putting in place things as you should will deal with the fear, but if the fear is a baseless fear, maybe you are just scared and perhaps it seems you can’t lay hands on the exact reason why you are afraid, if you discover the fear is baseless and it’s not due to something you should put in order, then you should discard it.
5. Expand Your Goal
Maybe if you decide to expand the scope of what you hope to get from a venture or undertaking, then your fear might reduce or you might be able to deal with the fear of failing in a better way. Try to expand your scope beyond just nailing the expected results, like instead of saying I must have this particular outcome, why not add to your goal to also learn a new thing in the process. That is, even if you don’t nail your expected outcome, you will still be able to learn something new.
6. Imagine the Huddles
Do a mind kind of tactic. Think about that thing you aim to accomplish, and think about all the huddles you think are in the way of you achieving it, then begin to see yourself in your mind conquering those huddles. When you position yourself to conquer yourself in your mind, then you are indirectly telling yourself that the huddles can be overcome.
7. Face the Fear
There’s not many things as important as you rising up from your panicking seat, and facing your fear. You fear you will not be able to accomplish that thing because it’s too difficult? Why not get at it and give it a try, see if your fear is true, you might just discover that your fear is a big lie. Face the hard thing, do the difficult part, get at it, don’t keep allowing the fear to keep you back. The more you let the fear keep you back from making the right attempt, the more you are proving to yourself that what your fear is telling you is true. Running from your fear gives it more power.
8. Choose to Stop Listening
Many times the fears we have are just fears, nothing more. They are false experiences appearing real, and they could appear so real that they cause a paralysis in the victim to the point the victim may not be able to face it. Stop listening to the voice of fear telling you things that are likely not real making them seem real in your mind. Get out of that belittling or intimidating story you keep telling yourself.
9. When Should You Really Fear?
When you are too sure that you will get what you are targeting, maybe you are not reaching too far out of your comfort zone, maybe you are not doing something that will make you fear a risk or stretch yourself. If you are too comfortable in your comfort zone, then maybe you need to fear that you are getting used to less than you can achieve.
10. Find Someone to Support You
When you are afraid of failing at something, and maybe you are thinking your own ability alone might not be capable of guaranteeing success, you could decide to reach out for a good and capable helping hand. To a large extent, this might reduce the fear of failure that you have, and you may then be able to face the situation with more confidence.