Your Fear of Failure Monster is Killing Your Dreams, Here’s How to Weaken it for Good
Overcome your fear of failure, it’s a monster but you can kill it if you try hard enough
Why do you procrastinate? What is stopping you from starting something today? You want to write a book, what is stopping you? You want to start a YouTube channel, what is holding you back? Is it fear? If so, what are you scared of? How can you overcome this fear?
I posted a poll on my Instagram page and asked people what is the number one thing that holds them back from taking the steps to live the life they want to live. A whopping 90 percent of the poll participants said that they were scared of failure. My question is, why are you scared of failure? What is the worst that could happen after you fail?
Dr Guy Winch PhD published an article on Psychology today and he said:
“Rather, a fear of failure is essentially a fear of shame. People who have a fear of failure are motivated to avoid failing not because they cannot manage the basic emotions of disappointment, anger, and frustration that accompany such experiences but because failing also makes them feel deep shame.”
The shame of failing to achieve your goal, the shame of having to start over, the shame of looking like a fool. The truth is, everyone, experiences feelings of shame at some point however, should it stop you from diving deep and taking action? It shouldn’t but it does. How can you work toward overcoming this fear of failure?
Here are a few practical steps to help you to overcome your fear of failure
Focus on learning
Reframe your beliefs about failure, instead of thinking about failure as being a negative experience, refocus your thoughts and approach the idea of failure differently. Focus on learning, remember that when you fail, you learn. You might learn a new skill that you need to improve, you might learn that you are not a morning person at all and that your best time to work is in the early afternoon. You might also learn that the goal you set for yourself was too difficult, start again and create a new framework this time around.
Where there is a failure, there is always a lesson, keep that in mind.
Make a fear list
Tim Ferriss talks about creating a fear list, a checklist of what you are scared of doing. You also need to write down your thoughts on the outcome, what will happen if you do the thing that scares you. Tim Ferriss believes that this method helped him tackle some of the most difficult challenges.
Focus on the process rather than the end goal
I have read about this method a few times however, it was Atomic Habits by James Clear that motivated me to try it. I don’t use this method all the time but it has been effective in helping me to eliminate my fear of failure.
Focusing on the daily process instead of focusing on a massive goal is easier for your brain to digest. For example, you want to write and publish a book. Your daily process might be to write for an hour each day and that’s it. If you stick to this process, you should eventually finish the book. This method reduces the overwhelm and allows you to break your goal down into bitesize, less intimidating chunks.
Currently, I am doing a 30-day challenge where I need to complete and publish 150 articles in 30 days. My daily process is to write five articles per day, If I fall short of those five articles, I need to make up for it at some point. I am not focusing on the 150 articles, I am focusing on the five articles each day. I know how many days I have left on my calendar to complete the challenge and I know how many articles I have written.
Even if I don’t succeed in publishing 150 articles in that time, I have still improved my writing skills, published more, earned more money, built new connections with other writers and I have also identified what works and what doesn’t work.
Start really small
Utilize the 2-minute rule and set yourself small challenges. Instead of setting yourself a massive goal to write 20,000 words in one day. Set yourself a target of writing for two minutes in the morning. The time will fly by so quickly that you might want to extend the time and if not, you can try again the next day and keep writing for two minutes until you build a consistent habit. Achieving that small goal will boost your confidence and it will slowly decrease that fear of failure over time. The fear might not completely disappear, but you might just feel more inclined to try despite that niggling voice in your head telling you to stop.
We all experience doubts and fears however, if trailblazers like Einstein, the Wright Brothers and Dr Thomas Mensah had listened to those fears, the world would be a very different place. Overcome the fear of failure by focusing on learning a lesson from your failures, creating a fear list to identify the reasons why you are scared, start small and focus on the process. You certainly won’t eliminate your fear overnight, but you can try to implement some of these ideas and start the process of eradicating or reducing your fear of failure for good.
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