Why do We Fear Failure?
NOTE: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice from a certified physician. Please consult your primary care provider for all things health/wellness related.
The fear of failure stems from a fear of rejection and criticism from others. While the fear of failure is scary for all of us, all failure simply means is that you did not succeed this time. However, while some of us fear failure, others embrace it as a learning experience. Being able to view failure in a positive light is essential to leading a happy and successful life.
Understanding why we fear failure is important in overcoming that fear. Once you understand where the fear comes from, you can then begin to move towards conquering your fear and reaching your goals. Fear of failure stems from a fear of rejection and criticism. People tend to worry that people will judge them if they fail and, as a result, that people will think less of them.
Facing Our Fear
The second step in overcoming our fear of failure is to face that fear. In order to do this, we must first accept that failure is an inevitable part of life. We all fail. In fact, everyone in the history of mankind has failed at one point or another. After we accept that we will at some point in our life fail, we must learn how to face this reality. Here are a couple of steps that can help you face your fear of failure. Take Action
Confront and conquer your fears.
Often, our immediate reaction to fear is to become immobilized by it. As a result, we may procrastinate a task that intimidates us, or decide not to go to the work holiday party out of fear of making an embarrassing social blunder. The way to overcome this gut reaction is to face it head on. Do the thing that scares you. If you are afraid of screwing up an assignment, dive into it with everything you have. If you are scared of a social situation, go with the intention of making one new friend. By tackling our fears head on, we reduce the power they have over us, and therefore are able to conquer them.
Embrace Your Mistakes
One of the key traits of successful people is that they do not view failure as a defeat. Rather, they view it as a learning opportunity from which their future success will stem. It is important to stop giving yourself a hard time when you make a mistake. Mistakes are inevitable and can serve as valuable learning experiences. In fact, we as people only really learn through our mistakes. People who embrace their mistakes tend to be more creative and achieve success at a higher rate than those who do not.
Putting Fear Behind You
Once you have faced the fear of failure it is possible to overcome it. In order to do this, it is important not to take failure personally. Failing at something does not reflect on you directly as a person. Rather, failure stems from outcomes that resulted from inputs and actions. By changing these actions and inputs, you will be able to change the outcome. Below are a few ways you can overcome your fear of failure.
It is NOT Failure, it Is Feedback
It is important to remember that failure is actually just one step of the learning process. it is how we know what doesn’t work and what we need to do differently next time. Failure does not mean we are flawed, undeserving, incompetent, or at the end of the process. It just means that we need to adjust our approach and actions.
We can overcome our fear of failing the next time, by using the lessons we learned by our failures, and using them to obtain different results the next time.
Don’t Give Up
Another way to overcome your fear of failure is to adopt a never surrender attitude toward life. Successful people never give up, especially in the face of failure. They just do not accept failure as an option. Instead of giving up, they try a different approach, method, or strategy. By simply refusing to give up, you can ensure that you are constantly moving in the direction of your goals.
Look for Opportunities
With every failure comes opportunity. Look for the opportunity in you failure. Whether it is an opportunity to learn something new, take a new approach, or make a fresh start, by focusing on the opportunity you will be able to overcome your fear of failure in the future.
Change Your Approach
If you know something you have done in the past did not work, change your approach. For example, if you were up for a promotion at work and did not receive it, ask yourself “what did I do last time and how can I do it differently this time?” Often, by changing our approach to a certain situation, we can completely change the outcome.
Ask For Help
Often we are too close to the situation to be able to view the solutions to our problems. By asking for help, we are inviting others to show us the way to our own success.
Failure is a part of life. It is a thing that makes or breaks most people. In summation, the fear of failure can define you and your life story. Do not allow it.
Recognizing what and where you need to change and grow is all in line with “The Total Self”. It is also an integral part of the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.