I have always considered myself being very ambitious and outspoken. Full of imagination and ability to develop ideas anytime. However, one thing has always made me not achieve my goals and dreams in life: my fear of failure.
I came to the United States in 2016. I was excited had all these dreams, goals, and visions in my mind. But, unfortunately, in my first four years in this country, I couldn’t achieve anything substantial. I tried a lot of things that I ultimately give up. First, it was modeling; then it was acting, then soccer players, artist, Instagram influencer, youtube influencers. As a matter of fact, I started this blog in 2018 then ultimately gave up on it.
After a self-analysis, I realized that I had so much fear of failing that I didn’t want to go the extra mile on something.
I asked myself questions like
- What if, after all this work, I failed
- I don’t make it in the acting career
- What if nobody ever watches my videos on youtube
I always tried to pump up myself with motivation, quotes, books, and all. But that didn’t crisp my fear away. We don’t fear failing because of the unknown, but we lack belief in ourselves most of the time.
David Goggins Said: “living a life avoiding failure does only one thing for you; it never allows you to see what you are truly capable of.”
Together we’ll examine how we can use failure to our advantage instead of letting it run our lives. We’ll also look at how to overcome the fear of failure so that you can enjoy success in your work and life.
If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”. Thomas Edison.
What is fear of failure?
All my life, I thought failing was a bad thing or something to avoid, but I was wrong. If you never failed, that means you never try, if you never try, that means you never reach your potential, and that will lead to living a life full of regret.
We are always afraid to fail because the human mind doesn’t like to face unknown territory or go beyond our comfort zone. So the thing we fear to do most of the time is things that we are scared of or don’t believe could achieve ourselves.
What creates fear of failure?
There are several studies behind what creates or incites the fear of failure in us. Fear of failure will stop you from trying and create self-doubt.
What causes a fear of failure? Here are the main reasons why the fear of failing exists:
Perfectionism is one thing I’m struggling with personally. I can’t stand things that are not done in a perfect way. That gives me a sense that if I am not going to do something perfectly, I better not do it. However, that is not the right approach. As in life, nothing is perfect. There will always be a series of try and fail and retry until we reach what seems perfect. Perfectionism can become the source of fear. And that will make me not get out of my comfort zone.
LOW EXPECTATIONS FOR YOURSELF
Do you often tell others that you’re “not very good” at something or that you don’t expect you’ll be able to succeed? Are you just “trying it out” without putting in your full effort? These are all signs that you have a fear of failure. By setting low expectations for yourself, you’re protecting yourself from criticism – from yourself and others.
Like setting low expectations, procrastinating is a way of protecting yourself from failure. If you find yourself making excuses – whether you don’t have time, energy, or the resources you need to accomplish your goals – it’s a defense mechanism against your fear of failure. If you never get started, you can’t fail.
I have seen people who are so scared to try something new or to pursue a dream because they were label failures by their friends or family member in their household. Maybe that teacher who always calls you stupid in class, or your dad who calls you a mistake, a failure. As a result, you have those thoughts that kept stopping you from trying. But remember that nobody defines who you are. You are more than a conquer, a masterpiece, and you can become and achieve anything that you want.
How To Overcome The Fear of Failure
FACE IT. ACCEPT IT. LEARN FROM IT. GROW FROM IT. MOVE ON
How you define failure is a central component of your belief system. Think of it as one of your biggest internal networks that spreads what you feed it.
If you continue to deem failure as merely not reaching the desired outcome, you limit your perspective and miss opportunities to grow. The message you spread around your psyche leaves out a critical factor — you have learned something new.
LEARN GROM YOUR MISTAKES
Things may not go the way you planned, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ve failed. Learn from whatever arises. Even a less-than-ideal situation can be an excellent opportunity to make changes and grow.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
Dig deep enough, and you’re bound to find the silver lining. When you’ve learned that “failure” is an opportunity for growth instead of a death sentence, you conquer the fear of failure.
Past failures are set up for a more extraordinary comeback.
HAVE A POSITIVE MINDSET
In many cases, you believe what you tell yourself. Your internal dialogue affects how you react and behave.
Our society is obsessed with success, but it’s important to recognize that even the most successful people encounter failure.
Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper because they thought he lacked creativity. He went on to found an animation studio that failed. He never gave up, and now Disney is a household name.
Steve Jobs was also once fired from Apple before returning as the face of the company for many years.
If Disney and Jobs had believed the negative feedback, they wouldn’t have made it.
It’s up to you to notice your negative self-talk and identify triggers. Then, replace negative thoughts with positive facts about yourself and the situation. You’ll create a new mental script that you can reach for when you feel negativity creeping in. The voice inside your head has a great effect on what you do.
COMPETE WITH YOURSELF AND NO ONE ELSE
Don’t compete with others; compete with yourself.
I understood this after eight weeks of disciplined workout, the moment I saw my six-pack for the first time. I don’t say that to brag. What struck me was the progress I had made — I was in uncharted territory. It didn’t matter how I compared to someone else — I made personal progress, and I had beat the old me.
We can all be guilty of comparing ourselves with others, but what’s the point? If you’re not the best you can be, you have work to do. You can’t control other people, but you can control your actions. The real battle is against the current version of you. When you make personal progress, no matter how small, nobody can take that away.
Look to improve yourself before competing with others, and everything will fall into place.
FIND THE LESSON
Successful people don’t just fail and then move on to a new venture completely unchanged. Instead, they allow their failures to act as lessons that they can incorporate into their future goals.
When you learn to find the lesson in every failure, it changes how you see the whole game – whether in life or business. You’re able to change your mindset from one of “I failed” to one of “I cut my losses and learned a valuable lesson.” Finding the lesson allows you to focus on what is in your control and make an action plan. And action is the real key to overcoming fear of failure.
Live Your Life or be Full Of Regret
Do not fear failure, but be terrified of regret. At the end of your life, you won’t regret the things you did; you will regret the things you didn’t do. Do come at the end of your life to ask yourself questions like:
- What if I had followed my dream and passion
- Did I take more risk
- What if I wasn’t afraid to fail
The IF questions are always when we regret or didn’t do what we knew we should pursue. You don’t have to fear failure because failure is the seed to success. So the only thing you should fear in life is regret.
The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. ~ Louis E. Boone
Fear of failure is natural — embrace it, don’t suppress it. We all have insecurities within us — our responsibility is to find the courage to face them head-on.
You have the blueprint, and it’s up to you whether you follow it.
Just remember that no one will do it for you — take ownership and make your luck.
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