Some people fear snakes. Some detest spiders. Some are wary of heights, while some shiver in fear in cramped spaces. But if there’s one thing that has become a common fear for a lot of people, it’s the fear of failure.
And that’s completely understandable. After all, even the humblest of people would sometimes feel a tinge of regret or sadness when their ego is hit – and that’s exactly what failure targets.
So how do you get over the fear of failure?
Revisit your goals.
Are you thinking of loosing 50 pounds in the next 6 months? Instead of setting that as your goal, try a different approach. Try going for a goal that says “learning and applying at least three new strategies to burning fat by the end of 6 months”
Remember, you can still set your weight target to 50 pounds but because your goal covers something that you alone can control, the possibility of fulfilling it is also higher.
Another example would be instead of creating a goal that includes a sales target for 50,000 in the next quarter try setting a goal like, “learning and applying at least three new sales tactics by the end of the quarter.”
Again you can still set a sales target for 50,000 but you can control the goal that involves the learning and application journey much better.
Think about every possible obstacle.
Yes, positive thinking can definitely get you places. But sometimes, overdoing it can also get you in trouble, especially when it comes to fulfilling your goals. Failure becomes more probable when you take on a “Nothing bad is going to happen” mindset.
Instead of becoming overly positive, be overly ready for what might come. Think about possible hindrances and stumbling blocks the moment you set your goals. Find ways to address each of them before you even start working towards the goal.
This way, you would always have a few tricks up your sleeve no matter what obstacle jumps in the middle of your path, and you can cheat failure each time it tries to push you off-track.
Separate your personal issues from the facts.
Failure becomes more threatening when you keep thinking about personal issues like your spouse leaving you, your dad telling you that you were never any good, or your teachers giving up on you because they feel you’re stupid.
Although trying to prove them all wrong can seem to be great pieces of motivation, this can make failure even more terrifying than they really are.
So if you loose 20lbs instead of 50lbs or generate $20,000 in sales instead of the $50,000 that you were aiming for, stop thinking that this happened because of the lack of support on your family’s part. Stop thinking that your dad was right, that you are no good. Instead, stick to the facts. Why didn’t you loose the 50lbs or maybe generate the amount of sales you wanted?
Could it be that too many carbs are still in your diet? Could it be because of the overhead costs that has eaten up most of the profit? The moment you focus on the facts instead of your issues, you are also able to address the problem more effectively, allowing you to continue on your way and eventually find ways to reach your goals despite the initial failure.
Think about why you failed.
So you failed. Will wallowing in depression and self-loathing make things better? I don’t think so. The moment you experience failure, get going and take action. What action triggered the events that led to failure?
When you assess the failure in this light instead of wallowing in self-pity, you also allow yourself to take this as a learning experience. Because of this, the next thing you work on will not be a journey where the fear of failure dominates.
Instead, your next endeavor could be a process of being excited for the new discoveries and looking forward to better outcomes and greater success.
Let failure work for you.
Failure is not something you can escape. Instead of being fearful and keeping yourself from acknowledging that life involves failure, admit to yourself that it is a part of life’s journey.
By acknowledging this it also allows you to be more prepared for whatever is going to happen. After all, how can you prepare for something that you are not aware could potentially happen?
The next time you feel that fear is starting to creep in, breathe. Put things into the right perspective. Don’t deny the presence of failure as a reality and don’t wallow in the fear of it either. Find actionable solutions and start working on them right away. Allow failure to move you forward into success and the dreams you aspire to experience in life.
Yes that’s right, fail forward and grab valuable lessons along the way.