Fear of Failure
I know the overall foundation of the work I talk about and live by rests on the idea of change and although I think it is something we all encounter it’s not always something that we are excited for or free to accept as a part of the journey to move forward. Honestly speaking change is scary. It’s cause to break out of our normal routine and requires risk. Something a lot of us aren’t willing to give into. But how do we expect things to ever be different if we aren’t willing to take some risks and ultimately create change. I mentioned in previous post that the same actions only produce the same results. If we are looking to make changes in our lives we have to be willing to do different things. Things that will be scary and cause a certain level of uncertainty and un-comfortability. So how do we get comfortable in the uncomfortable?
First I think it is important to identify just what it is that scares us the most?
Is it that we are truly incapable of fulfilling or doing something due to a lack of required skills, information, experience, etc.
or, like myself,
is it the idea of failure that paralyzes you from moving forward?
Failure is simply defined as the lack of success. How is it possible that a word so simple can hold so much power? We are often so afraid to fail in life that we are virtually afraid to live. Sure we’re making our way through each day. We figure we’re breathing, experiencing, engaging with others and that’s what life’s all about, right? Well what if I told you there was so much more to it than that.
If you think about it, we inhabit nearly everything we need to get and do what we want in life, it’s just up to us to apply ourselves to get it.
I can’t count the number of mistakes I have made over time. Trying things that don’t work out, creating something that doesn’t quite fit the bill, etc…. In fact I think it’s pretty truthful to say as an adult that I very rarely get it right on the first try, but if I were to fall victim and let that stop me every time it happened I definitely wouldn’t be where I am in life today. In the beginning it used to be something that plagued me. Growing up, virtually everything came easy. I was consistently on the honor roll, enrolled in advanced combination classes, graduated from high school early, excelled at sports, etc. You name it I was pretty good at it so the fear of taking risks were minimal. However fast forward to life now, and it’s a bit of a different story. All of a sudden it seems like everyone is just as good causing me to work harder and really challenge myself, and not to mention the added responsibilities adulthood entails. At the end of the day I’m still just as successful as I was before but the process has changed. And for the better.
There is a quote I came across a few months back that reads “If you are not making mistakes then you are not making decisions.” – Catherine Cook
It’s now something that has become one of the first things I read and repeat to myself in the morning. Hanging on my refrigerator door as to not be avoided. A friendly reminder that in order to really move forward and make progress I have to be willing to try new things, make decisions in life that are difficult and uncomfortable, and that making a mistake along the way is not only inevitable but it is OK. Everything you do, whether you are successful at it or not, produces an opportunity for you to learn something and grow. When you take this opportunity and challenge it square in the face it’s guaranteed that you can only come out on the other side stronger and better for it.
Therefore, this week I challenge you to acknowledge and celebrate your mishaps. I know that sounds a bit weird but I highly encourage you try it. Figure out a way to let go of the negative feelings that naturally appear when something goes wrong and look for the good in the situation. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, consciously shift your energy to focus on what went right. Perhaps the small slip or oversight today saved you from a much larger setback in the future and when you look at it that way your actions of today become a win. Take a page in your journal at the end of each day this week to reflect on certain lackluster situations and start to build new strategy around how you can find success in your next go around based on the positives you came up with. There are many examples of how this exercise can take shape and I encourage you to make it your own based on the experiences you encounter. Watch how creating this shift within your mindset changes your overall energy, increases productivity and challenges you to try more. Suddenly your fear of failure starts to lose its power within your life because you’ve stopped feeding it.
Crazy to think that it really can be that easy.
So get to work and see for yourself. I dare you.
I truly believe that when we start seeing the positives in all we do, good and bad, only then do we open ourselves up to all the great opportunities life has to offer.