How to overcome fear, and more specifically, the fear of failure.
I’ve dealt with this A LOT in my life, being the perfectionist that I am, and I’m still dealing with it. It’s a constant battle, but it is possible to overcome this fear.
I’ve listed a 8 different ways that I’m learning to deal with it, as well as things that I’ve learned along the way in my own journey.
I feel like there is SO much I can write about this topic, so I may break it into several different posts, but let’s start with some basics, shall we?
1. KNOW IT’S NORMAL
It’s human nature to be afraid of failure. Rejection sucks! No one likes rejection, and most people, to some degree, care about how other people view them – the trick is to do it anyway. No one who has become immensely successful got there because they were scared. They got there because they were scared, but persevered anyway.
2. HAVE A CLEAR GOAL
What is your ultimate goal? How vivid is it in your mind? You need to have a clear enough goal set in your mind that there will be nothing deterring you from reaching it. The thing that would hold me back from achieving what I wanted to do was always that my goal wasn’t clear ENOUGH.
3. VISUALIZE THE OBSTACLES
Sounds weird, right? To visualize the hardships that are going to come into your path along the way can seem counter-intuitive. Bear with me.
A 2011 study done by NYU showed that people with only positive thoughts about their future actually resulted in a decrease in their achievement! Positive thinking goes a long way, but it’s not enough. The study showed that those with only positive thoughts about their idealized future oftentimes forget the obstacles, pain and effort that are associated with obtaining that goal. The study also showed the inverse correlation between these idealized fantasies and their outcome, meaning that the more positive the fantasies that were experienced, the less effort people spent in investing in that fantasy, therefore the lower their success at achieving them. Interesting huh!?
Visualize yourself hitting an obstacle and conquering it. Knowing how you’re going to respond to negative situations or hardships makes it just that much easier to achieve your goals when those do come into your path (because they inevitably will at some point).
4. REALIZE WHAT FAILURE ACTUALLY MEANS
When you really think about it, failure truly isn’t a real thing. To truly fail at something would be to not try it at all, because what you don’t pursue, you can never have. If you don’t follow your dreams, you’ll surely never have them. This was the biggest thing that I had to get out of my head. Realizing that if you try and “fail”, you keep trying until you don’t, but the only REAL failure is in giving up, because then you truly never reach that goal. Sounds cheesy, but really think about it!
5. SPEAK POSITIVELY
Have you ever had a moment where you worry about something bad happening and then it happens!? I know I have…way more times than I care to admit. Your words speak things into existence. If you say “ugh I can’t do it”, or “I will never be successful”, you speak that into existence. Instead of saying things that you can’t do, focus on the things that you CAN do, and the things that are going well. Don’t focus on what you don’t want to happen, but on what you DO want to happen. So instead of saying something like “ugh I hope this client doesn’t sign with another firm”, say something like “let’s go get this client to sign with us!”
6. LEARN SOMETHING
When you don’t win, you LEARN. Take every “failure” as a learning opportunity to grow. You are familiar with the famous Einstein quote, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work,” when he was attempting to invent the light-bulb. Now you know what won’t work, so keep trying something new until you find a way that DOES work.
7. BELIEVE IN YOU
You just have to believe in yourself. You have to BELIEVE that you will get there. You can “hope” that you make it, and “wish” that you make it, but until you truly believe that you will make it, you won’t be successful. Why should anyone else believe in you, if you don’t believe in you? Love yourself enough to know that you have what it takes to make it.
8. GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
You are the only person holding you back. I’ve done this type of self-sabotage for YEARS, and have finally decided to step out of my own way. The excuses that you make in your head for why you can’t achieve your goals are just barriers. Once you let those go, you can have whatever you want in life.
9. NEVER EVER (EVER) GIVE UP
You’ve heard the quote, “you just can’t beat someone who never gives up”. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. There will be hills just as there will be valleys in the journey. Every hill makes you stronger, and every valley helps you appreciate the hills. You WILL get there if you just never give up.
These are just the basics that you need to know for now, but I LOVE this topic because it really hits SO close to home for me. So I will be sure to include much more posts on more detailed topics such as dealing with challenges, building self-confidence, learning to not care about what others think, and so on.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK, AND REMEMBER, YOU CAN DO IT!
Stay tuned for more next #MotivationMonday!