Okay so I know by now you’ve probably seen this title and thought “why on earth would I want to read about fear of failure? -*scrolls*” But please just hear me out for a sec! Because I guarantee you by the end of this you’re gonna change your entire perspective on how you’ve been viewing failure all these years and learn how to start using it to your benefit.
You see, I’ve come to realize that failing is inevitable, and as awful as that may sound, it’s actually not as bad as we think it is. The issue is whenever we have a setback, we’re so used to playing the sympathy card of drowning in our sorrows and being the victim, that we forget to take responsibility for where we went wrong. We tend to blame our failures on the rest of the world because its easier than admitting to ourselves that it was in fact our fault. This isn’t to say that everything bad that happens to you is your doing, but the reality is that we are the common denominator in the failures we experience.
The thing is as we’ve grown up, society, the media, school, our parents and many other influences around us, have all managed to convince us that failure is a ‘bad’ thing. Therefore, as we mature over the years, we tend to avoid fear at all costs, not realizing that what we avoid is actually what we fear. This fear of failure is what stops you from achieving success. We fear failure without realizing that it’s what pushes us to learn and grow from our mistakes. Fear of failure will only keep you complacent which is why getting comfortable with failure, instead of fearing it is so necessary.
1. Personal Growth In Failure
You have to understand that just because you’ve failed at something does not mean it’s the end. In fact, it’s only the beginning of getting one step closer to what you really want. Failure helps you to recognize where you went wrong in the past so that you can do better to avoid those mistakes in the future.
The most successful people out there know this only all too well. I love looking at the lives of famous athletes, the amount of hours they put into their craft as well as the amount of times they’ve failed before they could even perfect it. Any successful person will tell you that they did not get to where they are today without failing a good few times first. In fact, they’d probably tell you that still fail each day, the only difference is that they choose to fail forward. Failure is what helps you to master your craft, not success. It teaches you to know the ins and outs of where, why and how things could go wrong, what to do, what not to do, what to avoid and so on. You will learn so much more from failure than you ever will with success.
2. Everything Is Rigged In Your Favour
Everything starts with you, the choices that you’re choosing to make and the way you choose to see things. Once you understand this, you will be able to take more responsibility for your life and gain more control over it. In saying that, you have to change the narrative in your mind from failure is happening ‘to me,’ to failure is happening ‘for’ me. This is how you start getting comfortable with failure and stop fearing it.
When you shift your perspective from failure being a negative thing, to something that actually benefits you and your personal growth, you’ll start failing forward. This is how you not only get to the top, but stay at the top and become unshakable. You have to understand that if you do not fail from time to time, you will not attain the knowledge you need in order to grow and become the best that you can be at whatever it is you do. This goes for every area of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.
3. Procrastination, Perfectionism and Excuses
Fear of failure can be so crippling sometimes that we unconsciously talk ourselves out of taking action towards our goals. We make excuses for not starting, procrastinate doing the things that can push us forward in life, or even use ‘waiting for the perfect moment’ to hold us back from just going for the things we want. This fear of failure is what cripples us into being stuck and complacent in life.
Crazy isn’t it? We look at someone doing a job we know we could do ten times better, yet we talk ourselves out of it because at surface level we believe we’re not “qualified” or “good enough.” We’re so afraid of getting into another relationship with someone new, who clearly has their shit together this time, yet we sabotage ourselves because we’re too afraid that its gonna “hurt us” like the last.
Your fear of failure will keep you stuck in a rut for as long as you choose to listen to the scary stories it keeps telling you. If you’re always gonna be afraid to fail at something, you’re always gonna stay stuck. Remember, change requires change. If you want different, you’re gonna have to start acting different, like actually going for it and putting yourself out there.
4. Failing Forward and Starting Over
Have you ever thought, what’s one more failure? What’s one more heartbreak until I get to the right one? One more try until I perfect that painting? Or just one more time going broke before I make a lot at my new business?
You see, what we forget to realize is that through these failure, we receive lessons, and these lessons make us more and more equipped. So what if you’ve been in six serious relationships and failed at them all? Try again! If anything now you’ve got more experience to notice red flags, who to not date, how much to invest or how much not to. Messed up college and scared to go back? Go back! Do it over! Now you know what you should and should not be doing in order to get where you need to go and get there quicker than before.
Sometimes we’re so tired from all the experiences we’ve had, all the lessons we’ve learnt and so on, that when an opportunity for what we want actually comes our way, we talk ourselves out of it because we’re too afraid to fail just one more time. That last try could be your biggest break or would’ve lead you to your soulmate and you wouldn’t even know because you were to afraid to fail.
You have to always remember that failure is not a bad thing. Yes, it feels bad, and isn’t always the prettiest thing to go through but it’s necessary. As an entrepreneur, I can tell you now, that I’ve had to go through experiences where I tried something, failed at it, only for that experience to lead me to trying a different or new method that actually works and gets me the results I want. Not only did my failures teach me that, but it also taught me how to sustain things, and constantly achieve grow on higher levels.
My experience as an entrepreneur has taught me that if I had to lose everything today, I can make it all back in a matter of days, guaranteed. Succeeding all the time and having things handed to you does not teach you how to do this. It does not show you your true power, capabilities and potential. Failure does.
6. Getting Comfortable with Failure
Failure is what pushes you to the edge, it’s what makes you uncomfortable and puts you in dark places so you have no choice but to rely on yourself to get out of there. This sounds scary right? Well here’s the thing though, it builds your character and only makes you stronger if you allow it to, if you get comfortable with it. It makes you self-reliant and not needing to depend on anyone or anything later on in life but yourself. When you choose to embrace failure, and I’m not saying you have to love it, no one loves the feeling of failing. But when you choose to embrace the lessons it brings you, study where you went wrong, find ways to fix it, know how to do better next time around and make better decisions, that is when you grow, and that is when you attain success.
7. Stop Trying To Run Away From Failure
The truth is that you can not expect to be great at anything, be it work, relationships, etc. without learning how to always accept defeat from time to time. Again, failure isn’t as bad as you think it is! Get this out of your head. If you fail at a job the first time, and fall flat on your face, then get back up and try again! If you fail at it the second time, well, congrats, now you’ve probably learnt something new and you’ve fail forward, and it probably wasn’t as bad you thought it was. Keep pushing until you get it right! Failing at something is not the end all and be all of your life. It is a personal growth journey that is meant for your benefit.
8. Choose Your Perspective
You literally have so much of power in your little body, enough to choose how you view the world. My suggestion to you is that if you wanna live a happier life, then choose to see the world through a better perspective. I mean do you want to be miserable with wrinkles at the age of 37? Choose clear skin my friends – choose happiness and change your perspective.
Next time you fail, remind yourself that you’re now one step closer to what you want. In fact, even when you get what you want you’re probably still gonna fail a little at it here and there, and that’s completely okay. Let go of the expectations that you love life, career, family, job, etc. has to always be perfect. That’s not what life is. Life is not perfect and that’s what makes it beautiful and unique. Just like the people we love. We don’t love people because they’re perfect, we love them because we accept them, flaws and all. So if you can show that much love to a bunch of walking meat sacks, start showing it yourself too!
9. Personal Development and Growth Mindset
To be honest, the world can be a pretty shitty place, but there are also loads of beautiful things in it. The only way you’re gonna attract more of the pretty stuff is if you align yourself with it. I know how hard it can be when there are tons of people who make you question even trying again sometimes, but please – be selfish, and try again until you get what it is you want.
Don’t just try blindly. If you do fail, always take a step back, acknowledge that shit, let it burn and hurt, cry it out, get over it, learn from it, how to go about it, avoid it and do better next time, and notice where you went wrong too. This is why personal development is so important, and being prepared to always work on yourself. When something goes right in your life, you are the common denominator there. As is, when things go wrong too. You’re doing yourself a disservice when you give into a victim mindset and paint everyone else as the bad guy for your circumstances. So choose to take responsibility for your choices and life.
10. Unlearning, Reconditioning and Relearning
The one way I can guarantee that you can rewire this fear of failure mentality is by reconditioning your subconscious limiting beliefs. I talk a whole lot about how you can do this in my Master Your Mindset Course, if you’re interested in reading more in depth about this.
In order to recondition all these years of conditioned thinking to believe that failure is a bad thing, you need to acknowledge your current beliefs, and that they are not serving you in anyway. Therefore its time to let go of them. Once you’ve acknowledge that these beliefs, do not serve you and have let go, you need, to recondition yourself. By learning everything we’ve spoke about in this post, and understanding why you should not fear failure, and instead embrace that beautiful beast, that is how you recondition your mindset. The relearning process of it all comes through repetition. It comes through forcing yourself to do the scary shit and make sure you get it done by putting yourself out there. That is how you relearn. That’s how you grow and become fearless.
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Alana – Mae