Being afraid of failure is a problem we all share. And just like any other irrational fear, it exists only in our head, but often prevents us from taking any action and thus we never reach our full potential.
As I’ve mentioned here, there are two types of fear. Rational – that keeps us alive, and irrational – that scares us, but can’t really harm us.
The second one comes in many forms. And one of the most common is fear of failure.
It can make you so insecure about yourself and your abilities, so scared that what you want to try won’t work out, and so discouraged, that you can easily leave behind all your projects and never try anything new.
If it wasn’t for this fear, so many other forms of art would exist, so many more books would be published, ideas executed and goals achieved.
Being afraid to fail is much worse than it sounds. It can paralyze you once you start getting closer to your dreams. It can prevent you from sleeping at night, from living in peace, from having healthy relationships.
And if you don’t handle it on time, you will find yourself stuck in your comfort zone. And as we all know, nothing exciting ever happens there.
How to deal with fear of failure
1. Notice it.
You’re afraid of failing. Accept that. It’s not good, but it’s not bad either because you can overcome it.
2. Accept your mistakes.
It’s crucial to know how to be okay with your past failures. They are what made you the person you are today. And may have been more helpful than you realize.
So learn how to live with all your wrong choices. They are a part of you.
3. Get to know the fear.
Notice when it occurs, how you feel, and what happens in your mind. Become familiar with it.
You need to know something inside out in order to deal with it.
4. Imagine the worst case scenario.
What’s the worst thing that can happen? Try to analyze all the outcomes and see how far you can get.
Exaggerating can help you realize how ridiculous it all is.
If you fear that you might not succeed in something you want to do, then ask yourself what it is that you’re going to lose. Most of the times, it’s nothing. You just go back to the life you lived before having this idea or goal.
And if you get fired? Will that ruin your life? Or can you just find something else until you figure out what to do?
Most things just look scary. And we basically experience the fatal outcome itself in our heads all the time. Which makes us paranoid.
5. Let go.
Once you get to know the phobia, you can just let it be and not get back to it anymore.
You can now be free to live your life, to say ‘yes’ to the things that previously scared you, and to expand your horizons.
The life you’re dreaming of is just on the other side of your comfort zone. It’s waiting for you, and will only be possible if you let go of the fear of failure and move on.
“The phoenix must burn to emerge.”
So what kind of failure are you afraid of? And is it really as possible to happen as you imagine?