The Secrets to Combating the Fear of Failure
The dread of failure could be weighing you down.
Luckily, there are ways to drive the fear away and adopt a more useful viewpoint.
Fear can be a very purposeful emotion in some situations. However, irrational fear of failure is often more detrimental than useful. Instead of keeping you safe from harm, the feeling might be slowing down your progress and undermining your efforts. The good news is, there are several things you can do about it. Combating the fear of failure depends on your attitude and overcoming it is possible with the right mindset.
Tip #1. Give a Positive Connotation to Failure
It’s difficult to stop associating failure with a negative outcome. The very terms seem to have the same meaning. Yet, failing at a task essentially means only one thing – trying again. Train yourself to view failure in a more positive light. It’s a learning opportunity, a way to build mental resilience, and a test of your determination. When you fail, consider it a valuable source of new information.
Think about what to do differently the next time. Observe your reaction to failure and the time it takes to recuperate and get back to the task at hand, concentrating on aspects that could be improved. This way of thinking about failure isn’t just a distraction from fear. It’s the most productive and realistic attitude towards the subject.
Tip #2. Make Failure a Part of Your Plans
There’s a simple truth about failure that many people tend not to think about – failure is inevitable. It will happen to you at some point, and that’s something to be expected. In fact, most of us are aware of this, even if only on the subconscious level. When considering the future, people will rarely include failure in their plans. This makes the possibility unexpected and shocking, so the fear of failure becomes entangled with a more primal feeling, fear of the unknown.
You can take much of the edge off of this emotion if you remove the unknown from the equation. Considering how you could fail and what will happen as a result will both make you more prepared and help diminish the fear.
Tip #3. Re-Evaluate Your Goals
Huge goals and unrealistic expectations are the ideal breeding ground for developing a fear of failure. Burdening yourself with obligations that are very hard or even impossible to manage will make it more likely to fail.
However, you don’t need to relinquish your ambitions or stop expecting success. Rather, break your overarching goal into smaller ones. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a chance for easy wins, and every failure you experience will have a lesser negative impact if it happens during one of these small steps. This approach has an additional benefit of making you grow accustomed to both success and failure, as you’ll have more opportunities for either.
Turn Failure Into a Chance for Success
While it could take some time and mental discipline to embrace failure and drive the fear away, the benefits will be immense once you achieve that. Learn to disregard the negative and turn failure into a useful tool and you’ll start to experience progress every step of the way.