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Overcoming Fear of Failure

“The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”

John C Maxwell

Hi motivation seekers, how’s your week been?  I hope you have made some changes and got a bit more time management going after the last few weeks focusing on this.

This week we are looking at fear of failure.  Whenever we get stopped on fulfilling our dreams or reaching our potential, you can pretty much guarantee that fear will be behind it.  Fear of failure in particular is one of the biggest things that stop us.

Where does that come from?  Why are we so fearful of failing?  As always, everything begins with our thoughts.  That is all that fear is – a thought.  It kicks in from our reptile brain and is part of the flight or fight response.  This was developed in the cavemen days when you had to be ready to run away or fight the danger in front of you.  Nowadays, we no longer have to run away from the woolly mammoth, but the danger still seems very real to us, and is just a response to a situation that we perceive may bring us danger.  For example, if we really want to start up a business, but immediately start thinking of all the things that could go wrong:  that we won’t be a success, that we won’t make enough money to live, that we won’t be able to make a go of it.  So what do we do?  If the thoughts and fears are bad enough…..we do NOTHING.  The fear of failing overtakes the drive to do something we really want to do.

What the hell?  Why go through our lives avoiding and being fearful?  It keeps our lives small and makes us feel disappointed in ourselves.  As they say, when you are sitting in the rest home, you want to be remembering all the great experiences, not regretting the things you could have, should have done.

So what to do about the crippling fears that stop us?  Face up to them!  Sorry, I can’t make it any easier than that.  If you are fearful about doing something, the way to overcome it is to face the fear.  Do the thing that scares you. Usually the thing we realise when facing our fears is that they weren’t as scary as we made them out to be.  When we overcome them, we grow in confidence and feel so much better about ourselves along with being more able to take on and face other fears.

Failing is good.  There are lots of stories of hugely successful people who have failed, sometimes over and over.  It’s how we learn.  We have to allow ourselves the ability to do that.  When a baby is learning to walk, they don’t get up and get it right straight away, they have to practise and refine their technique, constantly, over and over….falling down and getting back up.  What do the parents do?  They constantly encourage and praise their efforts.  That’s what we need to do with ourselves.  Accept that we won’t get it right straight off, but just keep trying and acknowledge our ability to do that.  Being kind to ourselves is a great way to give us that encouragement to keep going.

I have a worksheet from the Positive Psychology Program that you might like to try to help you overcome the things stopping you.  Click here if you want me to send you a copy to try.

Have a brilliant week, not being stopped, facing your fears and doing the stuff you are being called to do.