8 Steps to Conquer the Fear of Failure
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
It's almost impossible to go through life without experiencing some kind of failure. People who do so probably live so cautiously that they go nowhere. Put simply, they're not really living at all.
Humans were designed to adapt. Designed to overcome obstacles. Avoiding discomfort is a self-inflicted death sentence. When you live your life contemplating, speculating, and working diligently to avoid pain, you rob yourself of the chance to grow.
Failure is not only an inevitability, but it is also a crucial component to reaching your fullest potential.
Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try it at all? Or has a fear of failure meant that, subconsciously, you undermined your own efforts to avoid the possibility of a larger failure?
Many of us have probably experienced this at one time or another. The fear of failing can be immobilizing – it can cause us to do nothing, and therefore resist moving forward. But when we allow fear to stop our forward progress in life, we're likely to miss some great opportunities along the way.
Fear should be your indicator that something is significant enough to be worth pursuing. Instead of letting it hold you back, use it as a guide for where you need to be headed in life.
I think that to get over the fear of failure there are a couple of things you need to understand about failure. Then there are a couple of steps you can implement to help you get over it.
So firstly I believe there are 3 things you need to know about failure:
1. Failure is inevitable
2. Failure is Temporary
3. The more you fail the more you succeed
I recently read the book Atomic Habits (which I highly recommend) and it talks about a study for photography students. The students were split into 2 groups. Group A had to take as many photos as possible. Group B had to find the perfect shot. Group A came up with the best shot in the end for a couple of reasons. By taking more pictures they became better at using the camera. They took that many photos that the probability of one of them being good was much higher. Group B spent so much time trying to set up the perfect shot that they got nowhere near group A.
Now you understand failure here are some steps you can take to conquer the fear of it:
1. Identify the Root Cause
Where does your fear of failure come from? When I sat down and thought about this for myself mine comes down to caring what people think of me. I don’t want to fail because I don’t want people to think I’m a failure. But its important not to confuse a single failure with complete defeat.
2. Simply the problem
Complexity is hard to visualize. If you try, you end up feeling overwhelmed. Everything may begin to feel hopeless and not worth doing, because you just don’t know how, or where, to start.
Break your task down into smaller more manageable tasks that you can tick off successfully and are less likely to fail at all of them.
3. Change your perspective
Who taught you that failure was a bad thing? It feels bad so therefore it must be bad?
Its easier said than done to make a change in perspective but we can all start somewhere.
Look at each failure as a blessing in disguise. It is not through our successes that we become wise, but through our failures.
4. Befriend fear
The sooner you befriend your fear, the faster you can move forward. It is not fear that stops you from going after your dreams, but what you decide to do because of those fears.
5. Visualise your success
When you’ve already envisioned the scenario, the real thing will feel familiar and much more feasible. It will be as if you’ve done it before because inside your brain, you have.
6. Follow your passion
When you decide to follow your passion, you are more likely to blast through your fears because that intrinsic motivation will drive you to success.
7. Take action
While most people wait for the perfect moment, you will be out there learning, doing, and growing. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and towards success.
8. Fail forward
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn from it and try again. You will learn faster by failing than you will by succeeding
I hope this helps- FAIL FORWARD