One of the biggest deterrents to stepping up and changing our lives is the fear of failure. So many times that we sit around and do nothing is that we are afraid of the unknown and the potential to fall flat on our faces.
We justify our lack of action by saying things like:
- What if I realize I can't do it?
- What if it isn't what I want after all?
- What will people think of me if I fail?
Why We Are Afraid of Failure
Most of the time, we are afraid of failure because we fear the feelings that are associated with not getting the outcomes we desire in life. We don't want to feel disappointed in ourselves, and we don't want to let other people down. We don't want to feel incapable or incompetent. We don't want to be embarrassed. And we definitely don't want to feel as if we have wasted our precious time pursuing something that ultimately didn't work out.
That makes sense. After all, nothing on that list feels good.
Why We Should Welcome Failure
When we want something in life that is worthwhile, there is every likelihood that the journey will be an uphill battle. Everything worthwhile in life contains struggles and obstacles.
Think about something in your life that you are most proud of. The chances are that accomplishing that thing in your life took a lot of work. You may have had to overcome a lot to get there. But once you accomplished your goal, you ultimately feel a higher sense of accomplishment due to those obstacles and set backs.
In fact, if you don't experience failure or setbacks ... your goal probably wasn't challenging enough to begin with.
Personal development and self growth rarely come easy. If you want to change your life, you should welcome failure and embrace it as part of your journey.
If you do nothing, you fail automatically.
How to Overcome the Fear of Failure
The fear of failure is natural, and it is something that we completely control within our minds. It is okay to feel the fear, but it is not okay to let it hold us back in our life. Here are some strategies you can try to overcome that fear and accomplish something incredible.
- Consider the cost of what you are missing. What are you losing by avoiding taking a chance? What missed opportunity would there be if you choose to do nothing?
- What is the worst case scenario? Many times we see things in a warped perspective. So, ask yourself - and answer honestly - what is the worst thing that will happen if you fail? The answer is likely not as scary as you originally thought.
- Understand failure's hidden opportunity. The lessons you learn through failure are some of the best lessons you'll ever learn in life.
- Take action. Sometimes fear can paralyze us if we let it. But if you can find one tiny action and take the first step, you will build momentum and make progress.
"Success is not built on success. It is built on failure. It is built on frustration. Sometimes it is built on catastrophe." - Sumner Redstone