How many times has the fear of failure or the unknown stopped you from achieving something in your personal life or at work? How frustrated did you feel?
Have you ever wondered why it happened and what you can do to stop it happening again?
Well, none of us were born with a fear of failure. More often than not it develops as a result of a bad life experience such as a speech or presentation that went wrong, or even because of unsupportive or critical parents.
The memory of a bad experience often stays with us. It becomes all we can think of and we end up believing that the same thing is bound to happen again.
When the fear of failure or the unknown takes hold, it can affect us in all sorts of ways.
It can stop us from trying new things or perhaps from working on a new or more challenging project just because we think we’ll fail.
Procrastination is also quite common and such self-sabotage can stop us from achieving goals we’re perfectly capable of achieving.
It can also turn us into perfectionists and the pursuit of perfection can be both exhausting and never-ending!
Ultimately, if we fear failure or the unknown, not only can we miss out on new opportunities and experiences, but we can also miss out on the joy we feel when we learn new skills or overcome a challenge.
While no-one wants to fail, failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can provide us with valuable feedback that could help us to learn and improve. Thomas Edison came up with thousands of prototypes before inventing the lightbulb, for instance, and the author JK Rowling was turned down countless times before she found a publisher.
So, how can we alleviate our fear of failure or the unknown?
Well, top athletes can teach us a lesson or two!
Many top athletes commonly visualise themselves crossing the finishing line and winning a gold medal. They, too, fear failure but they train themselves to focus on their goals, learn from their mistakes and keep improving their performance.
They also don’t give up! Neither Thomas Edison nor JK Rowling gave up and look at the contribution they’ve made to modern society.
Imagine what you could achieve if you set yourself some realistic and compelling goals, focused on them and visualised yourself achieving them.