Fear and Failure
“Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power.” – Oprah Winfrey
Fear of failure can stop you in your tracks, even if you are after something that will bring you joy and excitement. I struggle with this often as I feel most people with perfectionist qualities do. Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. Fear can cause people to miss out on opportunities that allow them to reach their full potential.
This morning I sat will someone talking about redefining some major goals I have in motion and how to get there. Since changing careers several years ago and undertaking a major life transformation, the conversation was interesting.
“You know this stuff”, she said to me. “You teach this stuff, you’ve done this stuff before and that puts you one step ahead of most people.”
So how did I do this stuff before? Time to rewind the clock and put pen to paper. Here’s what I found.
By stopping and not reaching your goal, the path remains unclear. Instead of allowing fear to stop you, see fear as forcing you to think about the path forward. Fear should not be a roadblock. It can be used to clarify the path. Successful people want to reach their goals more than they fear failing. Here are 4 steps to help you embrace your fear of failure and get what you want.
IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WANT
When you are overcome with fear, this is the time to pause. Sometimes, fear can overpower your ability to see your goal clearly. You get lost in the emotion and lose sight of your vision. Reflect on what it is that you want. There is a reason why you are told to focus on a motionless point far off in the horizon when you are nauseated. It helps stabilize the body. Think of fear in a similar way. When you are fearful, focus on your end goal to stabilize yourself. When you can see your goal, you are in a better position to tackle it. Don’t let fear cloud your vision.
REALISE WHAT IS STOPPING YOU FROM REACHING WHAT YOU WANT
Once you regain you footing and clarity on what you want, own up to what is making you fearful. Are you afraid of criticism? Are you afraid of not being able to be yourself? Are you afraid of competition? What makes you afraid? Understanding what is stopping you so you can overcome it. If you don’t see the hurdles, you can’t jump over it. Embrace the barrier to break free from it.
OWN YOUR DISCOMFORT
As in the quote above – fear has the power. Don’t let fear weaken you. Do not feel shame in being fearful. Find strength in your fear. It is the key to unlocking your potential. Your fear is your power. Let’s say you want to be more proactive in something with a team of people, but you fear not everyone will agree with you. Your opinion is what make you, you. Your opinion is your power. Own your opinion. Own your power. Diversity of thought is ultimately what moves conversations and matters forward. Capture the energy that you are putting into being afraid and use it to conquer your fear. Fear can’t hold you down if you don’t let it.
START FEELING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
Yep …. Comfort Zones, Stretch Zones and Panic Zones. To restart your journey towards your goal, take a small step. Dip your toe back in. You might feel very uncomfortable. Now take another small step. Push yourself out into that space. Coaching people through this process is something I do commonly with participants in perceived high risk activities such as abseiling. It’s getting over the edge that is the hard part for most people. If you are not feeling slightly uncomfortable, you might not be putting yourself out there and not moving towards your goal. If you stay comfortable, you stay put. If you feel comfortable, this is when you should be most afraid. It is a clear sign that you are not moving actively towards your goal.
Rethink the risk. Risk is no longer the actions you take but rather the actions you choose not to take. The risk is feeling comfortable. How does feeling comfortable sound now? Being uncomfortable is the new comfortable.
To achieve your goals, see fear as the key to helping you clarify your path forward. Identify your goal, realise what is stopping you from achieving it, feel the discomfort and start getting used to the uncomfortable. Simple concept but often for some they freeze at the first big challenge and walk away. Failure is defined by the ability to allow yourself to walk away. Failure is to not try.
Need assistance is pushing your zones and overcoming your fears, contact Escape And Explore.
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