did you know that failing is an inevitable part of growth and if we fail enough times, it becomes a part of our success. Knowing this, people still have a huge fear of failure, which often limits them. Why do you think that is? Of course, I have my opinions, but I would be curious to hear yours as well.
I think most people are afraid of failure because they don’t want to experience the negative emotions that come with falling short of whatever expectation is out there that defines success. Who made up the definition of success anyway??)When we fail at something, feelings of shame, embarrassment, and worthlessness arise and are brought out into the light. It’s a total slam against our ego! Who wants that?? For most of us, we want to appear like we’ve got it together, that we know what we’re doing. We want to be admired for our efforts and applauded for our successes. When we fail, not only do we not receive admiration from others, we face judgment and criticism, which compounds the effects on our already bruised ego. With that kind of potential result, many are afraid of trying anything at all.
So, what can we do about that? Surely, we can’t let the fear of failure hold us back from what we were meant to do.
Redefine what failure means. Instead of failure equaling worthlessness or shame, relabel failing as a lesson learned or a hiccup along the path to where you want to go.
Be clear and realistic about your fear. Define what you are afraid of and how failing may impact your life. When we do this, we’ll often find that “failing” isn’t so bad after all. Our fear of it is far more crippling than the actual event of failing.
Give yourself permission to fail. Not one of us is perfect - it’s not possible. So, if we’re not perfect, that means there’s going to be some sort of failure in our lives. Knowing this, we should give ourselves permission to try something, learn from it, and try again.
Accept that failure is part of the process and include failure as part of your plan for success. We all start out as beginners, and as beginners, we tend to suck at whatever we’re doing. It is RIDICULOUS to think we would be an immediate success, with no knowledge and no hard work. Take a baby, for example, learning to walk. How many times does that kid fall down? About a million a day. And as parents, are we telling the baby that they’re a failure at life for falling? NO. Because falling and getting back up to try again is part of the process! And the same goes for any skill we are trying to hone. If we accept that failure is part of the process of learning, then we can make room for it in our minds and in our schedules.
Limit the negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is the worst. If anything could hinder us from success, it’s that. So, let’s choose to focus on how we can learn and grow versus beating ourselves up over something that’s probably pretty insignificant in the giant scheme of things.
What are your thoughts on failure? Are you the one who hates to fail, so you refuse to try? Or are you the one who gives yourself permission to fail and use that failure to learn and grow?
As someone who has extensive experience in failure, I promise you it’s not so bad. :)