Often the fear of failure is strong enough to prevent you from trying new things. I used to be an approval seeker and the fear of others’ ridicule and disapproval used to paralyze me. It can still sneak up on me, if I don’t keep an eye out for it.
Failure is a concept. It is often someone else’s idea of how something should be done.
If you fail according to your own standards, when you do something, be careful not to equate it to failing as a person. Consciously separate the failed task from your self-worth as a person and learn how to do it better next time.
Equating your self-value to failure or success will drive you nuts, and stop you from achieving anything.
Fear inducing thoughts paralyze you, causes you to procrastinate, or makes you stick your head in the sand like an ostrich, hoping that if you ignore it, it might go away.
Some of these thoughts are:
- Other people know better
- I have to be someone else
- I have no control over my life
- What if I look stupid
- I failed once before and it was too much
The way forward
While there is no quick solution to overcoming your fears caused by your internal dialogue there are some steps that you can take to help you master it.
Ask yourself : what are you fearing the most which is causing you to hold back or _________ (fill in the blank).
Follow this up by writing down a list of actions can you take to act in spite of your fear. Inaction is a perfect breeding ground for fear.
Decide which action to take first and go for it.
Consider these 3 points which you might find useful to get started.
#1 Trust that you are enough
Are you held hostage by your past? Because you failed at something once, do you carry that chip on your shoulder for the rest of your life and allow it to color you perceptions? Continuously remind yourself that you are enough. Grab a piece of paper and write down all the things which you have achieved in your past to help you remember that you are great.
#2 Close your eyes and jump
Don’t wait for the signs to appear. Take a breath and take the leap. Confession: for a very long time in my life I “waited for the signs”, until I realized that it is only an excuse to continue to play small, because as long as there are no signs, there is no need to risk doing something different or new.
#3 You just need one small step to start
You don’t have to change the world yet (that comes later). You just need to take one step towards you goal to get started.
Are you waiting for a sign?
What is it that you are putting on hold until the time is right and the stars are lined up (or whatever you sign of choice is?)
I say, screw the sign…what if you decide for yourself? What if you stop playing small and start showing up in your life – playing by your rules?
I know it is really hard and sometimes scary to put yourself out there. And I can promise you that doing it is a riveting, exhilarating mind-blowing powerful way of being.
So here is an action for you to take. Tell me in the comments below what you have been holding back on out of fear and what action you are now going to take.