Friday, October 11, 2013

How To Overcome Your Fear of Failure

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? Would you talk to that special someone who you've admired from a distance? Would you apply for that job with a substantial pay increase? Would you invite a potential customer to see your business presentation? Would you audition for that competitive part in a movie or play? Would you take that first class in pursuit of a college degree? Would you travel around the world and check off those bucket list items? What would YOU do?

As you review that list of things that you want, let me ask the question, "What's holding you back?" Why aren't you doing it now? Is it the fear of failure? Is is the fear of criticism? Maybe it's the fear of rejection? Why haven't you embraced your destiny of greatness?

In this article, I would like to look at the fear of failure and then provide some tips to overcome them.

Fear of Failure: The Symptoms


Self-Sabotage


I personally know a little something about self-sabotage. In fact, many that know me also know that I can procrastinate like a champion. I'll put off toward tomorrow what I can easily do today. All the while, I know that given enough time I can do some pretty amazing things. So can YOU!

Not only does self-sabotage include delaying action, but it also includes the failure to follow through on important tasks, projects, and goals.

Perfectionism:


Along with procrastination comes the excuse of being a perfectionist. This is when one will only attempt those things that are a sure thing. If I cannot lose, then maybe I'll do it. However, add some competition, hard work, and a slim chance to the equation and these people never even try. 

Low-self esteem: 


The lack of confidence is a huge factor why many fear failure. In fact, I know people who often put themselves down through their words. Have you ever heard someone say, "Oh, I can't do that, I'm not strong enough!" You can switch the word strong with smart, pretty, or talented and the message is still the same. 

Overcoming the Fear of Failure


Take Action


The best way to overcome your fears is by facing them head on. As a kid, I was deathly afraid of speaking in front of people. When given the chance, I would purposely sign up for speaking engagements in order to force myself in front of the very things I feared most. What I found is that the more I did it, the less afraid I became. Remember, take immediate and intentional action. Face what you fear most. Do it NOW!

Attack It From A Different Perspective


When faced with fear that stops you in your tracks or continues to result in delayed success, consider trying a different route. In my life, when doors keep getting slammed in my face, I start looking for windows. There are many paths to achieve success, find yours.

Learn From Failures


In life, we all are going to fail from time to time. Instead of allowing our failures to define us, let's use them to get better. Take a moment to think about the last time you attempted to achieve something and missed the mark. What happened? What could you have done differently? Take the opportunity to adjust your sails and try again.

Fail Faster 


If we take the opportunity to learn from our failures, than we put ourselves in position to win by failing enough times that we find the right combination. So, if you knew that after failing enough times you would achieve your hearts desire, how fast would you fail to find the success? 

In sales, for example, I've heard that a "Yes" is just on the other side of enough "No's." Those no's can come in the form of rejection, criticism, or just a good old error on our part. Whatever the case, face your fears and fail faster.

Think Positively 


The mind is a powerful thing. I've heard all through life that we become like that which we think about most of the time. This means if we think negatively, than we get negative results. On the contrary, if we think positively, than we often get positive results. Why? Because the law of attraction says that like attracts like

To put it another way, you attract into your life that which you are. Positive, negative, good, bad, rich, poor, generous, or a scrooge, we all attract those people and things that are like us. So, if you want to overcome your fear of failure, you have to start by looking at the brighter side of life. 

Closing Thought


Whatever the reason for your fear, you can overcome it. That is if you really want to change your life. Please know that YOU were destined for greatness. You can either allow your fear of failure to overcome you or you can overcome the excuses that you tell yourself.
Before success comes in any man's life, he's sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit. That's exactly what the majority of men do. ~ Napoleon Hill
Let's not be like most people and quit. Let's take life by the horns and go get our heart's desire. Go get that person that you really want! Go get that job! Go talk to your customers! Go be the person that you were meant to become. Let's get it!

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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