How to Overcome Fear of Failure?

In order to overcome your fear of failure, you need to understand that failure is part of life and you need to embrace it rather than dwell on it.

Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” A lot of people are paralyzed at the fear of failing and because of this fear, they end up not trying anything new at all. This fear is common as you don’t want to feel embarrassed at failing something, but you must understand that failing is a part of life.

Fear of failing (scientifically known as atychiphobia) is when fear stops us from moving forward and achieving our goals. This fear can be linked to many causes – including doubting our own selves, unsupportive family or friends, instances where such things have happened before, etc. The way to overcome this failure is to understand that you are suffering from one.

Here are a few ways you can overcome atychiphobia or fear of failure:

Embrace your mistakes

The best way to fight the fear of failure is to understand that no one is perfect, not even the smartest man alive. Everyone is bound to make mistakes and mistakes helps us understand what we did wrong and allows us to find another way to accomplish something. No one gets things right the first time, hence instead of worrying about making mistakes – you should embrace them. Know that you will make many mistakes before you get something right. The more mistakes you make, the closer you are to finding the right path.

Start slow

Don’t automatically jump into things and assume that you will make it big in no time. Everyone had to start small, before they made it big. So, start slow. Get the small things done and out of the way before you get started on the big plans. Understand that things are going to take their own time. Don’t quit if things are not what you expected, keep at it.

Avoid negative thoughts

One of the reasons for this fear is yourself. You are your own worst critic! Cut yourself some slack and don’t constantly dwell on the negative. Don’t focus on what could go wrong, but instead what you can do right. Don’t think of yourself as stupid, if one idea fails. Instead, focus on another idea that could be the next big thing. Think of how you would counsel your friend and tell yourself similar things.

Learn to be positive

It becomes easy to focus on the negative things that have happened in your life and let it keep you from success in the future. Instead, use the failures in the past to do it right this time. Think about what you gained from the past experience and focus on how you can use that experience in the future and how it can help you.

Ask for help

We prefer to do things ourselves because we are afraid of looking vulnerable in front of someone, but asking for help is one of the best ways to get something done. It’s often said that two heads are better than one, right? So, maybe someone who understands more about something other than you, can often share their expertise with you. So, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. More often than not, they are eager to share their knowledge with you.

Learn to say no

We have a habit of saying yes to people even when we don’t have the time, simply because we want to be a good friend or a good neighbor. However, sometimes you are only adding on your plate that is already full. Sometimes, you just have to say no. Learn to say no when people expect you to do things when they want you to – such as your friend asking to fill in for her at the last minute at the bake sale, etc. Politely decline if you have to go out of your way to make room for them.

Learn to say yes

You don’t always have to say no. Say yes to new experiences or doing something different. You never know when you might need what you learned from that new experience. Sign up for a new dance class or karate or even kick boxing. It doesn’t have to be limited to these, maybe a new web designing class. Maybe it can help you in the long term or it can be just be a fun filled activity.

Have a contingency plan

Things don’t always work the way we want them to and in such scenarios it is always good to have multiple plans in case one the original plan doesn’t work out. This often helps when you are afraid at failing something. Just knowing that there is a Plan B can give you confidence at even attempting Plan A.

Learn from the past

The past is the best way to learn what you should do and should not do. Learning not only from your own past experiences but also others can help you know what is the best way going forward.

Keep trying

As previously mentioned, failing is a part of life. If you don’t fail, you won’t learn what you should and shouldn’t do. However, the main thing to understand is that no matter how many times you fail, don’t give up. Get back up on that horse and try again. The sure way to fail is to not try at all, so keep trying.

These are some common ways that one can try to overcome failure. These methods may not work for everyone and for someone who suffers from crippling fear that arises from deeper issues, you should consult a professional that can help you get to the root of your fears.

Image Courtesy: teacherni.com

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