7 Tips to Cut Fear of Failure
Fear is one of the most common forces that prevent us from success. More specifically, fear of failure has the power to immobilize us, to make us feel helpless and useless. But to move forward, one has to learn being able to do things despite it (getting rid of the fear completely is neither required nor helpful). Hundreds of articles dealing with the subject were written by both professional psychologists and common people who managed to solve the problem, which made it possible for us to make a list of simple tips:
- Address the fear of failure with the fear of regret
- Identify the origins of this fear
- Acknowledge you’re trying to distract yourself
- Break complicated things into simple ones
- Acknowledge that failure is:
Regrets are much worse than failures to deal with. Remember last time when, unable to fall asleep, you were torturing yourself like “I wish I’d …”, “I should have …”, “If only I’d …”. Take a minute or two, close your eyes and imagine that you’ve cancelled that important public presentation out of sheer fear, for example. Do you regret it? Isn’t the feeling of regret strong enough to beat the fear of failure?
Another useful practice is to take time and brainstorm the origins of your fear. Take a journey into your personal past looking for events that might have inspired it. When you find them, analyze their reasons and context. Once it’s done, get back to the present and look at its context. You might be surprised!
Fear is paralyzing which doesn’t mean it will physically freeze you, though. It makes you fill your day with all possible activities rather than the one you fear, bringing you into a certain type of procrastination. First, you should acknowledge you’re constantly trying to run the unpleasant task. Second, focus on the thing you fear. If you’re suffering from procrastination, our tips to overcome it might be helpful.
Fear of failure might sometimes be mixed with the lack of confidence. It’s a typical feeling when you are about to start something new, for example, build your own website or mobile app for the first time. In this case, you just have to design a scrutinous plan breaking the whole into smaller pieces, as simple as possible. Once you’ve got a clear vision of the complicated task it’s not going to scare you anymore.
Fear of failure might be quite reasonable. Check these signs to make sure if it is.
- inevitable. Whatever you do, one day you fail. This time or another. Yet there’s no reason to let the fear paralyze you.
- measurable. When you dare and fail you don’t lose more than what you put at stake.
- an opportunity to learn. This is what we’re all taught, isn’t it? Our ultimate goal in life consists of smaller ones that might scare us. Failing at one sometimes means you won’t fail at another, probably even more important one. But, of course, if you don’t learn your lessons you will fall into the same traps, again and again.
Imagine the situation in which you are afraid of failure. Visualize all the obstacles that might knock you down, let the fear in, and then see yourself overcoming everything that stands in your way. By doing so you will build a plan for beating every single obstacle that may arise.
If you're afraid of losing money consider building your core product for free, or almost for free.
Overcoming fears isn’t easy, of course. It requires time, efforts, patience, and persistence. But until you learn doing things despite you’re scared of possible failure you won’t hit the next level. Brace up and start working with the fear.