Hello, Joy Tribe!
How many times has fear of failure stopped you from going after your dreams? How many opportunities have you missed? In all honesty, this fear would constantly stop me in the past.
For a long time, I didn’t go after my dream of starting a personal development business for fear that I would fail… again. In my mind, I’d already failed at my accounting career. I’d failed with my health. I’d failed with my first marriage. It was failure after failure after failure. How much more of this could I endure? I didn’t think I had one more “failure” left in me.
So, why do we fear failure?
Sometimes, it’s not just the fear of failing that stops us; it’s the perceived negative consequences such as:
- Judgment or criticism from others
- Judgment or criticism from ourselves (the inner critic)
- Loss of income
Which other perceived negative consequences have stopped you before?
Overcoming my fear
After delving into the world of personal development and seeing countless of my coaching clients move forward, I learned that we CAN overcome our fear of failure. It’s not just wishful thinking. It IS possible.
In my case, I’m so happy that I didn’t allow it to continue taking over my life and squelching my dreams. I’m living my dreams! And if I fail again (when…), I’ll keep learning and improving. It’ll be a stepping-stone leading me towards new success and opportunities.
6 Strategies to Get Over Fear & Create a Life You Love
Change your perception of failure
This was a big one for me. Failure was like a bad word for me. It made me feel jumpy and stressed-out. That is… until I changed my perception of it. For me, failure used to be an ending.
“If this doesn’t work, then it’s over. No more options. No more possibilities. It’s just over.”
Now, I understand that “failure” is part of the process. It’s part of my story. When you start seeing your stumbles as information, you shift your perception, and you stop fearing it. Failure is just information.
“This didn’t work. Ok… That sucks.” (Allow yourself to feel your feelings)
“But now that I know that this isn’t the best way to do this, what other possibilities or alternatives are there? What are my new options? How can I flex my creative muscles?”
The failure we fear so much is just temporary. We CAN move forward from it. There are endless possibilities waiting for us.
Surrender & feel
Stop trying to run away from your fear. It only gets bigger and more insistent. Take some time alone and pause. Breathe. Sit quietly and allow yourself to feel your emotions – to feel your fear. Get to know it.
Where do you feel it in your body? What’s underneath this fear? What’s holding you back? Get curious, surrender, and move forward. Always come back to a place of inner peace when you need it.
Visualize the obstacles
Think of the situation that you’re afraid of. Visualize it. See yourself hitting the obstacle and now allow yourself to feel the fear. Don’t run and hide. Feel it and see yourself moving forward despite the possible complications.
Afterward, spend some time brainstorming different ways to overcome the obstacle(s). Perhaps it’s time to bring in an ally or a mentor.
Rewrite the story
We’re hardwired to think of the negative possible outcomes. When a chance or opportunity comes along, we tend to ask:
- What can go wrong?
- What are the obstacles?
- What’s the worst that can happen?
Yet, many times, we don’t allow ourselves to consider the positive possible outcomes. We should also be asking ourselves:
- What’s the best that can happen?
Paint in this new story and get creative! Don’t just surrender to your negative story → Create a new one that’s more energizing and beneficial to you. What else is possible?
Treat your goal as an experiment
By framing your task or goal as an experiment, you reduce the cost of your potential “failure” (just information!). When we see the goal as an experiment, there are several positive outcomes:
- The value if you succeed (yes, it’s possible for you to succeed!).
- The value of the people you meet in the process (and the opportunities that may arise along the way).
- The value of the knowledge you gain in the process that you can apply somewhere else (whether you “fail” or not).
Ask powerful questions
If you feel like you’ve already failed, look for the upside by asking powerful questions. This will allow you to change the story you’re telling yourself. You have a choice of which story you want to listen to. Ask:
- What did I learn from this situation?
- How can I grow from this experience?
- What benefits do I receive from this experience?
- What are three positive things about this situation?
I believe it is your right to dream and to achieve. So what will you choose?
Your fears, or the life of your dreams?
I choose the latter.
With love & joy,