Overcoming Fear of Failure – One of the Most Valuable Lessons Learned in Life
“Failure is the foundation of success and the means by which it is achieved.” ~ Lao Tzu
One of the most common fears people have is fear of failure. Some even have a phobia about it called Atychiphobia. How do you feel about failure? Has it stopped you from trying to do something, even though you wanted to? Or do you view failure as a steppingstone to achieving better things? What value do you place on failure? Do you view it as a negative that’s taking away from your life or a positive that’s giving you a valuable gift? Just imagine how overcoming fear of failure will improve your quality of life.
The way you feel about and manage failure will profoundly influence your ability to achieve excellence. There are three key points to creating a positive view of failure:
- Redefine Failure. Failure is really a great teacher if you don’t let perfectionism get in the way. Perfectionism causes you to beats yourself up emotionally. Shame based emotions like these lower self-esteem and makes you want to give up.
- Have realistic expectations. Build your self-esteem by only demanding of yourself what you can realistically do. Don’t set yourself up for toxic emotions such as guilt or shame. They only make you feel less than deserving of success.
- Heal your thought patterns. Creative visualization and mental rehearsal will transform failure into opportunity and hope – the faith that things can be better. Stimulating hope is vital for being resilient and able to move through life gracefully.
Instant gratification is an enemy to success. Realistically, it takes anyone thousands of hours of work and education to achieve excellence and mastery. It takes time to hone your skills. The truth is there’s always going to be someone better or worse than you are. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself, not anyone else. The real question is, “How can you become a better version of YOU?”
Neuroscience shows that we all cycle through four stages between our thoughts and actions…
- Thoughts are the triggers and catalysts.
- They, in turn, elicit your emotions.
- Emotions cause a chemical reaction in the brain.
- These neurotransmitters and hormones produce a physiological response in your body that affects the quality of your performance, either beneficially or detrimentally.
This is where the power of visualization helps in overcoming the fear of failure. Remember – your brain can’t differentiate between what you visually imagine and what is really happening. Here’s a simple two-part visualization exercise to help you retrain your thoughts – the foundation of your actions – to be more positive…
The first part of the meditation exercise for overcoming the fear of failure.
- First thing in the morning, sit quietly with your eyes closed so you can fully concentrate. Take three deep breathes. Think of something or someone that makes you feel heartfelt appreciation. Focus on this for a moment.
- Next shift your thoughts to happy thoughts or prayers for someone else.
- Now turn your focus back to the day ahead of you.
- Identify the top three priorities for you today and their positive outcomes.
- Visualize the ideal result you hope to achieve.
- Open your eyes and proceed with your day.
The second part of the meditation exercise for overcoming the fear of failure.
- At the end of the day take a few deep breaths.
- Reflect on what happened during the day.
- Acknowledge and feel good about the successes and fun you had. Express gratitude to the Universe or a higher power.
- Now honestly acknowledge any setbacks. Take responsibility for it, but don’t wallow in it. Appreciate that you’re one step closer to realizing your goal. Express gratitude for this feedback and learn from it.
- Tell yourself out loud, “I give myself permission not to be perfect.”
- In your imagination, go back in time, and make believe you’re doing it over. Reframe it and change the scene as you imagine handling the situation better.
You can’t control everything that happens in life. But you can control how you think about it, how you interpret it, and the value you place on it. This exercise is a powerful tool that helps you do that more effectively. I would love to partner with you in your quest for excellence. Contact me and we can talk about what’s the next best step for you to take. And be sure to download your free copy of The 7-Point Wellness Assessment – Create Change Through Awareness.