The fear of failure is one of the most common fears that stop people from taking action. It prevents them from achieving their dreams and experiencing success. The fear of failing also causes people not to finish what they started.
If you have been giving excuses such as being busy, having other commitments to take care of or the lack of something, it may indicate that you are afraid to fail.
One of the main reasons for the excuses is because you don’t believe in yourself. You probably think that things won’t work out, that you can’t do it or you aren’t good enough. You may be afraid of being judged, criticized or humiliated by others.
Picture the consequences of drifting along in life and feeling frustrated but unable to change the situation because you are afraid to face your fear. And imagine how your life would be life if you face your fear head on.
5 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure
1. Use the Questioning Technique
Your thoughts are always scattered and unfocused. If something shows up, it will trigger your mind to automatically tell you how to feel or react based on the memories stored in your brain.
Using the questioning technique is an effective way to direct your focus, destroy limiting beliefs and conquer the fear of failure.
The next time you feel afraid to do something, get a pen and piece of paper and start a question and answer session. Ask questions such as:
- What am I afraid of?
- How did I develop this fear?
- What if I was unafraid of failing? What would I do?
2. Work on Improving Your Self-Image
Another strategy to fight your fear is to develop a new and better self image.
Self image is the mental picture you hold of yourself. If you see yourself as a failure, that is how you will behave.
Using visualization technique combined with positive affirmations can help you remove self-doubt and improve your self-image and self-confidence.
What you can do is to recall a few experiences when you acted courageously. When you bring back these memories, you will also evoke the accompanying emotions. Once you are in this empowering state of mind, make positive statements such as “I choose to be confident” and “I can do it.”
Do the visualization exercise every day until your new image is imprinted in your subconscious mind to replace the old mental programming.
3. Release Emotional Blocks
Feeling humiliated or rejected once is enough to cause the fear of failure if the emotional pain that accompanied the incident was devastating. It could have happened during your childhood and it may have left a deep emotional scar. And after the terrifying event, whenever an opportunity shows up, your mind will quickly recall the pain.
These deep seated emotions can stop you from moving forward and achieving your dream. Unless you release the emotions, you will sabotage your own efforts and won’t open up your mind to welcome new ideas or opportunities.
You can try using emotional freedom technique to help you release emotional pains. Other tools that you may want to try out to let go of the emotional scars include journal writing and talk therapy. Learning neuro-linguistic programming techniques and past life regression may also help you.
4. Change Your Mindset
You can overcome the fear of failure by changing your mindset.
Instead of looking at failure as a possible loss of something, view it as an experiment.
There is every possibility that you might make a mistake or fail on your first, second or even third attempt at doing something new or different. But if you look at it as a life lesson, your mind will be more opened to try things out. Things won’t look so scary and unattainable anymore.
5. Look for Role Models
Another effective strategy to overcome the fear of failure is to look out for role models of success. There are quite a number of famous people who failed not once or twice but many times before they finally attained success.
Abraham Lincoln, Colonel Sanders of the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken and Michael Jordon are a few examples. Read about them and emulate their beliefs and strategies and you will feel inspired to take action.
Isn’t it such a waste of your life if you allow the fear of failure to stop you from getting what you want? Can you imagine what you could learn, experience and feel if you were to just do the things you were afraid of?
So take action now. Eliminate this paralyzing fear and the emotions attached to it from your system.