Are you afraid of failure? If so, you’re not alone.
Not only do most Americans suffer from the fear of failure, but it also has a devastating effect. We think that our fear causes us to take steps in our lives to prevent failure and make success more likely.
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But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, our fear of failure keeps us from succeeding and makes failure more likely – precisely the result we want to avoid. Fortunately, confidence coaching can help you overcome your fear of failure once and for all.
Here are some simple ways to boost your confidence and stop being afraid of failure.
Stop Worrying – It Usually Doesn’t Happen Anyway
Mark Twain famously said, “I’ve been through many misfortunes in my life, some of which have actually happened to me.” Fear of failure causes you to experience many trials entirely in your head.
Being afraid of failing brings up a huge variety of fears. You spend hours wondering “what if?” and imagining terrible things that could happen if you take a risk.
Studies have found that 85% of your worries never happen, and of the 15% that do, the situation goes far better than expected almost 80% of the time.
Is all that worry and fear worth the energy it takes, when the bad things probably won’t even happen?
Work on Self-Confidence
The more you believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed, the less you’ll be afraid of failure. There are many self-confidence exercises you can do to help you focus on your strengths and build up your tolerance for risk.
Higher self-confidence can reduce your anxiety, calm your worries, and help you focus on the ways you can succeed instead of how you might fail.
Self-confidence is not about being overly optimistic and believing nothing will go wrong. It starts with being realistic – not focusing on possible catastrophes without being arrogant.
Confidence coaching can help you find that balance.
You can also position your body in specific ways that will help you feel more capable and ready to handle obstacles. Just like a smile helps you feel happier, particular body poses actually improve your confidence.
When you develop a more positive self-image, you’ll be less fearful of failure and more confident in your ability to succeed.
Experience Awkwardness on Purpose
Fear of failure is all about feeling off-balance or awkward in any situation. One way to overcome it is to be uncomfortable on purpose.
Find small, funny, and harmless ways to stretch your comfort zone.
Lay down on the floor of a crowded mall for 20 seconds. Start a conversation with a stranger. Ask someone for a small favor.
Sometimes people will tell you “no.” Sometimes people will be rude. Sometimes people will look at funny.
As you get used to these things, you’ll realize they’re not a big deal.
After you realize that the social awkwardness you fear isn’t a big deal, you’ll be able to extend that understanding to other areas of your life as well, including your fear of failure.
Sometimes getting rid of your fear of failure is simply a matter of changing your attitude toward it. Confidence coaching can help you do this.
What you can realize is that failure is a necessary part of many successes.
Anything worth doing is difficult, and you face many obstacles. If you fail, you can simply get up and try again.
Thomas Edison tried 1,000 times to find an electric light mechanism that would work before he succeeded and he didn’t think of it as a failure. He told a reporter that the light bulb “was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
You can learn a lot from failure, and then get up and try something new. Failure is not the end of the story. It’s merely a learning point.
Visualization is a powerful tool to help you envision success so that you can live it out. However, many people make a simple mistake – they envision their success without any obstacles, roadblocks, or setbacks.
As a result, they aren’t ready for setbacks when they do occur, which causes them to panic and sometimes give up entirely. Fortunately, this is easy to remedy.
When you visualize your success, be sure to imagine common obstacles occurring along the way. Then, see yourself standing strong and overcoming the problem.
When trials do come, you’ll be mentally prepared.
Study Famous Failures
Another way to overcome your fear of failure is to research others who have failed and then succeeded.
Here are just a few examples to get you started:
- Arianna Huffington. Long before Arianna created her hugely successful Huffington Post empire, she had her second book rejected 36 times before it was finally accepted for publication.
- Bill Gates. The first company Bill Gates founded, Traf-O-Data, was a complete failure. The product barely worked, and it was a disaster. He persevered, however, and a few years later founded Microsoft.
- Walt Disney. Mr. Disney was let go from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney then tried a number of different businesses, all of which failed. He didn’t quit, and eventually created the Disney empire we know so well.
- Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is now one of the most recognizable faces on television, but she was once fired from a news anchor job and told she was “unfit for TV”.
- Dr. Seuss. The famous children’s author was rejected by 27 different publishers before he found someone who would accept To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street.
- The Beatles. The Beatles have millions of fans around the world, even decades after their heyday. However, when they were starting out they were rejected by a recording company and told, “We don’t like your sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
That’s just scratching the surface of the number of famous people who endured failure before they succeeded. The common factor in each story is that they didn’t give up – they kept trying and eventually found success.
Confidence Coaching Could be Just What You Needed
Being afraid of failure is natural. Our minds and bodies are hard-wired to protect us from harm.
Being afraid of failure is deeply ingrained in many of us. It’s not easy to “just stop,” but with these steps, you can practice mindsets and actions that will help you gain confidence and rise above your fear.
Confidence coaching can help as well. It allows an experienced and qualified coach to share your journey with you and help you overcome mindsets and habits that stand in your way.
If you’re interested in learning more about confidence coaching and overcoming the fear of failure, contact me today!