The fear of failure is a powerful force, and it keeps us from making changes, trying new things, and taking valuable risks. Basically, it limits our potential. Here are some ways to overcome fear paralysis.
(1) Put Things in Perspective. Think about the last thing you considered doing but didn’t because of fear. Now imagine what would actually happen if you tried…and fell flat on your face. What’s the worst that would happen? How long would it take to recover? Probably, if you’re honest with yourself, it’s not as bad as you imagined. Fear exaggerates things in our mind, so be realistic.
(2) Stop Blaming. Failure can be a great teacher if we have the courage and humility to accept our mistakes. By blaming others (or our circumstances), we choose to believe things are outside our control. Some things are, but not everything. By refusing to see ourselves as helpless, we own our ability to do things differently. Taking responsibility is very empowering.
“Failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar
(3) Remember that Everyone Fails…But Not Everyone Keeps Trying. When we do fail, we should spend enough time on that failure to learn from it…and then move on. Wallowing in guilt or regret can’t change the past, and it won’t make a better future. Give yourself grace for your shortcomings—we all have them! Plenty of underdog stories prove that the road to success is often paved by failure, including these few…
- Henry Ford’s early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded Ford Motor Company.
- Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and failed in his first business.
- Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that ended in bankruptcy and failure.
- Thomas Edison was told by his early childhood teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.” And as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.
- Abraham Lincoln started several failed businesses and was defeated in numerous runs for public office.
- Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.
- Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
With a healthy dose of perseverance and confidence, failure is not terminal. It can actually be a springboard to growth and success if you choose to see it that way.
Cherie Miller, MS is owner of Dare 2 Hope Coaching and a virtual Health and Wellness Life Coach who helps clients all over the country improve their lives. Her specialty is helping people get free from their food, weight, and self-confidence struggles. Contact her here.