Fear is inevitable because it is a natural defense mechanism for humans. Fear is good because it keeps us safe but often our little safety cocoon keeps us away from our best self. The thin line between safety and fear is a thick struggle but overcoming your fear is our only shot. We all must have experienced failure in some or the other way, be it an exam or a goal we failed to achieve. Failure is, what they call, a part and parcel of life, something you can never avoid. Failure is also that aspect of life which makes us vulnerable and incapable of doing anything because we always fear that we may fail. It’s a deep-rooted fear but one nonetheless.
What is the fear of failure?
The fear of failure is nothing but a broken bridge that separates us from our dreams. If we can, successfully build the bridge back, there is no stopping.
It is inevitable that the first thought you would have when doing anything would be ‘What if I fail?’. This is where the fears start working its way into our systems and we either don’t do the task or do it with the fear, the stress and hence not as good as we are capable of. The main reason this happens? We let the fear take over and control us and our actions.
What causes this fear of failure?
Failure holds a different meaning for everyone. For some, it may be a disappointment to deal with but for some, it may be an opportunity to grow upon their mistakes and learn from them.
The real value of failure lies in how you take it. But we often get so drifted in the disappointment and inability when we fail that we develop a fear of failure. I am pretty sure many of us must be terrified of doing certain things because we are scared of failing at it. One failure gives birth to fear for life.
One of the major reasons for this fear is a previous failure or experience that left behind a lot to cope with. Another reason could be the environment around a person. An unsupportive set of people and an environment that treats failure as something tragic will only result in an instilled fear of failure and hence a fear to do new things or the fear to perform because of the fear of failure that trails behind closely.
More than anything, the reaction to failure often breaks apart a person and their capability to cope with it keeps going down.
How to know that you have a fear of failure?
A lot of people do admit to being fearful of failure or any situation which may result in a failure. But a lot of them either don’t know they have a fear or are not ready to accept it. Well, there is nothing to hide if you have a fear of failure, because like I said, it’s all a part of your life and exists just to make you stronger and help you reach your goal.
Here’s how you can know if you DO have a fear of failure:
You are very reluctant about new tasks and situations
You tend to think a lot before doing something that carries the risk of a failure
You don’t consider yourself good enough to perform tasks and use negative sentences for yourself
You chicken out to perform certain tasks or to get into unfamiliar situations
You overthink, overanalyze and end up causing yourself anxiety over situations which may not be as big
These are just some pointers of what may come under the fear of failure, there’s a lot more to go in-depth for.
Every person reacts to things in a different way and hence their reaction to the FEAR is also different. Denial often plays a part when a person is confronted with this fear. Hence, pointers like these can be used for self-evaluation to better understand where you stand.
How to cope up with this fear?
It is really hard having this fear, but it’s even harder to cope up and grow from it. Here are some tips that can help you grow step by step over the fear failure carries.
Let go of past failures.
As long as your past haunts you, your present or future won’t be any better. Let go of your past failures and focus that energy and you’ll see your attitude towards newer things changing.
Think everything through.
When about to perform a task, why always think of ‘what if I fail’ but not the positive outcomes it may give you. YOU need to bring that change in you and you’ll see the fear disappearing.
Think more positively of yourself, the task you will be doing or the situation you will be entering into and watch this overcome the negative feeling this fear brings in with it.
Have a backup plan.
If you think plan A won’t work and you may fail, why not have a plan B instead of wallowing on a small failure. Try to look for ways to make it happen and to move forward, that’s when you’ll know that you beat the fear.
Set achievable goals.
People often tend to set goals that are harder to reach and come with the risk of failing. It’s a huge leap you are taking, undermining the consequences. Hence why not divide your goals into smaller ones to help you get through them with minimum risk. You’ll see yourself becoming confident and finding it easier to achieve your goals.
The fear of failure may shatter you or stop you from reaching your goals but it leaves you with a lot of learnings, the biggest one being, to believe in the self and its capabilities. As long as you believe in your power to fight this fear and not let it cause any hindrance in your journey to reach your goals, you are on the right part.
But remember, failure is a part of life. You won’t succeed if you never fail. Hence take your failures as chances to learn and make this fear your competition to beat when you work towards following your goals.