You’ve probably heard it said time and time again that to achieve your dreams, you must overcome the fears that are holding you back. However, from my experience overcoming something you don’t fully understand only leads to deeper confusion and more setbacks.
What if you don’t have to work on overcoming your fears first and just skip ahead to tackle your goals instead?
This article will explain exactly how you can do this by helping you understand what a fear of failure is, how to identify your fears, and how to achieve your dreams despite being scared.
Let’s start by looking at what a fear of failure actually is.
- What is Fear of Failure?
- How to Identify Your Fears
- The Fear of Failure is Normal
- Questions You May Have
What is Fear of Failure?
Fear of failure is the belief that you are not good enough or capable enough to achieve your goals, no matter how small they are. This fear can manifest itself in many different ways, such as:
All of these behaviors have one thing in common: they serve as a protection to shield you from experiencing the possibility of failing.
The issue with this protective barrier is that it’s also shielding you from the possibility of success.
The main driving force behind this fear is the belief that if you try and fail, you will be ridiculed, judged, humiliated by others, disappoint your family and friends, and be forced to walk around with FAILURE branded on your forehead.
Fortunately, this is all in your head and is only an exaggeration of the thoughts of someone who has been taught since childhood that failure is the most monstrous thing that could ever happen in life.
The unfiltered truth is, you will fail a million times before you get it right, in fact, some of the most successful people in the world have failed more times than they can count. The only difference between them and everyone else is that they didn’t wallow in their failure, they learned from it, readjusted their course, and continued their journey.
The fear of failure is one of the most common fears that everyone experiences at some point in their lives.
How to Identify Your Fears
When you understand how something affects you, you take away its power over you, so naturally, the first step to overcoming your fear of failure is to identify what it is that you’re actually afraid of.
What’s making your fear seem bigger than the positive changes that could come from achieving your goals?
Are you afraid of not being good enough?
Do you believe you’re an imposter and have no right to go after what you want?
Are you afraid of disappointing your family and friends?
Or, do you think your goals are too ambitious?
Your self-perception and confidence in your abilities play a major role in how successful you will be in achieving your goals.
If you don’t believe you can complete a simple task, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to achieve anything significant in your life.
Keep in mind that it’s very normal to feel scared when you’re chasing your dreams. After all, you are challenging yourself and taking risks. But the key is to not let that fear hold you back. Here are a few steps you can take to keep moving forward despite your fears.
Step 1: Recognize That Failure Is Part of the Journey
If you spend your entire life running away from the possibility of failing by only doing things that you know you’ll excel in then what have you really learned?
Every failure is a lesson.
Despite what you were taught when you were younger, mistakes and failures are not the end all, they’re not bad, and they serve a greater purpose than making you feel worthless and unworthy.
Failure is the guiding light leading you to your true path through the chaotic darkness of distractions.
If you don’t fail at something, you’ll never learn that there are many different ways to approach and solve the issue.
Not every path you take will lead you to success, but once that path is traveled you’ll gain the knowledge you need to choose a better path without repeating the same mistakes.
Learn to embrace failure, it’s not there to keep you from your goals, it’s actually there to help you better understand how to achieve them.
Step 2: Focus on What You Can Control
When you’re feeling scared or overwhelmed, it’s easy to fixate on what could go wrong. But instead of dwelling on the things you can do nothing about, focus on what you can do something about.
For example, if you’re afraid of not being good enough, focus on honing your skills and developing your talent.
The more you focus on the things you can’t control, the more power you give them. So remove that power by switching your focus.
Step 3: Just Do The Work
The truth is, you’ll never fully get over your fears before you start working on your goals, you just have to start.
Doing the work that is required for you to achieve your dreams is the best way to ease your fears.
When you take action and start working, you’ll quickly realize that most of the things you were afraid of weren’t nearly as bad as you thought they would be.
You’ll also find that your skills and abilities are usually much better than you give yourself credit for, and the sudden realization that you were the one holding yourself back this entire time can be incredibly empowering.
Stop waiting for the perfect moment, stop making excuses, and just start working.
The more you do the work and achieve your small goals, the more self-confidence you’ll build, and the less your fears will scream lies at you.
Start small and gradually build as you go. You will learn more from taking action than you will from researching how to do something.
Make your own mistakes, fail a million times, and learn from it all.
Remember that progress is more important than perfection so don’t get stuck in the loop that everything has to be perfect before you move forward to your next milestone.
The Fear of Failure is Normal
Use fear to motivate yourself to prove it wrong.
You’re worthy of the goal you’re trying to achieve, you have all the skills and resources you need to achieve any goal you chose, and you hold all the cards to a successful future.
Never give up on your dreams because you can do anything you put your mind to.
Put fear on the back burner and go out and chase your dreams. That’s the only way to watch it fade into the void and become non-existent.
Don’t get discouraged because, nine times out of ten, you may not achieve your dreams immediately, but if you keep working hard and smart, while never giving up, you will get there.
You don’t have to be brave to start working on achieving your dreams, you just have to ignore the fear and make the decision to start.
Take the first step today. You won’t regret it.
In the comments below, tell me about a dream you have and what you think may be holding you back from achieving it. I’d love to help you overcome your fears and achieve your goals.
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Questions You May Have
What causes a fear of failure?
Many factors can contribute to a fear of failure, including:
-A history of not meeting your expectations
-Not wanting to disappoint others
-Fearing the unknown or change
-Low self-confidence or self-esteem
Is the fear of failure a mental illness?
The fear of failure is not currently considered a mental illness, but it can be a symptom of other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders.
How do I overcome the fear of failure?
Accept that the fear of failure is a natural part of life. Then, start challenging yourself to take action despite being scared. And finally, remember that failure is a lesson and a guide to bring you closer to your goal.
Is failure a common fear?
Everyone experiences the fear of failure at some point in their lives so it’s more common than you have been led to believe. It may be one of the most common fears people have.
One might just benefit from following them.
One certainly might.
This is a great article and encouragement to so many trying to find their way without giving up. For me the new adventure of blogging and trying to help people through my migraine blog while being a full time teacher and mom is a dream filled with hope and gratitude. I needed this. Thank you.
I’m happy this article was encouraging for you Lindsey, as someone who suffers from migraines as well your blog is a great resource, keep going!
I love the tips you give about identifying your fears of failure and how to overcome them! Even though it’s easier said than done, we can’t let fear stop us from doing what we want in life. I look forward to reading more articles!