Have you ever said no, or turned down the opportunity to do something risky, because you were afraid you’d fail? You’re not alone. Fear of failure happens to almost everyone at some point in their lives. The prospect of failure can be paralyzing. If you give into to it too often, you’ll miss out on some great opportunities and even sabotage your success.
Here are four ways you can conquer that fear of failure and move forward in your life.
1. Understand what failure means to you
It might surprise you to learn that failure means different things to different people. What might seem like an irreparable disaster to you might appear as a temporary setback to someone else. When you understand your definition of failure and how it sits with your values, beliefs, and expectations, you can start to deal with it.
2. Accept that some failure is inevitable and good!
Unless you want to live a life wrapped in cotton wool and not achieving anything, some failure is initiable. Comfortable doesn’t equate to being successful. Remember that everyone fails at something sometimes, often many times!
The only bad failure is one where you don’t learn anything. Mistakes and missteps are part of the journey. Accept that and resolve to learn from them. Reframe failure as feedback and see it as a stepping stone to success.
3. Failure is not the end
Failure is neither permanent nor the end of the story. When you make a mistake, or something you planned doesn’t work out, it might feel like the end of the world. But it isn’t. You’ve just worked out how not to do something. If the technology failed or you bombed out on your presentation, you now have valuable information on how to do better next time.
4. Reframe your failure mindset
Above all, ‘failure’ is a concept, and you have the power to reframe that concept to one that serves you better. Studies have shown that it’s possible to reprogram the human brain and all those neural pathways can be rewired to serve you better.
Those negative beliefs about failure you have are not set in stone. You can consciously decide that failure is just another risk, that it doesn’t define you as a person nor will it ruin your life. By taking control of your mindset, you can free yourself from the fear of failure.