Be it at work, as a parent, in a partnership, or in sports. The fear of not doing enough or making mistakes is increasing, especially in the current field of tension of growing complexity in life and in the world of work.
Fear slows us down and prevents us from accessing our full potential. We become insecure, hesitant, and reserved. Perhaps you are also one of those people who tend to always do more, to control and to protect themselves just to avoid making mistakes? Or are you more of the withdrawn type, avoiding situations where fear comes up?
Both strategies lead to a downward spiral. Here’s how to overcome the fear of failure. With these six helpful tips:
1. FIND OUT WHAT IS BEHIND THE FEAR OF FAILURE
Most people have no idea what exactly they are afraid of. Is it the fear of embarrassment? Disappointing important people or not meeting your own (often too high) standards? Are you afraid of not being recognized or losing relationships? When you find out, it’s often disheartening because you realize that the consequences, you’re fearing are either highly unlikely or really aren’t that bad.
2. REEVALUATE ERRORS
We know that mistakes are human. Despite this, we try to avoid them and often feel guilty and inferior when we do them. It helps if you realize that the definition of “failure” is just an evaluation of a result and has nothing to do with your value. How about if you booked mistakes as an interesting learning experience and thought positively: Oh great, I see that now. I can still grow there!
3. VISUALIZE SUCCESS
Don’t constantly play negative scenarios in your mind. That increases uncertainty, and that uncertainty actually makes you error-prone. Imagine what it will be like when you master the situation with complete confidence. Pay attention to all your senses. What do you see? What are you listening to? what do you smell And most importantly, how are you feeling?
4. MAKE PLAN B
Make a list of all the things you could do if your plan fails. What alternatives do you have? What can you do? Whom can you ask for support? How can you build a safety net? Instead of being helplessly at the mercy, you remain able to act, and that makes you safer from the start. You most likely won’t need your plan B.
5. PUT THE CONSEQUENCES INTO PERSPECTIVE
What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t get the result you want? Is this the end of the world? Does your partner not love you anymore? Are you being fired from your job? Probably not. Chances are very little will actually happen other than making you uncomfortable.
6. LOOK FOR ROLE MODELS
We are not alone in the fear of failure. Many successful people have failed more than once in their lives. Look for these role models and learn from their stories. What have you done to overcome your fear of failure? What lessons can you learn from their experiences? And ask yourself: What would she or he advise me to do now?