This is a guest post from my good friend, Tess Marshall. Throughout her life she’s been a master at squashing her fears and living The Bold Life. She’s got an amazing program called 30 Days of Bold that starts on July 1 to help you shatter the bubble you’ve trapped yourself in and start living your own bold life. I highly recommend it!
What do you think your life will look like one year from now? If it’s similar to what it is right now, can you be okay with that?
If your answer is “no,” yet you continue to hold back or not try new things, I invite you to look deeper into the fear of failure.
Fear of failure has all kinds of repercussions:
- failure to follow through or get involved,
- feeling and looking stupid or being embarrassed,
- judgment from others,
- loss of respect or admiration.
Everyone experiences some sort of failure. Failure isn’t the end of the world. It’s part of the process of living. It doesn’t have to hold you back. You don’t have to give up your dreams for it.
Failure adds to your character. It helps you to learn and grow. It shows you your strength and gives you an experience that is impossible to obtain any other way.
Don’t let your fear of failure steal your opportunity to experience the wildly abundant, happy and successful life that you desire and deserve.
The signs of fear of failure:
You lack faith in yourself, your unique talents, knowledge and wisdom. You don’t believe that you are capable of doing great things.
You need things to be perfect. You spend too much time over-thinking, over-analyzing and over-planning. Lost in the details, you’re unable to move forward.
You’re paralyzed by your consistent and persistent thoughts about failure.
You obsessively engage in worry and anxiety about the future. You imagine what could go wrong and expect things to not work out. You feel hopeless, anxious and stuck.
You are unwilling to participate in new things, take chances or bet on yourself. You would rather stay in your comfort zone than make waves.
You procrastinate and make excuses. You are unwilling to take any action that will lead you closer to achieving your dreams.
You don’t want to be embarrassed, look stupid or feel silly if you fail. You’re addicted to the approval and accolades of others.
You aren’t willing to make a commitment or do what it takes to get the desired outcome because you fear failure.
How to overcome fear of failure:
When I fear failure, I look for the worst possible outcome if I fail. Some possibilities: I get a bruised ego. I may feel embarrassed or stupid. Nothing earth shattering ever comes up.
I also ask myself, “What’s the best possible outcome if I fail?” It’s likely that I gain new insights and skills. I learn what I don’t like or want. I gain experience from what doesn’t work. I learn what does work. I move forward.
Identify your fear. Write down everything you’re afraid of. Bring it out of the dark and into the light. Make the unknown known. After you name your fear, you can understand the root cause of it and manage it.
Question each fear you’ve written down: Is this concept true or false? Does this have any real consequences? How can I manage this risk?
Next to each fear write down the worst case scenario if you fail. Be honest. How bad could it really be? However ridiculous, stupid or unimportant, for each fear write down the worst that could happen if you fail.
Write down what the best case scenario if you did fail. What might you learn or discover about yourself or your dream. You may find true friends, inner strength, motivation and inspiration. Question how these new insights could help you move forward.
Create a plan B. When you’re afraid, a contingency plan can help you gather the courage and confidence to move forward. Fear of failure keeps us close-minded. There are unlimited options available.
Treat yourself like a small child. When a child learns to talk, walk, sing, or play a game, we understand that there will be a lot of mistakes. We allow them the opportunity to fail. We also know that eventually they will succeed. Give yourself permission to try new things, experiment, learn and take risks. Allow yourself the opportunity to fail. Like a child, you will eventually succeed.
Take small steps. Begin where you are with what you have. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Be persistent and consistent. Just keep moving!
If you would like extra guidance and support to achieve your dreams or live your best life, check out my course, 30 Days of Bold. We’d love you to join us!
Tess Marshall, founder of The Bold Life, is a fear-shattering risk taker, author, and courage coach with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. To find out more about her course, click here: 30 Days of Bold.
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