Overcoming Fear of Failure

I want to talk about something that is crippling everyone in one form or another.

That is the fear of failure.

Fear of failure is the feeling of dread, anxiety, or stress we experience when trying something new or doing something different. It comes up when our performance really counts or when there is great pressure to do well.

Everyone hates to fail, but for many, fear of failing presents such a painful threat, we avoid trying anything new or different at all costs.

The feeling can be so strong, it can bring about the very failure that we fear, as it leads us to put off assignments, fail to address risks, and undermine our efforts.

For some of us, the fear of failing is so overwhelming, it keeps us from enjoying our lives.

It will even keep you from putting into practice many of the advice I suggest in these newsletters.

In order to succeed and move forward in life, there will come a time where you will have to face the fear of failing.

The best way to face this fear and to overcome it is to realize that…

You will fail.

Anytime you do or start something new, you are going to fail.

It’s the fact of the matter.

There is no way around it.

I can’t imagine you not failing.

That’s because everyone fails.

Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in the 80’s. When he returned to the company in the 90’s, his first few product launches were a disaster, before getting it right with the ipod, iphone, and ipad.

I’m sure you’ve already heard about Thomas Edison’s 2000+ failures to invent the light bulb.

Not only will you fail, but failure is necessary for success.

Failure gives you insight that you would not have learned otherwise.

Failing lets you know what doesn’t work, what not to do, how not to do it, and what to avoid.

Michael Jordan, 6 time NBA champion and #1 athlete of the 20th century, said the following in a 1997 Nike commercial that supports this point.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Which is true.

Lessons learned from failure are more important for the success and stick much better and longer in your mind.

The problem is, when many of us fail, we want to simply throw in the towel. We assume things don’t work, can’t work, or won’t work for us.

It’s important not to think like that.

Every one of us will stumble and fall in life. Doors will get slammed in our faces. We will make bad decisions. However, imagine if Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs stopped trying after their failures. There would be no light bulb or iPhone.

So the next time you are frozen in fear about failing, let go of worrying about or trying so hard not to fail. Know that you will fail and that’s o.k. Not only does everyone fail, but failure gives us the key lessons we need to succeed.

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