Being average is failing. Our lives can be just about anything we want them to be, but first we have to get over our fear of failing. The fear of failure keeps us all in a life where we don’t reach our potential, don’t excel, don’t reach our goals, or worse yet, don’t even try.
Want to avoid failure?
I will teach you the guaranteed method on how to avoid failure in your life. Now sit down and brace yourself, this is a life changing secret.
The way to avoid failure is to NEVER try anything.
Don’t try to lose weight. Don’t try to exercise. Don’t try to go to get a degree. Don’t try to learn a new language. Don’t try to save money and get out of debt. If you don’t try, you will never fail. Its as simple as that.
Its your choice if you want to avoid failure so much that you live a life like this. The trade off is a life with fulfillment, success, or excitement. That choice is yours to make for yourself.
Why are we afraid of failure?
We all have our own reasons of our fear. Sometimes we are only afraid of failing at some things while not afraid of others. However, there are some very common reasons that we all have.
1. We are afraid of being in a worse situation after we fail
This reason is understandable but it still holds us back. For example, we may be afraid to invest in something because if it fails, then we will have lost that money. We would be in a worse situation than before. While its true that failure is always possible, its also possible that we will achieve success. Without taking the risk in the first place, we will never know if that success can even be achieved.
2. We are afraid of looking foolish to others
Have you ever been walking down the street and you tripped on something? You suddenly felt foolish and like everyone was looking at you. You could feel everyone laughing at you saying how stupid you were. It felt as if the whole city was watching you now.
Now think about the opposite of that. Have you ever seen someone trip on the street? Did you stop to laugh at them? Did you point at them? Do you even remember what they look like today? The simple fact is that we all have done these things. We have all been in these situations so there is no reason to feel foolish.
Ellen DeGeneres has a great take on this here –
3. We are afraid of learning that we aren’t the people we wished we were
We all have an image of who we think we are in our minds. When we try and fail, sometimes this shatters that image and affects our self worth. We view ourselves as failures just because we might have failed on one thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider this: wouldn’t you respect yourself more for trying to do something than never having tried it? Which would affect your self worth more? Know you could have done something and didn’t, or trying it and failing?
4. We want the wrong things or want what someone else wants for us
This is very common across Asia. Our parents set our goals for us. What we will do after high school, what college we will go to, what we will study etc. Because we don’t have the same desire or connection to the goal, we don’t have the same desire to succeed. We also are afraid of disappointing those that set these goals for us. That is often a great deal of pressure for us to achieve. It makes it hard for us to do what it takes to achieve.
5. We fear our reputation
While similar to number 2, this one is deeper, especially here in the Philippines. Doesn’t it seem that we all often make silly decisions on our life because we are afraid of what others around us think? Not just our friends and families, but complete strangers. We hold ourselves back every day because we don’t want to ruin our reputation, or what we all think our reputation is.
How to overcome the fear of failure in our lives
1. What is it we are really afraid of?
Decide what it is that you are really afraid of. Dig down deep and discover the root cause. What are the negative beliefs that you have that are causing this fear? Is the desire for success not big enough? Or do believe its not even possible? Why is that? Before you can fix it, you have to know what to fix. So take a few minutes to discover what your root issues are concerning your fear of failure.
2. Remember that failure is temporary
When we are in the middle of failure, we feel like it will never end. The pain feels like it is here to stay. But remember, this too shall pass. You will get through it and recover. Nothing is permanent so don’t let that fear hold you back and keep you from trying. The Japanese have a lovely saying for this (Translated from Japanese – 七転び八起き) – Fall down seven times, get up eight.
3. Commit to failing more – so that you can succeed more
A mentor of mine told me how he trained his sales people. It’s a very simple process and it totally changed my perspective on failure. He would send his sales people out door to door to tell whatever product they were selling at the time. But instead of telling them to go and get X sales, he would say go out and get 50 No answers. So it changes the mindset to go out and fail as much as possible and here’s the secret to the success – the more you fail, the more you will succeed. If you knew
4. Never give up
You can’t fail until you stop trying. So keep going and keep trying a new way to achieve your goal. If one was doesn’t work, then try another way. Most people seem to give up after only two attempts. But more often it takes more than that. Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) failed 1009 times before he succeeded. Almost none of us would have that much drive but look at his pay off. He founded the largest chain of chicken restaurants in the world and one of the largest fast food chains also.
5. Simply the problem
Most of the time we have greatly expanded the fear in our minds. 90% of what we fear never actually comes to pass. Strip away all the unnecessary items from your fear and make sure you understand the issue. Then you focus on it better. Perhaps it’s multiple fears that are compounding themselves. Perhaps there are smaller parts that you can resolve that will go a long way into solving the bigger fear.
6. Take action now
The best way to get past any fear (especially of failure) is to take action now. Anything, just take the first step.You will find that action will breed more action. And then that will build momentum and push you towards success. You don’t need massive action every day. You just need a little step each day. Small successes each day sting together into large successes later.
Don’t let fear of failure stop you from achieving your goals. Yes we all have fears and failing is something that is simply a part of life. But we deal with and move and that helps us to grow as individuals.