Did you know, the fear of failure actually has a name all for itself? It is something that psychologists call “atychiphobia” — something they recognize as an emotion that sabotages our success and prevents us from moving towards our goals. Today I invite you to recognize this emotion in yourself and tell you how you can overcome this simply by changing the definition of fear. Interested? Read on.
The fear of failure takes many forms.
I have found that everyone experiences a fear of failure to some extent, at some point or another. Some of us are afraid about what ‘people will say’, and that they will think less of us and give us no further chances. Some of us are afraid about ruining our own future prospects. Some of us don’t want to disappoint those who have placed their faith in us; maybe we simply don’t want to lose their trust. Some of us don’t want to try something new or challenging because we are afraid that our possible failure will destroy our faith in ourselves and our abilities. So in a sense we could just be protecting ourselves here.
The fear of failure manifests in different ways, I can tell you from personal experiences. We find excuses for not doing something; finding reasons not to do our best. We procrastinate, we let ourselves become distracted, we find something else that is ‘urgent’ to do… we do all this because we are scared. Maybe we tell ourselves “I was going to do this, but the time is not right” or “there isn’t enough time” or “I am not well-prepared right now” or “I don’t really want this.” Ring a bell? I think you’ll identify with at least some of what I just said.
Time to change the definition of failure.
This is what I want you to tell yourself: there is no failure. Whatever happens as a consequence of your actions and efforts is simply learning. It is just valuable experience and growth. This is you evolving, taking a step closer to your ultimate purpose in life. By changing the nomenclature, you rid the whole experience of its negative connotations and you change it into something positive that guides your future.
So this is what I want you to do right now: think back to an incident that you think of as a failure. Maybe it was, say, losing a race back in school. If you came last in that race, don’t view that as losing the race. Instead, think of it as gaining important insight: that maybe your talents lie elsewhere, not in athletics. So now instead of investing further time and effort in something that doesn’t seem to be your strong suit, you can try your hand at debating, the choir, craft, drawing… the possibilities are endless. As you try each possibility you learn a bit about yourself, you meet interesting new people, and above all you have fun trying it all out. To live life to the full, you need to open yourself and your heart up to the new, the challenging, the enchanting!
Watch my video to know more about my journey to overcoming my fear of failure. Arm yourself with the tools to achieve what you were always meant to in life!