If you’ve ever found yourself being so afraid of failure that you ended up scrapping the whole idea, believe it — you’re not alone.
Being afraid and insecure is human nature, and entrepreneurs are most prone to this. In fact, a 2016 survey has shown that around 34.2 million Americans deal with the fear of failure, including financial crises, unemployment, etc.
This brings us to the fundamental question: What is the fear of failure, and how does it affect us? Also, how can we overcome this crippling fear?
Don’t worry; here’s a complete breakdown of the fear of failure and how to overcome it.
What Causes The Fear Of Failure?
When you’re afraid of facing loss at any venture you try your hands on, it raises underlying issues such as self-doubt and low morale. However, the constant anxiety that we’ll eventually fail, no matter what, arises from the following causes:
1. Being A Perfectionist
People who call themselves perfectionists are terrified by the idea of failure. So much so that they quit without a second thought if things don’t happen within their comfort zone.
2. False Sense Of Confidence
A confident person is never afraid to explore things they’ve never tried before, regardless of how risky it may be. However, people with frail self-confidence always stray away from risky endeavors.
3. Issues As A Child
Children are often surrounded by over-analytical guardians and teachers who distort their mindset with the fear of severe consequences for their actions. Some kids carry this sense of reassurance for the rest of their lives, which stops them from trying new things.
4. Ego Problem
One of the most common causes why some people fear failure is over-personalization, which roots in having a massive ego. In most cases, such folks refuse to acknowledge the positive things beyond the utter humiliation of failing.
How Does The Fear Of Failure Stop You From Doing Things?
When you surrender to the fear of failure, it starts to hold you back in the following ways:
1. You Run Away From Creativity
Every creative person learns from their mistakes, as creativity is a task that involves multiple failures before that one successful attempt.
In a nutshell, finding out creative solutions to a problem is a trial-and-error procedure. However, when you’re very unwilling to face failure at any cost, it directly hampers your creativity.
2. You Start Missing Growth Opportunities
One out of every five people hesitates to try new ways or procedures because nobody can confirm whether it’ll result in success or not.
When an individual stays committed to the procedures that worked successfully in the past for them, they refuse to indulge in any further innovation. Consequently, their blatant ignorance also strays them further away from the opportunities that the future brings along.
3. You Become Protective And Ignorant To Advice
As per a Lifehack.org article, some people view success as a strength that adds value to their lives. When achieving every target successfully at the first attempt becomes a compulsion, the thought of failure becomes a horrifying ordeal.
These individuals get desperate to run away from failure because accountability hurts their egos. For instance, they begin to hide their errors, shy away from criticism, falsify the records, blame others, etc.
How Can I Overcome The Fear Of Failure?
Here’s a 4-step framework that could help you tackle the anxiety and fear of failure:
Step 1: Find out the root cause of the fear.
Before you let the fear of failure take control of your mind, start asking yourself why you are afraid in the first place.
You can analyze yourself from a third-person perspective to get a clearer picture. Once you know what’s causing the anxiety, you’re already one step closer to getting rid of the fear.
Step 2: Stay Positive
Did you know that before returning as the CEO, Steve Jobs was once terminated as an employee of Apple?
Surrendering negative thoughts could stop you from the next big thing in your life. It’s easier to stop trying after you’ve failed once, but it ruins your potential and opportunity to create something great afterward. And although staying in a positive mindset through difficult times is an arduous task, it always pays off well.
Step 3: Analyze The Worst-Case Scenario
Have you ever asked yourself, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” before trying something new, risky, and adventurous?
This simple practice could prepare you to take on new challenges head-on without giving in to the fear of failure. Considering the worst-case scenario always helps in making the best decisions. Besides, it redefines neglect as a short-term detour that always teaches us something valuable.
Summing It Up
Most people are too quick to throw in the towel whenever any situation pushes them out of their comfort zone. But the ones who can shut out the fear, insecurities, and negativity and gather the courage to move forward still create history.
If you’re struggling to overcome the fear of failure, this step-by-step breakdown guide mentioned above can help you get one step closer to your goal.
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