Fear of failure is a big issue that many people have to face.
A survey by the social network Linkagoal found that 31% of adults feared failure.
It would be easy to assume that more people fear spiders, snakes, or even the supernatural. However, the fear of failure ranks higher than these other fears. People are just afraid of failing.
Failing has such a negative connotation that self-help gurus, books, and videos have been dedicated to learning how to deal with failure. That the stigma remains is a testament to how potent and universal this fear is.
It’s understandable why this fear exists. There are consequences for failure. Failure is associated with losing. This could be a loss of prestige, status, power, money, career, or even dignity. Fear also has a tendency to mask opportunity, and could blind you to the learning and wisdom gained from that experience.
When we have dreams, plans, and goals, we tend to idealise them. We have an idea about how it is supposed to turn out and we see how it is supposed to look like when we achieve those goals. Life doesn’t always deliver those results, no matter how much effort we put into trying to achieve those results. With such uncertainty, it can lead to doubt, procrastination and poor decision making; exactly the things that will lead to failure.
A way to look at this is to reframe the situation for yourself.
Keep in mind that the goals and plans you have are a process, and even though you may have an idea of what the end goal of that process looks like, things may change. If you take this into account, accept it, and learn to change your plans accordingly, you’ll be better able to deal with things as they come. Instead of failing, you end up learning how to manage a shifting, and dynamic situation.
When you hit bumps and roadblocks, it’s also a good idea to not dwell too long on the problems. Consider them, and then make a decision about how you want to proceed.
We can’t know everything there is to know before we make a decision so take some time to consider your decisions; the major pitfalls and major benefits. Then decide which action will give you the best chance of succeeding based off of what you know right at that point. This applies to work or personal life decisions.
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