If you look closely, ‘FAILURE’ has the word ‘LURE’ hidden in it. It often lures you into giving up easily no matter who you’re and what you’ve accomplished in life. Failing is something most of us are oblivious too. It haunts us like a nightmare in all its variations – anxiety, indignity, frustration, procrastination, agitation, and low self-esteem – to name just a few. Sometimes, it becomes so overpowering that it starts to predetermine the choices we make and the endeavors we undertake.
Why is it that so many people are driven by the fear of failure rather than the lure of success?
People who have a fear of failure are more concerned about a psychologically toxic sentiment ‘SHAME’ in lieu of envisaging the power of failure.The more we fail, the faster we get closer to success. Failing is imperative to turn our desires into the decisive ambitions in reality. By failing in our attempts repeatedly, we learn how to hold on to our dreams and identify that missing piece of the jigsaw that is much-needed to succeed.
I’m no stranger to the rough path of non-success and rejections. I strongly believe failing is better than quitting the game. I opted to accept the neurotic fear of embarrassment and cultivated the confidence by remaining agile to the learnings’ I’ve gained from my mistakes. I have not only celebrated my success but embraced (with my open arms) all the learnings’ that emanate from my greatest misfortunes.
There is no magic pill to conquer your fear. Although, you can try some intuitive ways to eliminate a fear of failure from your life:
1. Instead of running away from it, accept that your fear is real
Push yourself forward to use your fear as your strength with the right mindset and perspective. Show a positive attitude towards failure and welcome an unprecedented success that is coming way after all the hurdles.
2. Be open to “Fail Fast and Fail Often” in your life
Failing fast is all about finding the nippiest path to failure by tackling the trickiest, hardest or the most difficult work first. And failing often gets you closer to the right solution and make you learn important lessons that you’ve ignored.
3. Celebrate your learnings’ after getting fail
Every person with an entrepreneurial spirit must appreciate the failure because a failure without a learning is a failure itself.
4. Freaking out after your plan flops is quite natural
Calm yourself and deal a ‘worst-case scenario’ with a positive attitude. Believe in the immense power of a positive mindset to accomplish your goals and reach any level of success.
There is nothing like an “overnight success” in this world. Even successful people like Bill Gates, Oprah and Steve Jobs have battled against many difficulties and failures in their way to reach the notable success. What distinguishes these superstars from everyone else (including you) is their infinite amount of strength, strong willpower, positive mindset and a great deal of patience to make their dreams come true.
Confront the failure head-on and embrace it fearlessly!
- For more about failure, view my short TED talk about Psychological Health here.
- For more about the many other ways failure impacts us negatively and what you can do about it, check out my book, Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts (Plume, 2014).
This article is written in partnership with TBM Growth, India’s premier growth strategy services company institutionalises growth strategy for entrepreneurs & Leaders who aim to build innovative organisations. Deploying its expert intervention into key areas such as Strategy Business & Execution.