“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: The Fear of Failure.” – Paulo Coelho
I think at some point we have all experienced the so-called fear of failure. When we have big goals it often hits us: we are afraid to go for them because we might fail. But in the end.. this is the biggest failure of all. If you think about it, you are never going to reach your goals if you are constantly held back by your fear of failing, is this isn’t failure, then what is? If you go for them, yes you might fail, but at least you tried, and no matter what, the chance to reach your goal is much higher if you try.
Here are some facts you should think about the next time Fear of Failure visits you:
If you’d try and fail, what would you lose?
This is something very important to realize if you’ve ever been at the point of “Not even trying”. Just imagine you have this big goal, let’s say you want to write your own book, it’s been a dream you had forever but you are afraid to start this project because you might fail. Now imagine you start working on your book, you map out what you want to write about in detail, research, decide the certain chapters, start writing, finish it and now try to find a publisher. Here are certain points where you could “fail”, maybe already in the planning part, or you realize that you are bad at writing, or you can’t find someone who wants to publish you book.
So now, you failed.. but what did you lose? Maybe Time? Or energy? No. You lost nothing. But I can tell you what you gained. Experience, more knowledge – about writing, research and most important about yourself. You did something you always wanted to do and it didn’t work. This isn’t failure, this is trying and making an important experience. If you hadn’t tried you would no sit in your chair thinking about this book you’ve never written. Now you can say: I tried and it just wasn’t for me, it didn’t work but I learned a lot on the way.
Do you want to give up the life of your dreams because you could fail?
Let’s create another scenario. You always dreamed about living a certain life, maybe you got your own business, or you moved into another country, no matter what. You know deeply inside yourself that this is what you want to live like, this is what you want to see when you look around your life. But you don’t try it. You don’t start your business, you don’t move into this country. Because you are afraid of all the things that could go wrong. Let’s not talk this away, there is a lot that could go wrong.
Now first of all change your perspective. Instead of thinking about what could go wrong.. maybe have a look on all the things that could go right. Create a Vision in your mind of how your life could look like if you go for what you want and reach it. Looks nice, doesn’t it? Now create a Vision of what would happen if you fail. You start your business, but it doesn’t works. So you go back to having a normal 9-5 job.. exactly as you are having now. Or you move into the other country but you don’t like it as much as you thought.. so you come back to where you live now. In the end, if you fail, your life would look exactly as it does no, you are already failing.
Creating a Worst Case Scenario
This goes hand in hand with what I mentioned before but I want to give this one an extra point, because this is something you should always do when you are afraid of trying something. It is creating a Worst-Case-Scenario, and please try going for a realistic one. I don’t mean to be overly positive, but also don’t completely away from the reality of what could go wrong.
Now create your Scenario of what could possibly happen in the worst case, create it detailed, what would you do, how would your life look. Is it so bad that it justifies why you don’t even try? Actually, I don’t think so. I am pretty sure that it isn’t as bad as you act about it. And even if it is really bad, would it be worth it to starve your dreams?
Focus on the steps, not the whole way
You should also find out why you are so afraid. Maybe you are looking at the whole way in front of you and are overwhelmed and anxious. If this is the case, sit down and create an action-plan. Write down your big goal and then all the little steps you need to take in order to arrive at your goal. Be sure to make this very detailed so you don’t miss anything.
No, just focus on the next step you need to make. Is this really that overwhelming and worthy of your fear? Do this one step, than focus on the next, do the next and then focus on the next.. and so forth. Often we get so could up in this long way we need to go that we don’t realize what really counts are the small steps. Focus on them.
No matter what, you have to trust yourself. You are so one person who really knows you, the one person who is always by your side. Make sure that you completely trust in what you are doing. Not blindly, of course, but because you know yourself enough to do this. You know what you are capable of, you know your talents, your values, your dreams. If you come to this point of knowing yourself 100% it will be easy for you to find out if this goal is somehow realistic and worthwhile your time and energy.
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