Fear of failure is the greatest obstacle to success in life. I have never met anyone who really love to fail. I have also never met or read about anyone who has never failed. Everyone has experienced failure at one time or the other. The only way to avoid failure is to do nothing. Failure is not what holds people down, it is the fear of trying again, of disappointing others, of assuming that the whole world has turned against you, of accepting yourself as too weak to fight back. What many of us don’t know is that it’s okay to have fears. It’s also okay to have sets backs and challenges. What is not okay is living through those fears day in day out without doing anything about it. Here are 5 simple steps that could help you leverage your fear for success.
1) Do Something about Your Fears
Take that leap of faith and do something about your fear! This is the most powerful message I took away from a recent TED Talk by Leonard Kim. Leonard’s TED talk has been described as one of the most inspiring for overcoming fear.
In the talk, Leonard spoke about how he did something about his fear and went ahead in building extra-ordinary life thereafter. It’s easy for one to dream, to have hopes and aspirations. It’s also easy to make excuses on how not to achieve these dreams. Excuses like; I’m too busy, I’m a family man, I don’t have the money, I don’t have enough time, e.t.c. are common reasons many dreams go unfulfilled. We hide behind these excuses because they provide a false feeling of comfort. Remember, it’s just a “false feeling”. Excuses only take you round in circles until they bring you back to the exact point where you left off. Rather than dwelling on excuses start taking proactive measures to overcome them.
2) Harness your Talents
We are all gifted in unique ways. Everyone has that one thing or a couple of things they can do effortlessly. Groom yourself to become an expert in your field or in the areas you feel you are talented. If you are struggling to discover your talents or areas of strength you can begin by writing out your hobbies or the things you love to do. You can ask family and friends what they have observed you are good at doing. You can also take an online talent assessment. After discovering these areas, focus on your growth. Get a mentor, read up as much as you can about expert in your field. In all, take time to develop yourself to become a better version of who you currently are.
3) Break out from the Fear Factor
How do you see the glass, half full or half empty? Positivity help alleviate fears by boosting confidence levels. Rather than allow your fears to hold you back, make it your motivating factor and driving force. The mind is a strong tool and how you use it, either to your advantage or disadvantage, is entirely up to you. Tell yourself you can achieve anything. Write out your fears on a piece of paper, turn them into positive phrases and read them out loud to yourself every day.
4) Recognize your ability to Grow
Most people give up on their dreams because they believe reaching their goals is beyond their capacity. Successful people however dream big and adopt a positive mindset. They see their abilities as a flexible thing that is capable of growth. So, even if they don’t have the current capacity to achieve a dream they know there are steps to take and paths to follow in growing their abilities to achieve the dream. When faced with setbacks, they don’t just give up, they try harder by re-strategizing and finding new ways to solve their problems. Recognizing that you are capable of growth make it easy to build up the courage needed to overcome our fears.
5) Recognize that Failure is Inevitable
Yes, you will fail! Failure is part of the learning process and the journey to success. However, failure is not the end of the journey. Failure only lets you know that there is a better way of doing something. As the saying goes, experience is often the best teacher. You can use the experiences from failure to your advantage. These experiences offer fresh insights and brings new perspectives and approaches that would help you adjust your strategy and approach.
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