Most of us experience times when we’re worried about failing. It could be exams at school or something at work or just a combination of things that life has thrown at us, just when we least expected them to occur.
Sometimes the fear of failure is a very real fear but, more often, it’s something that we allow to dwell in our mind often enough that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, even though we’re actually perfectly capable of succeeding rather than failing.
Follow these simple ideas to quell your fear of failure and start succeeding more often.
Go through the potential outcomes
Take a step back and go through all the potential outcomes of whatever it is that is causing you to fill up with fear.
A pen and paper is the best place to do this. Partly because it gets you away from the distraction of a computer screen. Partly because the physical act of writing words on paper makes them more “real” than just typing away on a keyboard.
Then have fun going through your list and map out the most likely outcomes and how you can influence them to be in your favor.
Have a Plan B
There’s almost always another option available to you – a Plan B.
If that’s the case, spend a bit of time going through that option and figuring out whether you’ve got a greater chance of success with this second plan.
So if, for instance, Plan A has a high chance of failure (me doing practical work around the house for instance) but Plan B has a much higher chance of success, don’t be afraid to go with the second plan.
It’s almost always better to get a positive result even if it’s not totally ideal than to get upset because you’ve failed again.
Go for a quick win
The universe rewards speed. Maybe because it’s expanding at an incredibly fast pace itself.
Quick wins have a couple of advantages:
- They’re quick – by definition, otherwise you wouldn’t count them as a quick win
- You’ve won – again, this is by definition. And the more often you win, the more it becomes your normal outcome
Pick off a few things on your “I’m going to fail” list. Start with the smaller things, the one you’re most likely to be able to turn into wins, and do a few of them.
Don’t beat yourself up
No-one wins 100% of the time unless they’re cheating.
So don’t beat yourself up if you sometimes fail.
That happens – get over it as fast as you can.
Depending on what the failure was, it may or may not be worth spending some time analyzing it and working out how you can do better next time.
But break state and move on as fast as you possibly can without taking the failure out on yourself.
Create a “fear list”
Yikes – that sounds scary in itself.
But often the process of listing out things – including the things we’re afraid of – is cathartic and actually acts as a cleansing process.
Seeing the fears written down puts a different aspect on them and the mere act of writing them down can reduce their impact.
Laugh at your fears
Our fears are like bullies – they have to be in charge and in control.
When you laugh at them, that takes the edge off things.
And because fears aren’t physical things, they can’t hit back at you when you stop taking them as seriously as you have in the past.
Go on, have some fun with this. It’s about time!
Use positive affirmations
Affirmations are just short sentences that you can repeat to yourself when you need to.
Things like “I bounce back fast from any failures” and “I’m succeeding more often” would be good ones to start with.
If you’re not very good at remembering to repeat affirmations, take yourself out of the equation by listening to a subliminal track that repeats them at a lower volume level that goes straight into your subconscious mind.