Time and time again, we notice this pattern from successful individuals. Despite how many times they fail, they push through, persevere, overcome adversity, and move on to achieve remarkable results. While fear of failure is instinctual, it can also be seriously debilitating. In this article, I will discuss proven strategies to help you overcome a fear of failure and achieve success.

1. Change Your Mindset

Overcoming the paralyzing fear of failure requires completely changing your outlook on what actually counts as a failure.

Rather than examining the possibilities of what could go wrong, you begin to view every situation as a learning opportunity. This can only happen through the process of cultivating a growth mindset. For instance, people with a fixed mindset tend to see qualities such as creativity or intelligence as static.

In this context, there’s no room for development. So often, these individuals tend to get stuck due to feeling helpless. Not only does this make it impossible to overcome challenges but it also amplifies that fear of failure.

On the other hand, people who practice a growth mindset tend to see setbacks as potential for learning and evolving. They believe in their ability to expand the qualities and attributes they possess beyond the scope of what is conventional. 

I was recently asked to share more of my struggles and failures in my written blogs so that my readers feel a greater sense of relatability; however, due to my continual growth mindset I’ve established over my lifetime, I’ve moved through and viewed difficulties with a more positive lens. I tackle struggles head on so that I do not view experiences in a negative light. How do I do that? First, I always ask the universe why something is happening and work to figure out what I can learn from this challenge? I feel even unpleasant circumstances are teaching me something whether I like it or not!

Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, you need to redirect that energy to continuous growth and improvement.

2. Visualize Your Fears

Before making your mind up about your inability to solve a problem, you must take a step back to self-reflect.

Where does that fear stem from, that powerlessness and incapacitation? Are you too wrapped up inside your mind that you can’t detach yourself from the situation at hand? What self-limiting beliefs are holding you back?

Before you jump into the worst-case scenario, invest the time in fear-setting. Try to visualize what is irrational and implausible from what is surmountable. Instead of running around in circles, be proactive, and choose to take action.

First, create a comprehensive list of all the things you’re afraid to do, e.g: starting a business, changing careers… Now delineate everything you’re afraid will happen if you take that path. Next, draft a counter-attack strategy to prevent all of those disagreeable outcomes. Finally, if your fears were to come true, think about the actions you will take to rectify the damage.

When you have a plan you’re confident in, this helps you break that one monstrous task into more manageable ones.

3. Understand the Necessity of Failure

Our modern world is characterized by unprecedented change and disruption.

This means innovation is possibly at the heart of every successful business and entrepreneurship. In fact, companies that don’t take risks quickly find themselves on the path to obsolescence, and perhaps even bankruptcy. And what drives innovation but failure? Nothing else! Some of the world’s most brilliant minds have encouraged failure. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, once said:

I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying”.

Taking risks, despite the possibility of failure, is what drives innovation and success. So, you need to understand that failure isn’t only necessary for growth but it’s what sets the road to success. Expecting everything to go according to plan is not always realistic. Sometimes, plans derail, and you find yourself facing unprecedented setbacks.

In these instances, it’s important to stay focused on what matters, learn from failure, and persevere!

What is one of your greatest fears? I look forward to reading your comments.

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