Many people are afraid of failure. People have different things that they fear. Some people fear failure; others fear just stepping outside of their comfort zone. Whatever it is, fear is a part of human nature. It will always be a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. Instead of avoiding fear, we should learn to acknowledge and accept it. Only then will we adopt a more healthy relationship with fear.
Acknowledge Your Fears
One of the best things you can do for yourself mentally is acknowledging your fears. Dismissing your fears is a big mistake. Fear is always lingering around, and it will never go away unless you acknowledge it. Take, for example, the fear of failure.
The fear of failure is a commonly shared fear among many people in the world. Many people fear failing at something at some point in their lives, whether they fail to reach their goals or think they’re failing their family.
That is why some people who’ve never experienced failure take it very hard when they fail for the first time. They keep telling themselves either that they will never fail or that they won’t fail ever again. They keep denying it until it starts eating away at them. The reality is, failure is always going to be a part of our lives. The only way we learn from our mistakes is through failure.
Redefine Failure and Reframe Your Goals
Failure doesn’t have to be something to fear; rather, it should be something that should teach us to improve ourselves. We always learn from failure, so try thinking about it in a more positive light.
You can reframe failure by first reframing your goals. As mentioned earlier, failure doesn’t have to be feared; rather, it can be reframed. For example, instead of saying, “This year, I want to lose 20 pounds!” try saying, “This year, I want to improve my health!” Saying that you want to improve your health still allows you the opportunity of trying to lose 20 pounds, but if you don’t reach it, you can rest assured that you did achieve your goal of improving your health. Reframing your goals in a way like this instead of something particular ensures that you won’t fail since you still reached the goal you set for yourself.
Focus on How Overcoming Your Fear Will Promote Growth
When people fail, they end up doubting themselves and critiquing themselves harshly. Think about the many times where you’ve failed at something. You’ve probably told yourself that “I’m not good enough” or “I won’t be successful.” Then, you probably start thinking about the impact that this perceived failure will have on your life. That kind of thinking usually happens right after you fail. Failure hurts and stings when it happens, but you should know that feeling is not a permanent one. Once you get over that initial feeling, you will realize that failure can actually promote personal growth. Failing the first couple of times might take some getting used to, but you will eventually begin to accept it as a learning opportunity.
Here are some steps to help you overcome failure and begin to accept it.
- Acknowledge failure, and don’t try to push it away or sweep it under the rug. Failure always hurts in the beginning, but you have to learn to accept it. Denying it or dismissing it will only lead you to hold it inside of you longer than it should have, which is not optimal for your mental health. Accepting failure as quickly as you can let you process it faster and help you in the long run.
- Don’t take it like you are a failure just because you “failed” at something. Just think of it as a bump in the road. Sure it slowed you down, but you will still get over it. “Failing” at something doesn’t make you a failure. It is just a temporary feeling, and it doesn’t represent who you are as a person.
- Once you’ve come to accept the failure, now is the time to look back on it to learn from it. Ask yourself questions like, “What can I learn from this?” “What can I do so I won’t make the same mistake again? “What are some positive things I can take away from this?” Questions like these reframe failure from something to fear to a learning opportunity. This can help you grow more as a person and develop a healthier relationship with “failure.”
- Remember that everyone fails at some point in their lives. People fail at different times in their lives. Just because you failed at reaching a new goal doesn’t make you a failure. Chances are, that person might’ve failed before and learned from it. If nobody failed, we all would still be making the same mistakes.
- You can also learn about how different people have dealt with failure. They more than likely dealt with their failures in different ways. Reading or asking about what they failed in and what they did after can reinforce the idea that it isn’t something that you should fear.
Overcoming failure can be difficult at first, but you will accept it once you get through those initial feelings of pain. From there, you can look back at what you “failed” at and how you can improve upon it so you won’t do the same thing again.
Don’t Let Fear Control You
As humans, fear is part of our nature. It is always around us, no matter what. That is why you shouldn’t let it control you and dictate how you go about your life. Think about the many things that we couldn’t have accomplished if we stay in our comfort zones. Sometimes, you just have to roll with the punches and learn from them. Only then will you finally overcome your fear of failure.