Beating the “Failure” Fear

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For the past few months I’ve been struggling with what to write on here. Not because I don’t have thoughts or opinions on ‘things’; in fact the ponderings in my brain are more intense than ever! I just haven’t had any self belief that anyone will want to read them or more importantly, will care about them.

This fear of putting myself out there has creeped into many aspects of my life and the less I have done, the more daunting even the simple task of “blogging” has become. To keep striving for certain things in life is supposed to be an adventure, a pleasure and part of ‘the journey’ but I’ve seen every obstacle as reflection on my abilities and with that, my confidence has gone.

Anyway, I’m bored of it now. It is about time I did something about. So I’ve identified what it is that has been holding me back and unfortunately it is possibly the most common fear of them all. It can strike anyone; the mentally strong, the intellectuals, the beautiful and the skilled.

Failure is ultimately what I’m scared of and the nagging thought in the back of my mind that I’m probably going to mess it all up.

I’ve already messed up a few things! My first attempt at life in London was a bit of a bust. After just a few months, I was swallowed up by the place and ended up running back home to the safety of the seaside. My first ‘proper job’ had something to do with that and I allowed myself to get pushed around in a role that was supposed to be just a “means-to-an-end”. I also had a creepy flatmate who has put me off flat-sharing for life and a boyfriend who…well I won’t go into that. Lets just say I should have learnt a lot quicker and saved myself the heartache!

However, when I look back on this time now, I actually can’t stop the smile forming on my lips. The truth was, I was very “green” as the suits like to say. I was young, nieve and a little bit stupid and without these failures, I’d never have learnt that truth about myself. I’d never have learnt the crucial lessons that have allowed me to once again, take London on and become part of it in a way that I never imagined. So I’ve started to see each “failure” as exactly that, a ‘lesson’ and the truth is, the only way to really fail is to carry on like I have been, which is by not trying at all.

If you’ve been feeling a little bit like me, the next four points may help…

1. Accept that failure is part of life.
As much as people can live by the mindset that “failure is not an opition”; the reality is that it does happen. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t always work. Accept that fact and suddenly it isn’t as scary and far easier to move on from if/when you do fail.

2.Learn from past failures and enjoy them.
The chances are, at somepoint, in some capacity of your life, you have failed at some time. Even if your world has come crashing down around you (it has for me), chances are you’re over it now and consider yourself stronger and wiser. Remember that. So if your crippled by failure the next time you come to tackle something, remind yourself that you’ve overcome failure before and you will again.

3.Listen to other people’s stories.
Everything you’re feeling and every doubt you’re having has probably been felt and thought about by thousands of other people. Hear their stories. Read interviews with your heroes and see that most admit to multiple failures before hitting success. You’ll feel less alone in your fear and you’ll see that the risk of failure is worth it; you never know, you might not fail!

4.Learn, reflect, and learn some more.
Every failure builds character, strength and knowledge. Move on from each one reflecting on what tripped you up last time and set yourself up for success in the future.

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4 thoughts on “Beating the “Failure” Fear

  1. Kate, I love your posts 🙂

    Several chains of thought come to mind.

    1. “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche;
    2. Internalized self-talk, aka neurolinguistic programming (NLP), is a very powerful personal tool; http://www.nlp-now.co.uk/tips-n-tech.htm;
    3. Lack of proper diet, exercise and rest can create a multitude of problems;
    4. You’re right, I am one of many people who have self-doubts (and will continue for the rest of my life)… I have learned not to let those self-doubts overwhelm me in the long run;
    5. Me, myself and I is the only person I have, I shall not forsake myself;
    6. Besides myself, I have many other supporters who care about me… they contribute to my strength;
    7. I separate myself from those people whose negative attitudes tend to ‘drag me down’;

    Kate, I recognize your intelligence, your strength, your character and all the other positives that make up you. My best wishes are with you.

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  2. Do not worry about failure with blogging. It doesn’t matter if people read them or not as long as you have your reasons for doing it. I find it is a way of getting rid of problems, just writing about something. However the comments here already suggest you are doing something right!

    Like

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