Part 1 – All in your mind
Shhhh…I have a secret to tell you.
You are not going to get everything
perfect all of the time. In fact, you won’t a lot of the time. You are going to fail sometimes in life. Get over it! It is going to happen, accept it and be prepared to take the lesson from it, but for so many people the actual fear of failure paralyses them into inaction and they wonder why their lives never seem to becoming what they want it to.
This, I can tell you right now will stop more people from going after what they want in their lives than almost anything else. I know it held me back for years to really go after my biggest dreams, the ones that really scared me, ultimately, are the ones, which will do more to change your life than anything else.
The unfortunate thing to realise is that in life we are set up to fail through the belief systems we are taught, the experiences we have at home, at school, at work by being taught to be afraid of failing. Just read that again to digest it for a moment.
- School is pass and fail on a standard set of competencies which everyone is supposed to be measured by, neglecting the individual potential of the child;
- We are taught good or bad as children and the right and wrong way to behave which makes up a good boy or girl or a naughty one
- We are taught that we are only worthy if we achieve something great according to society’s rules;
- Life is unfair;
- We have to fit in, which means to be like everyone else;
- Don’t take risks;
- What will others think?
Preparing for and getting past failure is a change in beliefs more than anything else and awareness is the start of that.
Here is the important stuff: How do we get past failure?
As I mentioned, your beliefs are the most important aspect here, but there are also some strategies you can employ to get you back on the road to achieving your goals. Let’s go through it below in 2 sections. First Beliefs and then in a second article, the strategies & action steps you can take to keep you moving forward
1. Don’t take it personally
Don’t make failing personal, don’t embody it into part of who you are and your identity – as soon as you start saying “I failed at this, that must mean I am a failure”, your confidence drops and so does your motivation to try new things and you creep back into your comfort zone where you feel safe again. There is a difference between failing at something versus being a failure. The latter creates helplessness where you feel that you are no longer in control of the direction of your life and your ability to create change whenever you choose.
Failure is not who you are, it is
part of your journey to who you are
Here is something to think about:
I have said failure a lot in this post, every time you read it, what feelings and emotions and thoughts has it brought up for you? Notice it for a moment and then let it go just as quickly. This is important to know how you naturally react to it and how it makes you feel.
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down – Mary Pickford
2. What others think of you is not your concern
If you want to guarantee that you will live an unhappy life, here is how: draw your sense of self worth from what others think of you.
When you are always trying to please others, you will always be unhappy, because you are trying to live life by their rules and not yours.
Guess what, if you are going to design, create and live an exceptional life, you are going to be doing things and thinking things which seem weird and ‘wrong’ in most peoples eyes, and you will become a professional rule breaker because you are breaking the rules around how life is supposed to be and how you are supposed to behave and the things you should and should not do and what society expects from you.
- Do you recognise some areas in your life where you have been limiting yourself trying to fit into other people’s expectations?
- What rules have you been living by which really have not been serving you in living your ultimate life?
- What rules of society or from other people do you know you need to break to take your life to the next level?
3. Your WHY is far more important than your WHAT.
Before you embarked on the journey, which perhaps didn’t work out the way you planned, there was a greater vision or a greater purpose that you were working towards; otherwise, you wouldn’t have started in the first place. Sometimes when we don’t achieve our outcome first time around, or the second or third, we can tend to get despondent and slowly back away and lose sight of why we started in the first place.
Along your journey, you have to be constantly realigning all of your actions to your vision and purpose and asking, “what am I really going for here?” The things you do when moving towards your goals and ultimate outcome are nowhere near as important as why you were doing it. Always come back to your ‘WHY’, the action steps you physically take are just a strategy and we all know there are many strategies out there to achieve a goal only limited by our own imagination.
When you embody these beliefs and realise that failing is just part of the journey and you are not going to be maimed or broken or never amount to anything or any of that other crap and when you expect it and prepare for it to happen,
all of a sudden failure isn’t so scary. You may even start to welcome it because you know that when you fail it means you have pushed yourself, you have gone outside of your comfort zone on the path to something greater. And that takes true courage.
Your mindset and beliefs around failure and success and your own self-image is the most important part of dealing with the fear of failure, which paralyses so many people, however it is also important to have a plan in place for when it happens so you bounce back rapidly back on the right path. This is what the second part of this article is all about.
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