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Julia Matheson

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the fear of failure

Failure is actually PART OF success.

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” 

– Arianna Huffington

It sounds crazy I know, but when you look at all the wildly successful individuals in the world – Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates – they’ll tell you how many times they lost the game, missed the shot, blew the sales pitch, got fired or were flat out rejected.

Failing is in fact the only common theme between people that achieve great things.

Yet FAILING is one of our biggest fears as humans. How many times have you been stopped dead in your tracks because of the fear of failure? Of messing something up? Of making a fool of yourself?

Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less. The only thing standing between most people and their dreams is the fear of failure. Yet failure is essential to success in any endeavour. Failure tests us and allows us to grow. It offers us lessons and guides us along the path of enlightenment.

–  Robin Sharma

So if failure helps us grow and leads to our ultimate success, why are we SO afraid of it?

It’s time for you to re-shape the way you look at failure, and start to learn to embrace it instead of being fearful.

So What is your own personal relationship to failure?
How do you frame it?
How does it make you feel?

Start to dig around (it may be uncomfortable) and uncover what failure means to you.

Unless you change the present, the past will predict the future. Until you change your state of mind, you’ll repeat the mistakes of your past. When you’re stuck, ask yourself: How can I bounce back higher and harder? Rise above the failure, dust yourself off, and go out there guns a-blazin. It’s a decision you make alone, in the dark, in the quiet; you choose to find the upside of the agony.

The age old saying comes to mind – you can’t change what happens to you, but you can change the way you react to it. It’s all about picking your battles, preserving your energy and faith.

What’s your initial reaction when you are faced with rejection or failure? Do you feel dejected and want to call up in a ball? Or do you cop it on the chin, take note of the lessons, and keep trying?

How you respond to failure will have a lot to do with the level of success you achieve.

Remember that rejection and failure feel personal, but you have a choice as to whether you take it that way. We all have the option to choose a low-profile life. But if you want to make a difference in the world, you’re probably going to upset some people along the way. So stand tall.

– Christine Comaford-Lynch

So what can you do to try and help improve your relationship to failure? How can you pick yourself up off the floor after a big set back? How can you boost your resilience?

Below are a few tips to help you overcome, and eventually EMBRACE failure.

4 WAYS TO OVER COME FAILURE

  • Help Someone.
    When we experience failure, naval gazing and wallowing tend to be our go to. Shake it up. Do some volunteer work. When you’re stuck or psyched out after failure, help others. It’ll help you stop dwelling on negativity and will foster hope.
  • Remember Your Strengths.
    Humans have a negativity bias, which means we hang on to and remember negative things in our lives far more than positive things. So in times of failure, you can often forget how amazing you actually are. Make and post a list of your awesome qualities, your strengths, your skills, and your achievements. It’s crucial to learn to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Learn The Lesson.
    There is ALWAYS a lesson in the madness. The problem is that most people don’t stay in this space long enough to actually work out what the lesson is. Be curious, investigate the situation. Write down all the lessons that are available for you to learn with this experience.
  • Move Forward.
    Failure has the tendency to stop us dead in our tracks. So the key to moving through this phase is to keep moving. What small step can you take forward from here?

 

With practice you’ll learn to fail forward, more often than not. You’ll learn to rock rejection and finesse failure. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we fall short of what we expect of ourselves. But as long as you keep moving, and keep increasing connection to yourself and others, you’ll make it.

– Christine Comaford-Lynch

Remember that happiness comes through good judgement, good judgement comes through experience, and experience comes through bad judgement. You NEED to experience rejection, disappointment and failure on your journey. It’s PART of your journey, not an annoying delay or distraction. The faster you can see that, and believe that, the easier it will be to embrace failure.

What big dreams do you have that have been put up on the shelf because of your fear of failure?

Know that somebody out there wants what you have.

Keep looking, keep asking, keep the faith, and focus on finding this person.

The pain of your confused mind and the brilliance of your awakened mind make up the mandala of your life. . . We have to know ourselves fully and completely, avoiding nothing, never averting our gaze.

– Pema Chodron


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