Have you ever been afraid of failing at something? Of course, you have! We have all been that baby clinging to the edge of the couch afraid to take a step on our own. Afraid that we will fail and get hurt. If you never push yourself past your comfort zone then you never grow. You never give yourself a chance to get hurt. You certainly will never achieve your goals if you never try.
So, let’s hit 5 things I want you to take into consideration as you move forward.
1. By never starting, you are choosing failure.
You are afraid to fail. So you use that as an excuse to never begin. However, if you never even start then you have already failed. What is a failure? Not succeeding? How will you succeed or win at anything if you don’t try? If so, you have already achieved the failure status when you chose to let your fear rule your choices.
You will never make any progress by sitting still. Are you taking away your chances for success out of fear? This is mostly a mental battle that you will need to overcome by yourself. Yes, by yourself! You may have an incredible support system and friends with you. However, if you do not choose to actually start something, they will never get the chance to support you. You have to work past your fear and accept that failure is simply a possible outcome.
2. It probably won’t hurt THAT bad.
Speaking of failure being a possible outcome…
Consider your options. Think of your end goal and what will happen if you fail. Will it be a blow to your ego, to your spirit? Or, will you see how far you were able to go and push harder next time? Sometimes we make something small seem big and scary. That failure might not even be that bad. If you want to start a new fitness program but are afraid of failure, what would happen? Would you be worse off for trying? Would your health be worse because you exercised a few times?
Trial and Error. Who has heard of this method of research? EVERYONE!!! There is a reason people like to try different scenarios and see how they play out. Through the failed experiments you can learn a few new things. Maybe you eliminate one variable. Perhaps, you now understand that your fitness problem was not in working out, but really in your time management. Maybe, it was just your willpower to resist the kids’ snacks (always tasting amazing) that threw you off your eating plan. You can adjust, adapt, and overcome once you have gathered enough information.
3. Are you really afraid of failing?
I was watching Rachel Hollis live on Instagram this morning. She is a favorite of mine and always motivational and encouraging. I had already planned to write this article on fear of failure before I heard the live feed. As it turns out, she was traveling, so her husband Dave Hollis took over for her. I almost exited out, disappointed that I didn’t get some motivational words to start my day.
Let me tell you what! That man is an amazing public speaker. He seriously starts talking about failing, the process, and how to get past the fear. He was speaking directly to my soul! Or the other 1,400 people listening! But, in my heart, it felt like it was for me. Something I needed to hear so very badly.
Are you really afraid of failing? Well, are you? Does the thought of possibly failing terrify you? This can be true for some people. But honestly, most people are afraid of failing in front of other people. You post your goal or progress on social media for accountability. But if you fail, everyone will see that you did not succeed. I have a serious fear of others judgment.
Forget the judgment and go for the goal!
We are so caught up in how other people perceive us, or how they will judge us. Some of the people I respect the most and learn from the most are the people who share their stories of failure. I love seeing super successful people share the times they messed up. Hearing that it’s part of the process for everyone can sometimes make it feel as if you aren’t expected to be perfect ALL. THE. TIME.
It’s okay to fail! It’s also okay to share that failure and be honest. Tell someone what you learned, explain what you will change when you try again! If people judge you then they probably have their own problems to work out. Shockingly, you will probably get more support and people that relate to your struggles then you would imagine possible. People like to hear that they are not a failure because they did not meet a goal. Failures make us stronger and make up a huge part of the journey. Embrace it!
4. Does someone else’s success make you a failure?
As people, we like to find people with like-minded goals. It is super helpful to have an example to follow. To have competition with a friend and challenge each other. You can use someone else’s story as motivation. Hey, that is a great idea! What isn’t a great idea, is comparing someone’s story to yours. We are all on our own journey. No matter the time frame, or the frame of mind.
You are not someone else. They have probably been on their own journey and had a lot of struggles. You don’t know all of someone else’s story just like they don’t know yours. My baby girl, not really a baby anymore, is a year and a half and love, love, loves Daniel Tiger. He always sings a catchy song to go along with the lesson. Yesterday was the episode about doing your best and not comparing with others. The song was cute “do your best, your best is the best for you!”
What a catchy tune, and it was stuck in my head all day. But, as I was thinking about it I started to really realize I needed the reminder. What someone else is doing may not be the best for me. I need to have my own journey, my own struggles, and my own success. YOU need to have your own journey! Examples of motivation or inspiration are fine. Do not get caught in the trap of being envious of someone else’s success.
Someone else that appears to be farther ahead of you DOES NOT mean that you have failed. It simply means they are at a different place in their journey.
5. Are you enjoying the journey?
Believe it or not, a lot of fear can disappear. If you are afraid of failing then take a step back. Make a list of what you are thankful for. Perhaps you need to appreciate the progress you have made. Then, you can appreciate the chance to go on the journey. Take the time and be grateful that there is a possibility of failure. Happiness Begins with Gratefulness is an article I wrote recently. I was struggling to realize that I am in charge of deciding if I am happy or not.
We have the choice to be happy and it usually begins with being grateful. If you are grateful for your husband and amazing kids, the fear of failure seems less severe. Be happy with what you have, have a support system, and the risk factor gets severely decreased.
Consider the thing in your life you are most proud of. Was it easy? Was it without some anxious feelings about the outcome? If you have kids chances are you understand the joy/terror feeling that accompanies that process. Graduated from college? So many late nights, papers, tests, and being afraid of wasting that much money to possibly fail. Some of the greatest things in life come with the greatest risk.
Are you afraid of failing, or are you ready to succeed?
It can actually be that simple. Are you willing to commit and move past your fear? Are you mentally capable of being bigger than the fear of failure and judgment? Maybe, it’s time to start taking the things we want out of life. If we never push for what we want, if we never try to better ourselves, we aren’t really living a full life. I believe most of us do not want to wait until the end and still be wondering “what if…”
Buck up soldier, put on your big girl panties, and just go do the thing! There will never be a perfect time to try, and the possibility of failure will never truly go away. You just have to try, and if you fail, learn from it and try again. You need to want yourself to succeed more than you want to feel safe. Become a thrill seeker and enjoy the fall. Enjoy the exciting journey and live your life.