Breaking Free From The Fear Of Failure

Failure is a natural, and normal, part of life – yet so many of us are frightened of it and avoid it at all costs. Society, and the media, tell us that failing is bad, that we should succeed at what we want to do immediately; reinforcing that fear, and meaning that we end up staying further and further within our comfort zones, barely venturing outside.

And what happens when we do that? We merely exist, we don’t live our lives to their fullest, and achieve our undoubted potential. We also become unhappy. After all, life exists in all its colours and variations outside comfort zones not inside them.

So how can you break free from the fear of failure, and claim the success you want and deserve – whatever that might be?

Use failure as a motivator

The most successful people you can name, and many more besides, have used failure as a motivator. They’ve reflected on what happened, what they could have done differently, where they could have improved, and then carried out those reflective actions. It may have taken them many attempts to finally achieve their success but they got there in the end. My favourite example is that of James Dyson, the designer, and archetypal tryer. He made 5127 tweaks to the internal cyclone technology of his vacuum cleaner before he got it right. What would have happened if he’d given up at attempt 5126..? (Clue: my carpets wouldn’t be anywhere near as dust free.)

What failure in your life can you use to motivate you? Sometimes it’s the mere fact that you failed that can be the motivator to try again; sheer bloodymindedness or indignance at getting things wrong is my trigger to keep going. For some, knowing that they don’t want to stay in the same place is all it takes. What might it take for you?

It’s never a failure if you learn

It’s easy to get things wrong, fail, and then retreat back into our comfort zones for fear of getting things wrong a second time, or a third time. Yet, that’s the perfect time to get back out there and try again! It takes courage to try something, more courage to try something again when you got it wrong – but it’s the only way to get it right.

If you reflect on what happened, identify where the problem was, and then put your learning into action, that’s a success in itself right there.

Failure is part of success

Failure is a rung on the ladder to success. Always. It’s never something done in isolation, it’s always part of an end game. However, if you stop at the failure, you’ll never reach the top of the ladder. There’s always something more, always something to learn, and always something to achieve. The bigger the goal, the more likely the chance of failure along the way. However, if you really want it badly enough you’ll be brave enough to suck up the mistakes and look forward to the success.

And the best bit? Success becomes addictive, so failure just becomes part of the game. When you focus on the end result, you accept failure as part of the journey.

Turn your focus from the failure you may encounter, to the result you want. Learn as you go, make the tweaks needed, and success will be yours.