There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure”- Paulo Coelho, Alchemist.
Naturally, we are afraid of things that we do not understand correctly. Though fear is an emotion similar to anger, happiness and sadness, it is one of the factors that shape your life. It can make your life crippled, paralyzed and static. However, while there are some who keep delaying things due to fear of failure, there are others who eventually learn and overcome their fears to move ahead in life and achieve success. The question is: how do they do this? How do they overcome their fears? What strategies do they follow? We will talk about strategies, techniques and ways to overcome fear and achieve success but before that, let’s understand what fear is.
What is Fear?
According to PersonalExcellence.Co, fear is a tool or a defense mechanism that we humans have developed during the evolutionary process to protect ourselves from dangers. Naturally, when humans face the threat, they adopt a “Fight or Flight strategy” in which they either face the danger or run away from it.
The strategy, however, is only applicable against the hazards that can physically harm us. The fear that we encounter because of dangers that do not result in physical harm needs an entirely different approach to overcome. One needs to deal with the fear of these non-physical risks logically, calmly and relaxed. We have compiled a list of ways to overcome fear and achieve success:
Ways to Overcome Fear and Achieve Success
1. Identifying Your Fear
One of the first ways to overcome fear and achieve success in your life is the identification of all of your fears. As mentioned earlier, the things that we do not understand are the things that frighten us. So, if we start understanding the origin of our fears, we can overcome them.
The question, however, is why do we fear failure? Personally, I was a perfectionist; I used to opt for ventures that will only lead to success. I had this bad habit of not even attempting things that had a slight chance of failure. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down all of your mental fears.
2. Face Your Fears
After identification of your fears, you must develop the strength to face them. You need to be able to look at your fears without closing your eyes. We often run away from problems thinking it would solve them but in reality running away can only make the situation worse.
The only way to solve problems is to be able to identify your fears and then be brave enough to face them. Being brave, however, does not certainly mean you must push yourself into problematic situations. What I want to imply is that to overcome certain fears, you should at least try and face them in smaller states.
For example, in today’s competitive corporate world, if you are one of those people who is afraid of public speaking, you may find it hard to get promotions and other incentives. One of the ways to overcome this fear and achieve success is participation in small meetings and talking in front of colleagues that you’re comfortable with. Once you have built some confidence, you may ask your superior to give you a chance to lead a project. This way you can overcome your fear because the more you face your fears, the more you build up confidence.
3. Get rid of the fears that hold you back
Fear of failure can hold you back from doing anything. It limits your potential and holds you back from any personal growth. Life is all about growing, not just physically but mentally and spiritually as well. We have to keep growing to become better but if you let your fears take control of your life and become its slave you will never be able to grow.
Try to get rid of your fears and step out of your comfort zone to experience new things. These little experiences make you happy and help you grow.
4. Talk about Your Fears
One of the ways to overcome fear and achieve success is to talk about them to the people you trust – friends, family, spouse, etc. Remember, you must talk about your concerns only with people that you trust and know will support and encourage you. If you speak about them to people who do not help you, it will only make the situation worse.
Don’t trust anyone? No problem, make a journal or write about them in your diary. The important thing is to release your fears; it doesn’t matter if they’re in the form of writing or in conversation.
5. Analyses of Different Outcomes
If you’re afraid of starting a new venture, business or project, it’s completely normal because it is an anxious job. One of the ways to overcome fear and achieve success is to be completely sure about the possible outcomes and worst case scenarios. When you know about the results, you can prepare yourself.
Analyze the different possible outcomes and plan your process to achieve your goals accordingly. Believe me–you will be a lot less afraid of it after proper planning.
6. Imagine Worst Case Scenarios
People may argue that instead of thinking about worst case scenarios, one should think about positive outcomes. I disagree. I think one should think about all the most harmful consequences along with positive results because that is the only way you could face your fear. Only when you can see the most dangerous effects of something will you be able to prepare yourself for it.
Remember, it’s not easy to imagine worst case scenarios about something and still do it. You need to be able to gather your strength, be positive and prepare yourself.
7. Trust Your Instincts
Always trust your instincts. Okay, I mean not always of course, but after proper planning and analyses of outcomes, you should always go for what your instincts tell you. Let me ask, have you ever experienced this sudden realization while watching sports that shows you either your team will win the match or not? This feeling is called gut feeling.
You can use your gut feeling in the decision-making process as well but only after proper planning and analyses.
8. Be Optimistic
I understand it may be hard to be optimistic after a series of failures and analyses of different outcomes but believe me, being optimistic helps a lot. It helps you maintain your energy, be happy, organized and more productive. Optimism is not about just saying whatever you do will lead you to success, optimism is giving your best and staying positive about the results.
9. Always Have Backup Plan
One of the ways to overcome fear and achieve success is to have a backup plan ready. A backup plan is your insurance in case everything goes sideways. People may argue that having a backup plan is already accepting your failure, but I disagree. I think having a backup plan is necessary to fight your inner fears. It gives you strength to do something that you normally can’t do.
10. Remember you’re not alone
You’re not the only person experiencing this fear of failure. If you ask some of the successful entrepreneurs, sportsmen, authors, actors or honestly any successful person about their experience, I doubt anyone would disagree that they experienced this fear of failure at some point in their lives. However, what makes them successful today is the way they faced and overcame their fears.
11. Learn Relaxation Strategies
Relaxation techniques help you take control of the situation. Techniques, such as deep breaths, clenching muscles and calming yourself at the time of decision-making, help you make the right choices that lead to success.
12. Give Yourself a Break
Want to make a huge decision? One that would completely change your life but you’re afraid of it? Take a vacation, go somewhere calm and relaxing and just let go of your fears. Enjoy your stay without any worries and at some point, you will get the answer if you should do this or not.
13. Encourage Yourself
Once you have decided to do something that you were afraid of, celebrate it. Give yourself a gift, such as a book or music DVD or something that you like. With this encouragement, next time you will find it much easier to make hard decisions.
14. Use Fears as Opportunities
Think of concerns as opportunities that will help you experience things you have never experienced before. Once you take control of your fears, you can use them as a tool to grow and build more confidence.
What do you think about the techniques we shared with you to help overcome fear and achieve success?
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