”If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”.Dale Carnegie
Fear of failure might just be the number 1 reason why people with great talents never pursue their dreams. Do you ever find yourself looking back in time and wondering where you would’ve been if you had just done that one thing you’ve always wanted to do?
Regret may be as negative a feeling as failure. However, its failure that builds your house of success one brick at a time.
What has regret ever done for you?
Changing your mindset starts with changing your beliefs about failure. You can either allow it to break you, or turn it into a lesson and keep going full steam ahead, knowing more today than you did yesterday.
How to Get Around to Conquering Your Fear
Prepare Yourself Mentally To Succeed
It all starts with the most powerful tool we all possess…….the mind. It’s not like you don’t already know how to fail. You can fail by doing the same thing you’re doing right now! But how do you prepare your mind to succeed? Watch this TED Talk by Mark Sodderwall to understand how to get over your fears and change your mindset from ‘fear of failure’ to ‘failure as a lesson’.
10 Tips for conquering your fear of failure
Making significant changes is a marathon, not a race. No one is immune to the fear of failure. Even the most prominent among us have experienced overwhelming anxiety when change is imminent. It’s how you channel that anxiety that makes the difference. Read my post on how to persevere even when you’re unsure or afraid.
1. Have SMART goals
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bounded. This a good place to start. It will get you focused and motivated. Making this strategy a part of your DNA will ensure that you have control over every aspect of your life, whether it’s taking on a project, taking charge of your finances, or learning anything new.
A breakdown of SMART goals
S = Specific
When you get specific about what you want to achieve, it becomes easier to map out a plan of how to get there.
- What are you passionate about?
- What have you always wanted to do, but it seems unachievable?
- What have you been wanting to do for years but never had the time to get around to doing it?
- What excuses have you been making?
- How do you want to do it?
- With whom?
- What are your limitations?
Write them down, take a good look at them and start thinking out of the box about how you can tackle these challenges. If you can’t come up with the answers, make Google your best friend!
If you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, or what career would suit you best, take this free Myers Briggs personality test. It will help you get a clearer picture of where your efforts should be focused, based on your personality. This test is pretty accurate, you’ll be surprised at what you can learn about yourself.
M = Measureable
- Take the information you now have from being specific, and break down your goal into measurable little goals. This way you will be able to track your progress and how far you have come, or how far you still have to go.
- What steps do you have to take to reach your goal?
- Break those steps down into measurable elements. For example, if your goal is to be more healthy, start with making a weekly schedule and jotting down the days on which you ate fruit and vegetables. How you have a clear picture of your efforts and progress. It also gives you an idea of what changes need to be made
- Include which goals are to be accomplished by which date. Make a calendar for each subsidiary goal, write down on the calendar what needs to be achieved and by when. Mark it off as you go along. Do not become disheartened when your subsidiary goals produce further subsidiary goals. This is a good thing, as you are learning what is important as you go along.
A = Achievable
It’s very easy to get carried away with this once you get fired up. Lets face it, it’s exciting to finally get moving when you’ve been stagnant for so long! However you must take a step back and think about whether you have the time and resources to achieve the goal you have set.
That doesn’t mean you have to change your goals, only the way you approach them.
- If you have no resources, can you manage without them, or are there free tools that you can use until you can afford the paid ones?
- If you have no time, can you manage to complete your subsidiary goals, or do you have to work on your time management skills first?
- If your goal is to write a book, perhaps you should do a creative writing course first before you start thinking about your topic of choice.
If this all looks too overwhelming, believe me it’s not. When you determine what your main goal is, the rest will come effortlessly.
R = Realistic
- Is what you’re trying to achieve actually relevant to you, your lifestyle and your personality?
- Look at the results of the Myers Briggs personality test. If your personality type indicates that you like solitude creativity, will it make sense for you to become the high powered exec?
- Thinking big is fantastic, that is what we’re trying to accomplish, however thinking big outside of your personality type and core competencies will not serve you.
- Be honest with yourself.
- Focus on what you’re passionate about
- Do not think about how much you will earn, instead think of how you will feel.
Remember, if you’re doing something that makes you happy, it will come naturally to nurture and grow your plan or idea. Growth in earnings AND ability will happen naturally.
T = Time bounded
- Make a note of when you want to achieve each goals
- On your schedule, under each goal, write down a date or time by when you want to finish.
- Visit your schedule every day to see if you stuck to your goal
- Do not become despondent if you haven’t reached your goal in time, this is absolutely normal. Aim to finish before or as close to the date you have set.
Seeing your progress will undoubtedly give you the umph to continue achieving your goals.
2. Emphasize the reasons why you’re afraid of failure
There could be a myriad of factors which caused this type of mindset, ranging from a deeply embedded childhood belief, to negative criticism and lack of support.
- This requires extensive contemplation and brutal honesty. Get to the core of why way of thinking is a trend, as skirting around the issue will not solve any problems.
- The best way to solve this problem is to surround yourself with peers who have similar interests as you, who are passionate about self-development. Get support and advice from those who have already traveled the rocky road of self-development, and conquered their own fears.
- There are so many places you can find these groups of peers, but the best place to start is undoubtedly social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are only 3 examples of platforms where you can use a hashtag to indicate your interests, such as ‘self-development’ for example, and connect with the right people.
- Other platforms such as Quora, Answerbag, and Yahoo Answers, give you the opportunity to ask questions to those with the knowledge that may provide you with the answers you need.
Stop depending on those who you THINK SHOULD be your support structure. Instead, turn to those who will bring the most value to your endevours.
3. Become comfortable with change
Starting something new is challenging to say the least, and most of us are not comfortable with the uncertainty and effort it brings. Change not only takes us out of our comfort zones, but it requires a major shift in our mindset.
- Start by making small changes, like drinking 1 cup of coffee instead of 5 a day.
- Strong bodies equal strong minds. Incorporate some kind of activity that you enjoy to keep your body moving to give your mind a break from all this change. You might just find yourself to be a new person in body and mind when you reach your goal.
- Do something once a week you’ve never done before, like talking to a complete stranger eg.
- Do something beneficial for yourself like learning how to run or cook a certain kind of cuisine.
The point is to make yourself comfortable with change, and get into the mindset of ‘I can’ instead of ‘I want to’.
4. Finish the unfinished tasks
- Don’t get carried away with your tasks.
- Make sure to finish the tasks of your subsidiary goals first before you even look into the rest. I know you’re curious, but you’ll get there!
- Have a clear understanding of what your previous task was, before you continue with another.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with focusing on what you still need to do.
- Focus on the now.
5. Don’t make excuses
- Focus on your favorite excuses first. Most of us have the same favorite excuse……’I don’t have time’.
- Prioritize your excuses and tackle them from most prominent and destructive to least.
- Work on them at the same time as your goals
- Be aware of when they resurface and what you have done to overcome them.
- Educate yourself on how to manage the things you tend to make excuses about.
Remember, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it! No more excuses!
6. Start educating yourself
The books that made the most significant changes in my life:
1. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
Learn how to think of your life like a business. Robert Kiyosaki makes it incredibly easy to understand the fundamentals of gaining control, eg how to manage your finances. This book got me achieving goals like never before, it also got me out of debt, as I finally gained some financial intelligence! It’s a brilliant read.
2. 15 Quick ideas to manage your time – Robert E. Dittmer
Before I read this book my mind and efforts were frantic. I was all over the place and never seemed to get anything done in time. This book teaches you effective time management skills, and who doesn’t need that these days right!
3. Embracing Uncertainty – Susan Jeffers
If you’re a worrier instead of a warrior, this is the book for you. It teaches you how to transform your mindset from constantly being in a state of worry to peace and tranquility.
4. More than a minute – Holly G. Green
Your demeanor plays a bigger role in your self-perception than you think. I found value in this book because it teaches you how to be a good leader. It teaches you how to think like a leader, which changes your demeanor, your self-perception, and others’ perception of you. You will soon look in the mirror and see a winner, no matter how far you are from achieving your goals.
7. Don’t become overwhelmed
- ‘Information – overwhelm’ is a very real thing when you’ve started to learn something new. When you find that the pressure starts to build up over time, you will probably crash.
- Make a list of the challenges that you’re facing and break them down into doable tasks. Breaking tasks into smaller tasks ensures less anxiety and clearer thinking.
8. Play “What If?
Think of the worst-case scenario and the best possible outcome. Figure out how you will tackle the worst-case scenario and how you will reward yourself for the best possible outcome.
This will sharpen your problem-solving skills and keep you motivated at the same time. Once you go through the “what if?” drills, you’ll be less worried and more prepared should these problems actually occur.
9. Ask people for help
When it comes to conquering your fears, this is one of the most important tips. Learning anything on your own is challenging as it is, but learning everything on your own is nearly impossible.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who know. This strategy will not only ensure fast progression but also encourages network building.
Always encourage feedback from those who know. And remember that their criticism do not equal failure, they are your stepping stones to success.
10. Spend time with your loved ones
Finally, take a time out after all that hard work and effort.
Spending time with family and friends can breathe new life into your plans. If your idea of taking a time out is spending time alone, then you do that.
Reward yourself for how far you’ve come whichever way suits you best. It is important to occasionally take the focus off your goals, and do not forget the other important things in life, such as your relationships with friends, family, and yourself.
Set a time everday when you will stop working, and just relax. Your mind is like an aircraft engine, even after it switches off it still keeps turning until it slows down and eventually stops. Once you come up with your “personal time”, make sure that you stick to it every day.
When you begin to put the pedal to the metal you will soon realize that things are not as hard as you thought they might be. All it takes is to take that first step. Take as long as you need in the beginning. Do not rush. If you rush you may miss out on some valuable information and your work will show.
Take advice from others, but do not compare yourself to others. This is YOUR journey, take it at a pace that you can handle and within no time you’ll be well on your way to conquering your own fears.