Have you ever thought of an idea, a new career or adventure, even a totally different outfit, something that you'd love? You're excited for a minute or a day but promptly drop the idea?
"I could never pull that off", "I wont be good enough"... basically, "What if I fail?".
If these are questions you're asking yourself, then you're still believing that two critical things about failure that are getting in your way (Spoiler alert: Neither are true, really!).
Whether your just dipping your toe into action or a seasoned adventurer, follow these tips and you'll never be stopped by fear of failure again!
What is the difference between being comfortable with "failure" and fearing it?
1. Confusing what "failure" really is.
Sometimes it feels like avoiding failure is built into our DNA. But what is failure? Put simply, failure is an outcome that you didn't want, that you judge as bad.
Understood this way, you see that to fail is purely subjective. One person's failure, perhaps starting a business that didn't take off or asking out someone who said "no", is someone else's challenge to overcome. It could even be someone's victory!
Growing up, billionaire Sarah Blakely was asked every week at her dinner table "What did you fail at this week?". The idea was that you got points for trying, not for playing it safe.
"Failure" is just information, just data to collect. It's an opportunity to learn.
I saw a great post the other day that said "Babies don't try to walk once, fail and then decide it's not for them".
HINT: Take a growth mindset instead of a black and white, fixed mindset. If you don't know about growth mindsets, you should! Read about it here. Things not working out a.k.a failure, can be the beginning, not the end.
2. Confusing what "failure" means.
The biggest problem I see is related to the idea of a fixed mindset – you've either got "it" or you don't. You'll either fail or you'll succeed.
Taken from this viewpoint, if you fail, it means that you are faulty.
Being flawed, rather than just being a learner (growth mindset) can send people into a shame spiral.
Shame is so powerful a deterrent that it can leave us shut down, in agony and shaking in our boots.
The thing is that "failing" is just information and it doesn't mean we are flawed. It means we tried something that didn't work out this time and gave us lots of useful information. Using my examples from earlier, it might meant that you try a different type of business or a different business partner, it might mean that you ask someone out after talking with them a little longer instead of on the spot.
So what will you do? Dare to collect information ("fail") or die living?
I hope you choose to live fully, precious one!
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN'T AFRAID TO FAIL?
It's time to go for it!
Are you afraid of failing on the work front? Helping you find and go for a bigger or more fulfilling career is my specialty! If you're ready for a breakthrough click here to find out more about working together.
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.
*Top photo credit - Teddy Kelly, Portrait by Meaghan Harding, Melbourne