Fear of FailurePeter von Boeck
Fear of Failure can quickly cause your business to decline or may stop any growth process in the making. When things are running smoothly we usually “feel” on top of the world and our imaginations do not know any limits.
It is very unfortunate that most of us learn limitations while we grow up directly through our environment. We are not born with any limits, as children we explore without fear until limitations are set by our parents.
This continuous throughout life for the majority of people, in school, in college, in your whole social environment. It is called social conditioning. If you are not realizing early on that you have the choice to create your own believe system, then you will just stereotype after the masses.
In order to get control of any fear of failure, you need first to understand that fear is nothing but an emotion and emotions are created by how you think about something. Thoughts can be changed if you chose to do so and therefore you can also adjust the way you feel.
Like with anything else in life, we have learned and trained ourselves to run certain programs on autopilot. While in many instances this can be very helpful, it may be very destructive in other situations.
As an example, take the way we learn to drive a car, particularly one with stick-shift. At the beginning you can barely coordinate all the task you have to exercise at the same time, but with proper training you stimulate your neural system to memorize everything, so it becomes habitual.
We do not even think about how to drive a car, we just do. In this example we have learned to operate a machine safely and we created a habit which serves us.
Unfortunately the same technique applies to many bad habits we develop. If we hear, see, think and feel something often enough, we basically practice by repetition and it becomes a habit. Smoking, drinking, excessive eating, anger, frustration, wasting time watching to much TV or play video games, overspending and overuse of medical drugs are just some of the typical destructive habits you can create.
Being to fearful and worry all the time can create a strong “feeling” and fear of failure. It literally becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may have done whatever it took to prepare an outstanding presentation to get this new important customer, but still it did not work out. If this happens several times you may not want to try again, because your mind thrives into the wrong thinking process, making you “feel” like a failure.
It does not mean you really are, but because you are not looking at the whole picture, you only find this one possible explanation. There can be many other possible reasons why a customer does not close on a specific deal, trust me in most of the cases it is not you.
Instead of sinking into self-pity, analyze a situation in the whole. Take responsibility if you find you could have done something better, but leave all possibilities on the table. Learn from an unsuccessful experience, adjust and move on. Sometimes things are just not happening the way you want them too. This is a normal part of life, it does not mean you have to give a negative label to it or “feel” bad about it.
The fear of failure is nothing else but a response you trained yourself to feel. It is not real, only if you make it so by believing it.