Hard one to battle – as it is only in our head! Sometimes, failing and picking ourselves up seems much more easier than facing the fear of failure!
Some tips to gain the courage to face your fears and overcome our fear of failure
1. Allow yourself to fail
Those working on software development projects have a term called fail early, fail fast & often! Allowing ourselves to fail means we are willing to learn from our mistakes. It means we realize we may not have all the answers at the onset and are open to understanding the progress as it evolves and adapting our process & approach, willing to skill ourselves up when and where we need it.
2. Know when to seek help
Although we might think we are really good at something, trust me – there will always be someone else better than us. While we may be good at ten things, doing all ten things at once and being perfect in all of it does not come easy. Especially when you realize you are not equally skilled at all of them and each of the activities needs you to be operating at a level of expertise. Knowing which ones you have a good control on, and where you need help is a skill (and an art). Take time to know when things are going beyond your control, and seek help. For those who try to be perfect, asking for help is very hard. Learn to ask for help. Teach your team & children (as parents) to learn when to ask for help as well! Have a support system around you whom you can reach out to, when you need help!
3. create manageable chunks
If you are making $100 a day, having a goal to make a million dollars does not make sense. If you are failing in your subjects, having a goal to score A+ might seem daunting. Every goal takes time, effort and skills to be able to accomplish them. Give yourself that time. Breaking down the daunting work into manageable chunks that can be taken up little by little, day by day, focusing on honing your skills and seeking help from those around to improve yourself would be a structured way to get there.
4. Not everything can be rushed
There is a famous saying – You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant. One woman has to go through it for nine months.
While you may have the pressure to expedite your deliverables, score higher/better and might be working towards an unrealistic target, do take a moment to realize that not everything can be rushed.
Some things take time. Be willing to give yourself that time.
If you started a business, it WILL take time to settle down before you start making money & seeing profits.
5. Talk to experts in the field
Whatever you are doing and stressing about, trust me – there must be others around you, or somewhere – who have gone through similar struggles before. Talk to them to find out how they have handled it. What did they do? How did they overcome it? Do they know any experts who can help?
Talking to experts in the field helps a great deal in restoring your confidence and getting over your fear of failure. Those who have been-there and done-that know the pros and cons of doing it and not-doing-it. You will get your inputs from their thought process.
Be they a teacher, counselor, businessman, coach or a leader, when asked they will be able to relate and help!
6. Revisit your goals
Revisiting your goals is great. Make them accomplishable and realistic. Think about why you are pursuing a goal and whether it still makes sense in your life. Are there alternate ways to accomplish it? Success breeds success. When you meet a goal successfully, it breeds your self-confidence., making you push yourself for another stretch. Create these simpler milestones for yourself.
7. Evaluate whether you Are busy or productive?
Evaluate your productivity levels? Try to differentiate between being-busy and being-productive. Remove the activities that are keeping your busy and focus on being productive. There may be activities that you do to pursue your passion, hobbies etc. Evaluate them and consciously add them to your bucket. All of us have only 24-hours in a day. How well we utilize them to eat, sleep, remain healthy is critical to pursue any dreams/goals.
8. Question yourself
Questioning ourselves and our actions is a good thing, provided we do it periodically in a time-boxed manner without tearing ourselves down. Keeping aside 10 minutes in a week to think, check and change what we want to continue, stop or initiate in our lives based on the previous week’s progress is a good healthy habit. If we let these sessions go on longer, we end up questioning ourselves to an extent that might impact our self-esteem. Let it not get there!
9. dealing with perceptions
Everyone around us has a perception about us. It may be based on our track record, accomplishments, grades, feedback on anything. Managing perceptions is a leadership trait. Sometimes we have bad days and we want to have one quietly without anyone knowing about it. We need that time to think in isolation about what went right/wrong and how we can adapt / change to evolve. When that is taken away from us by either social media circles, group of relatives, community circles, there comes a point that we end up doing things just to maintain perceptions. It is hard, and continues to get hard.
One of the simple ways to trigger a formal change in perception (or image) is to use your birthdays, new year and any special events to take a pledge that you will trigger a change in certain fronts of your life. Those around you will know and will appreciate you for making a switch. It is a positive way to plan and trigger a change in perception – the way you want yourself to be seen. Talk to your family and those close to you before making a change publicly, as their lives may also be impacted in the process.
I will not be watching TV anymore (no one will expect movie recommendations from you), I will be taking the bus back and forth (no one will expect to carpool).. you get the hint!
10. Know what is NOT okay
Giving up on yourself is NOT okay. Think about it if you are being too hard on yourself and Why? Are you trying to prove something to yourself or someone else? Seek help from those around you & experts if you think you are giving up on yourself!