Do you spend most of your time worrying about and avoiding failure?
I think most of us do. Even the ones who know that failure is essential for growth.
Failure is scary.
It feels a lot like rejection, like we’re not good enough, which often means that we end up questioning ourselves and our abilities. And no one likes to do that.
But failure is just another way of learning, trying again, and doing better next time.
We need to replace the idea of mistakes = failure, with mistakes = learning opportunities.
Failure is when you decide to stop moving altogether.
It’s when you decide to give up and throw in the towel.
It’s when you decide to stay stuck and exactly where you are.
It's when you decide that giving in is easier than going on.
I believe that as long as we are moving, we are growing and we are going.
Even if it means moving in the wrong direction sometimes, because that gives us the opportunity to stop ourselves, learn from the experience, and start moving in the right direction.
Know that you are not any less, because you have made mistakes in the past.
We all have. Do not pay attention or give your time of day to people who belittle you for it. We all make mistakes; they make mistakes, too.
Mistakes are part of our existence, and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
Let me say that again: They are nothing to be ashamed of.
what happens when we are afraid of making mistakes?
1. We act from a place of fear, instead of a place of curiosity and abundance.
...and then we judge ourselves for it. (How does this make any sense?)
We start to think and believe that we might be not good enough. We start to ask ourselves, "What if we're not cut out for this?" We start to question our own abilities, but how often do we get something right the first time? I can’t recall a time when I’ve done something exactly right the first time around. Maybe I did a decent job at it, but was there room for improvement? Definitely.
Learn to let go of your fear of imperfection and know that there are going to be many more opportunities in the future, but there won't be if you allow yourself to hold back every time.
Your first time will not be your last time.
2. We limit ourselves.
This goes along with the last point, but when we’re so caught up being afraid of making mistakes, we end up limiting ourselves in the process.
Have you ever gone to a karaoke bar and decided to put in your request, but started to freak out when your turn to sing came around?
Because you spent so much time worrying about what other people were going to think and say, that you didn’t allow yourself to fully enjoy the moment? Maybe you were so paralyzed that you couldn't even get the words out.
That’s what I’m talking about.
Who cares if you don’t know all the lyrics and you accidentally sing the wrong words? You’re not auditioning to be a singer, are you?
Karaoke bars are meant for having fun and having a good time, not as a way increase your fear of people and failure.
P.S. No one cares as much as you think they do; honestly, we’re all too busy worrying about ourselves most of the time.
3. We stop ourselves before even starting.
Have you ever had an idea that you were truly excited about and then you started worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong? And suddenly, in a blink of eye, you were no longer interested anymore...
Your fears happened. Your fear of making a mistake and possibly failing happen. Well, here’s the truth you’ve heard a million times: You’re going to make mistakes.
So make them and make as many of them as you can, because that’s how we learn. But also, make sure to make good mistakes. I’m not advising you to make mistakes just for the sake of making mistakes.
(Related: The Fear Of Putting Yourself Out There)
Remember that life is never set in stone. And the good thing is, time is always going by, which means… your mistakes are never set in stone.
Think of mistakes as your stepping stones. In order to keep moving and to get to where you want to go in life, you have to keep stepping onto the next stone and the other after that.
Have you heard the saying, “The only way out is through”?
You have to go through it. You have to go through the fear, the pain, the mistakes. And it might hurt, but it will get better.
You have to go through life. You can’t just go around life, as much as some of us would like to. You have to live your life and face the fact that you’re going to make mistakes, because they’re essential to your journey. They will help you more than hurt you. Trust me, they're not here to hurt you.
I'd love to hear from you. Do you let the fear of failure hold you back? And if so, from what?