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Fear of Failure

I am sure there has been a time in your life that you have been scared of doing something because of the fear of getting it wrong or messing up. So rather than try, you choose not to do it or stay within your comfort zone, so you can't fail.

Sound familiar?

So where does this come from? Where does it begin?

It can start at any point. Maybe at home when you were a child, at school, with friends, as a parent or at work.

I know at school I would rather draw pictures of ponies in my maths book then have to listen to the teacher talk about maths, which I had convinced myself I wouldn't understand anyway...much safer to not listen, draw and then blame my drawing rather than not understanding and not being able to do it.

You have tried something and it hasn't gone as you hoped so you end up feeling embarrassed, stupid and because of these feeling you decide to protect yourself and not do it again.

Your mind is trying to help you but actually it is holding you back. You need to tell you brain that you are fine, that you don't need protecting and you would like to learn and grow.

It takes guts to try something new so what can we do about our fear of failure?

First of all let's stop saying the word fail and failure and reframe our thoughts by changing the word fail to exploring and experimenting and reframe failure to learning.

For example; I experimented with baby led weaning, which didn't go to plan so next time I will... The 'failure' just becomes a learning experience.

At work you might be exploring a new way of promoting a new product and it didn't get as many hits on social media as expected so it needs tweaking.

NOT "oh well it's rubbish, I'm useless, I might as well give up as it's no good and it won't work anyway"

Can you hear this negative self-talk that I am sure you have caught yourself saying before. If you haven't noticed try and tune in to what you are saying to yourself when things don't go as you wanted them to.

"I can't do that" is total self sabotage. You are giving up on yourself and throwing away what could have been something good.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Who said you can't?

Was it you?

On what grounds did you base this information?

Is it true?

Did it just not go as well as you hoped it would?

Were you dissapointed?

So what could you do next time?

You aren't just going to give up are you?

You are not going to let the fear of failure stop you anymore.

When you are learning something, starting a new job, becoming a parent or anything that is a new experience or a new situation, it is impossible to be a pro straight away. Even if you read every book on parenting, for example, there is always something that won't work as we are different , the situation is different, the child is different.

So why do we out such high expectations on ourselves to be an expert straight away? It is feeding our fear of failure because the chances of not getting it right first time are so high.

We wouldn't expect a baby to feed themselves without any mess, a toddler to walk straight away, a 5 year old to do algebra or an 8 year old to read Lord of the rings fluently with total understanding and enjoyment.

So why do we expect that we will be able to do it with no room for error?

It doesn't make sense.

It isn't reasonable.

So STOP doing it!

Be kind to yourself.

Allow yourself to experiment.

Allow yourself to explore.

Allow yourself to learn and grow.

Feel more confident.

Don't give up and don't give in to your limiting beliefs.

Believe you can.

Reframe your thoughts on failure and be open to change.

Look at all these footprints in the sand...there isn't just one way. Choose your own path and make it your own x

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