How To Overcome Fear Of Failure In 3 Simple But Effective Steps
Fear of failure. That squeaky little voice that starts talking when you brainstorm a potential business idea. That voice that keeps you inside your safety bubble and doesn’t let you progress.
Because you don’t know what’s going to happen after you leave your safety bubble. You don’t know if its worth the risk.
Even if you believe that it’s worth it, your fear of failure might stop you.
I am sure you have thought in the following ways more than a dozen times:
- What would she/he/they think of me if this doesn’t work out? What will my parents/relatives say?
- How awful will be the future of my children if I do this and fail?
- Will I be able to cope with the embarrassment that accompanies the possible failure?
And then you probably decided that it’s not worth the risk. Because you were afraid.
But you will never overcome your fear of failure if you continue to taking the safe road.
Sometimes you have to take a risk. Of course, I am not talking about trying to swim in a lake full of deadly piranhas. I am talking about taking calculated risks to overcome your fear of failure.
It doesn’t matter even if you fail sometimes. Because the more times you try, your subconscious mind will be programmed to ignore the fear and take action no matter what.
As I have talked in a previous article about developing self-discipline, your brain has a function called “neuroplasticity”.
The more times you do something, the easier it gets. Your brain forms new brain cells associated with this behavior. When it’s time to do it again, you are more likely to do it.
Of course, this can be reversed. The more times you avoid trying something, the less likely you are to do it in the future.
When it comes to overcoming fear of failure, it’s all about taking the first step as many times as needed until your brain considers your decision as something natural.
Then, your fear of failure will start becoming weaker until it eventually disappears.
But how can you take the first step to overcome your fear?
There are three things that I believe will help you to overcome your fear of failure – they really helped me, and I see no reason they wouldn’t work for you as well.
Let’s start with the first one which is something I learned after reading and studying about Steve Job’s life.
For those who don’t know, Steve Jobs was the billionaire co-founder of Apple – the company that manufactures iPhones, iPads etc.
1.Change Your Attitude To “My Way Or The Highway”
What does this idiom mean?
It’s said to assert the view that there is no alternative (apart from leaving) but to accept the speaker’s opinions or policies.
In simple words, the only possible option is to DO what YOU WANT. If someone doesn’t accepts your viewpoints and doesn’t want to keep up with you, then no problem.
Adios amigos. You move on your own. Those who rejected your proposal will be the ones who will regret it when you will be big and successful.
My way or the highway is a really arrogant and selfish way of thinking. Sometimes it can make you a bit one-dimensional since you won’t accept anyone’s viewpoints but yours.
That’s what you should be cautious of. Change your attitude to “my way or the highway” but always listen to other people’s perspective and ideas – supposing those giving you their ideas are really successful.
But when someone doubts about your skills, ideas or plan of execution then simply smile and ignore.
My way or the highway buddy. I will do what I want and you can’t change my mind. If you don’t like my decision then do your own thing. I will do mine. And rest assured that my way will work.
Steve Jobs is an avid negotiator. 99% of the times he did business, he wanted his own thing to happen. His way or the highway. No other alternatives than what Steve suggested.
I strongly believe that this was one of the reasons of Steve’s massive success. He wasn’t afraid of others people opinion or rejection.
He would get things done the way he wanted, otherwise both parties would miss a huge deal. He wasn’t afraid of missing a huge deal. He wasn’t afraid of failing.
And this brings us to the second point:
2.Stop Caring About What Everyone Else Thinks
All phenomenally successful people share this trait. They don’t give a damn fuck about what others think.
If you are too concerned about the opinion of others, then you are not living for yourself. You are living to please others.
Is that the way you want to leave? Because this “approval seeking” attitude is the reason you have remained mediocre.
When you are constantly seeking for approval and external validation you are stopping yourself from overcoming your fears. You are self-sabotaging your own success.
One of the biggest reasons people feel fear is because they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of others if they fail.
Even if you fail you are ten times more daring than the chickens who didn’t even try.
Stop being a chicken and become a fucking lion.
The lion is the king of the jungle for a reason. Because it doesn’t give a fuck about what other animals think of him.
What do you prefer? Being an afraid chicken that lives to please others? Or a bold lion that lives to please himself?
I would choose the second ten times out of ten. Even if this involves embarrassment in case of a massive failure. So what?
Why should I let anyone judge me about how I deal with my life?
If you like my way, then come ride along – if you don’t like it then stay in your little coop.
3. Accept The Worst Case Scenario
When you realize what’s the worst that can happen, you significantly improve your odds of succeeding. Many times, your fear of failure is too strong that doesn’t let you see things clearly.
The risk of your decision may be a minor one, but your fear makes it 10x bigger – when you don’t know what’s exactly the worst that can happen.
And you might miss significant opportunities that could literally change your life to better.
When I decided to drop off university (without my parents even knowing), the fear of failure told me to stay in my safety bubble.
The only money I had, was what my parents were giving me each month. What if they learned that I stopped going to college without even telling them so?
They would stop sending me money. And I would have to cope with tons of nagging, moaning and criticism.
And what if starting an online business didn’t work out for me? I would have to accept the embarrassment of failing. I would have lost 1-2 years in college for no reason.
All these reasons where enough to stop me from trying to reach my goals.
I stopped and thought: “what’s the worse that can happen if I fail?”
I will have to listen the criticism of my parents and other relatives. i will also have to study three times more to reclaim the lost ground in university.
Ok I thought, it doesn’t sound completely irreversible. As long as I knew what’s the worse that could happen, I was stress-free.
I was finally able to focus on what can go right instead of what can go wrong.
Accepting the worst possible situation is a game changer. Sometimes, you will see that what you are afraid of, is not so awful as you might believe.
Conclusion On How To Overcome Fear Of Failure:
Three things, that’s all you need to do to overcome your fear and become a daring lion.
- My way or the highway attitude. You will do what you want without negotiating or looking for alternatives.
- Live to please yourself and don’t care of what the neighbors think. In the end you will be one hundred times more successful than your loser neighbor. Why bother about the opinion of a loser in the first place?
- Accept the worst case scenario. This will decrease your stress and fear of failure.
And then you will start kicking asses, dominating goals and getting what you want.