"Nothing in life is to be feared, only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." ~ Marie Curie
How do you face your fears and your fear of failure?
We were not taught to face our fears, let alone deal with them. So we go through life with a fear of the unknown, all the what-ifs and doubts that come along with it.
If we look up failure in the dictionary, it says: "an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose."
How threatening does that sound? Not very, right? Well, that's all it is. For most of us, failure isn't about not achieving a specific goal rather how others view us in the process.
And so what do we do?
We play it safe. We don't move from our comfort zone.
There's only one thing worse than "I failed," and that's "I am a failure." "I am" are two of our vocabulary's most powerful words. "I am" becomes a mantra for what we believe. By responding to our fears in this way, we are setting ourselves up for missed opportunities and endless possibilities. Many of us struggle with perfection syndrome – whether we do it right or not at all. Again, another missed opportunity.
We find ourselves living in a time of great uncertainty. What is the underlying theme? I would say fear, wouldn't you? Let's embrace the possibility of breaking free of limited thinking and trust that with every breakdown, there comes a breakthrough.
We can see it as a rich part of our learning process that sets us on a new path, one of self-discovery and shared community. When we release our fear of the unknown, we invite the magic of "not knowing." We trust the gift of intuition and judgment.
When we eliminate feelings of inadequacy, a new level of freedom opens up. And in freedom, we find our power and true happiness.
The next time you experience fear, identify it and locate the fear in your body. Do you feel tightness in your chest? A tingling in your head? A pounding heart?
Once you've located the fear, give it a name. What we ignore only grows bigger. What we are willing to face shrinks.
Doubt your fears, and they vanish. Feel your fears, and they fade.
Understand that fear is a survival mechanism and can be used to your advantage, as long as you don't let it run the show. Focus on the breath. There are many simple, effective breath techniques for calming, centering, and grounding. Visualization and imagery are also powerful tools in building self-confidence. When we have a growth mindset, we will also learn from the experiences.
Bottom line, accept that you will fail. We all do at one time or another.
It's how we learn and walk through it that matters most!