What stops people from achieving their dreams? Among many reasons is the fear of failure. Everyone feels it at one or several points in their lives. The fear of failing can be immobilizing, causing us to do nothing and preventing us from moving forward.
I am currently reading the book, “Mindset “by Carol Dweck. What she shares in her book is based on over 20 years of research on the topic of mindset. Carol has found that everyone has one of two basic mindsets; fixed and growth. In one of her chapters, she talks about the fear of failure and how it relates to mindset. Look out for a complete book review once the book is finished.
When you find yourself out of your comfort zone, fear of failure is a natural reaction. What Dweck challenges is not the prevention of fear, that is a sign that you are facing something that is of importance. She challenges how we react to failure.
Failure has been transformed from an action, “I failed”, to an identity, “I’m a failure”. This is the mindset that she challenges us to change. Don’t let an experience define you.
“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar
Take each obstacle and use it as a learning experience.
When my son received his first report card in grade 1, he was disappointed to see that he only scored a 62 in French. In every other subject, he was able to get above 85. It took me a week to convince him that he wasn’t “dumb in French”. His initial reaction was to give up on trying. I began praising him for his efforts and encouraged him to focus not on the results, but the actions he needed to take to improve his marks. It took a lot of practice but by the 3rd term, he managed to increase his average by 12 points. By the second grade, he was often getting over 90% on his tests. If he would have given in to his fear of not being able to succeed, he would not have been able to increase his average.
If you follow my blog, you know that I am a big fan of motivational videos. Here is a video by Endless Motivation. I love the message of overcoming your fear of failure.
Overcoming Fear Of Failure – Motivational Video
Some of my favorite parts:
“Because you think that trying two or three times and failing means the entire idea is a mistake. But do you really expect to hit a homerun on your first try every time? That would be impossible. It’s impossible. What if you went on 9 job interviews and were blown out every time? No second interview, no call back, not even a rejection letter. You’d quit the job search. You would say there is no point in continuing. But what if the 10th interview was actually THE ONE. What if you not only nailed the 10th interview, but it was the perfect job for you. You wouldn’t know if you were too busy quitting. Don’t look for the 9 failures. Look for the one success. Sometimes you only need to be really amazing one time to get your big break.”
“What’s the worst that could possibly happen? So somebody says no to you. Or you end up losing a lot of money. You get embarrassed. All of these situations, feelings, or hardships are temporary. They can all be fixed. It’s extremely rare to take a risk that permanently scars you. Chances are that thing you want has much less consequence than you thought it did.
The real consequence you have to watch out for is you not achieving your goals. Of course it’s going to be hard. If it were easy it would be done by now. If everything were so easy, you’d have everything you wanted and there would be nothing left to do. Don’t mistake your journey for being the problem. There are many things to fear on the road to success, but if you don’t get on that road how can you reach your destination.
How could you fear failing, when failing is so important to success. I don’t care if you tried and failed a dozen times. Those failures just told you what doesn’t work. Now you are twelve steps closer to finding out what does work.
You are not alone on the journey. If you only knew how many successful people faced embarrassment, financial hardships, and physical setbacks. Yet these people are now famous for their previous setbacks. In the long run, those setbacks are nothing. They’re nothing. Those events were like little blips on a big radar.”
Our lives can get pretty hectic and it can be easy to get lost in our actions. When we are so focused on what is ahead, we forget to pause, reflect and find ways to energize our minds. These 5-minute motivation posts are meant to give you that recharge. The goal is to give you a 5-minute Vitamin for your mind through quotes, posts and videos. It is also meant to challenge your thinking and inspire you to take action.
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