If, like most of us, you’ve ever failed at something and felt as though you were left with nothing but shame and embarrassment to show for it, these emotions may have stuck with you long after the failure disappeared. If these feelings aren’t examined, the self-doubt can continue to snowball making you less than enthusiastic about trying anything new or uncomfortable again.
Failure has dramatic repercussions for people who don’t believe they can learn from their mistakes.
Fear is a natural instinct that’s kept our species alive; however, the fear of failure is oftentimes irrational and can be an absolute career dream killer. Then there’s the other thing that tends to trip us up—our fear of success, which similarly stops us in our tracks from realizing our dreams even if it’s for a different reason.
Even when we are told so many have prospered as a result of screwing up—not in spite of it, we still have a hard time shaking this one. We’ve got to come to understand that obstacles and setbacks aren’t blocking our path to success they ARE the path to it. The most helpful thing we can do is to give ourselves permission to fail without fear of being punished which is exactly what will give us the green light to succeed. Would a scientist beat herself up for disproving a hypothesis? Nope. The point of a hypothesis is to test it, learn from it, get curious about it. Can you practice adopting this mindset?
Start testing. Start small. Trying again after feeling like you messed up can feel overwhelming, intimidating. Remember that feelings aren’t always truth. Take one little baby step. Something you know you can do. When it turns out well, celebrate. Keep going but anticipate the obstacles as well. It’s just as important to define your fears and roadblocks as it is to define your goals.
Most of us quit long before we are ever actually defeated. This way, we protect ourselves from the pain we think failing will cause us. So we quit ahead of time instead which provides a sense of relief short-term, but actually only adds to our suffering in the long run.
So, ready to try again? Let me know!
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