What are you no longer afraid of?
Failure - what are you actually afraid of?
We have all failed before. We're all more or less afraid of it. Worry and worry about what might happen. But we can only avoid mistakes and failure by only doing things that we can already do. But where are we going then? Certainly not to our small and big dreams. Not to the great partner. Not for the great job. Not the coral reef at our favorite vacation spot. And also not to the intoxicating feeling when we have achieved something really big.
So we can choose between possible failure and standstill. Between the life we want and boredom. When it comes to our dreams, big and small, the question is not “What if I fail?” But rather “How do I get where I want to go?”. But since the fear doesn't just go away, let's take a closer look at the whole thing.
What is fear
To put it simply, fear is a reaction to a stimulus. When it comes to failure, the stimulus can be a thought (“It could go wrong”), we evaluate this thought (“going wrong is failure, failure is negative”) and this evaluation then creates a feeling (fear). The good news: the assessment has been learned and we can change it again. For some, this knowledge is enough. In most cases, however, it is worth looking a little deeper.
When it comes to failure, there are many different fears and fears. Only when we understand what exactly we are actually afraid of can we actually do something with it and take action. In the following, I will highlight the most common fears and suggest solutions.
What should I think of myself?
We are often our own biggest critic. That can spur us on to perform at our best. Or prevent us from even getting started. The key to dealing well and constructively with ourselves and our thoughts is self-love and self-acceptance. But there are also very specific methods against demotivating thoughts.
Rephrase your thought, “I'm going to fail!” Becomes “I think I'm going to fail!” Because what you think has nothing to do with actual reality. It's just guesswork and guesswork about what will happen in the future. Check your thoughts for their truthfulness and so take away the horror.
What could the others think of me?
The fear of criticism and lack of recognition is probably the most widespread fear when we want to try something new. This fear used to make sense, as survival was only assured within the group. Today, however, for the most part, our survival does not depend on any group. And our friends and people who love us will certainly not reject us once we have screwed up something.
In addition, since we have no way of knowing what others are actually thinking, it is a waste of time to worry about it. If you still want it to help, perhaps the following question: "Do you actually worry about what other people think if you don't even try?"
What about the possible consequences?
But there are actually consequences that can occur if we fail. Usually our imagination is very inventive in disaster scenarios, so that our imagination is far worse than reality. Check out what could actually happen. Is it realistic Are there things you can do to minimize this risk? What can you do if the worst case scenario actually occurs?
Bring reality to your worst-case idea and be prepared. In this way you regain control and the specter becomes a calculable risk. When we have an emergency plan, the fear usually disappears on its own.
What if I now make the wrong decision?
You will never know which decision is the right one. Not even in retrospect. Because the supposedly bad decision was perhaps significantly better than the alternative. And who tells you that the other option wouldn't have been even better if you felt like you made a good decision?
There is no such thing as a perfect decision. Only with your present knowledge can you make the decision that your heart and mind consider to be good. Life is not a game where you can start the level all over again. Don't try to make the one right decision, try the best possible.
Do you know price and profit?
We pay a price for everything we do. And for everything we do, we get a profit. Always. We may not always like profit and price, but they are always included as a double pack. If you know the price and the profit, you can make far better decisions. You can decide whether the profit is worth the price you will pay. If you want a new job, you have to invest time. If the new job isn't actually much better than the current one, then it might not be worth the price. Ask yourself “What is my gain in this?” And “Am I willing to pay the price for this gain?”.
Is your fear holding you back?
Our fear can be like a handbrake on. If we ignore or deny it, then it costs us a lot of energy. It is difficult to move forward and we cannot focus on what is really important. So we don't even start or give up on the way discouraged. It's just too hard.
Scolding the brakes doesn't get us any faster either. As long as we do not find out which brake is exactly where it is and how we can release it or, at best, use it for ourselves, we will make very slow progress.
However, if we understand what exactly is holding us back, why this fear is there and then deal with it constructively, nothing stands in our way. See your fear as a friend and advisor. You also listen to your friends, but you don't always do everything they say.
About the author:
Esther Bartels is part of the organizational team of the failure conference. You can find more about her on her blog: www.wondertastic.de
#OldieButGoldie originally published: August 29, 201
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