Your Five-Step Guide to Conquering the Fear of Failure
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.— Thomas A. Edison
What Is Failure?
Failure is the feeling one experiences when they haven't accomplished something they're supposed to do. One often experiences failure due to very high expectations of themselves not being met, like a hardworking person not getting straight A's in college.
Psychology Today has an interesting article on the surprising facts about failure. As a person who felt failure time and time again, it can be a very hard thing to digest. Most often, one who experiences failure, like I have, automatically devalues him/herself. He/she can automatically destroy his/her life, fall into depression, or, in extreme cases, hurt themselves, like I have. It's ok to fear failure. Many people often experience failure because they've been told to do a good job at something and they have yet to accomplish it.
Take me, for example. I've been told to get all A's in college. Instead, I failed two times and have debt to pay. This is why I feel failure. I don't want to go back to college because of the extreme fear of failure. I could be the laughingstock of the entire campus. People would tease me. They would bully me and pick on me. They would call me unintelligent because of my two failures.
Anyways, now that my story's done, here are the five ways to overcome the feeling of failure.
A Disclaimer to the Reader
This is not an expert guide. This is only an opinionated guide. I tried my best to represent my guide clearly and without bias. This guide may or may not work for everyone.
Repeat Positive Words Instead of Negative Ones
People who tend to speak in the positive way will have a magnifying effect on their personality and will succeed in life more often, while those who speak in a negative way will have the opposite magnifying effect, making them less likely to succeed. This is especially true in school. When you get an "A," you feel positive. When you get an "F," you know that you have not done well. That "F," however, could be changed to an "A" the next time around.
In life, it's not always like that. Homeless people feel happy because they let their positivity flourish, while billionaires feel negative because of greed and gluttony. There's this constant battle between positivity and negativity.
As for the subtitle, start saying positive words like "I can," "I will," or "I am," instead of saying "I can't," "I won't," or "I am not." Remember, repetition is key in determining if you succeed or if you fail.
Failure is a learning tool. The more times you fail, the more likely you'll succeed.— Erick Hernandez
Build a Journal of Inspiring Quotes
Psychology Today also has an interesting article about how failure tends to make you successful. The quote I just gave you was a modified version of a quote I just put on another article.
Quotes from authors offer a plethora information. The quotes section of the Goodreads website is the most useful place for quotes by authors. If you don't have a computer or a mobile phone, grab a piece of paper, and write down as many inspiring quotes as possible, like a journal of some kind. Then, when you're feeling down, just open up your journal, and read away.
Speak With a Counselor or Therapist
A counselor is helpful if you have preexisting negative emotions. Talk to him/her and see if you and your counselor can work out a plan. Also, talk to your therapist, and see if the both of you can work out a plan. Don't rush into a plan all at once. It'll take months or sometimes years to carry out your plan. Once you do start your plan, make sure to follow directions, as this could change the course of your life.
Also, don't hide any feelings from your therapist or counselor, as this could alter the very course of your plan. Tell both your counselor and your therapist everything you feel, from fear of failure to moments that made you look like a failure. Don't be scared if they tell you to seek professional help. Professional help is scary. It's okay if you're scared of it, after all, that's what I'm getting every day.
Should any emotional pain occur, you should address it immediately. Otherwise, you'll feel worse.
Avoid Negative People, Places, Games, Things, News, or Music
We've all got our fair share of negative people, places, or things that we want to avoid. I avoid people who've hurt me in the past, people I'm not interested in, people who do drugs, smoke way too often, or behave bad way too often, stalkers, and other crazy people. I avoid places that depress me, such as disaster zones, dark alleys, or places known for shootings. I also avoid pirated software as often as possible, as those types of software can inflict serious harm to my computer.
I also avoid politics, news about shootings, natural disasters, mass violence, man-made disasters, and everything about science that can potentially destroy the planet.
I mostly avoid sad music, Metal Music, Punk Music, or any kind of music that makes me mad or negative. Sad music is my way of expressing depression. Don't do that.
You must avoid any and all of those things if you want to overcome negativity. Do something positive, like take a walk in the park and go to the movies. If you have friends, go out with them and have fun. For students in school, keep studying, hang out with friends in your free time, and don't let negativity rule your life.
For everyone else, enjoy your life to the fullest extent to which God gave you.
Lastly, avoid any and all games that promote war, violence, rape, drug use and enemy combat.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is Cognitive behavioral therapy? As explained in PsychCentral's page on the subject, it is a short-term, goal-oriented form of therapy that aims to change your way of thinking. Say that you hate John Doe because he cheated on you and you will never forgive him.
CBT helps you to change your way of thinking so that you will reconcile with him and be friends again. It starts with once-a-week sessions lasting 50 minutes each. Then, you speak to John Doe and attempt to work out a solution. If there's progress being made, then you are doing great. You may then move on to the next step. CBT usually takes five to ten months, depending on how severe your problem becomes.
Next thing that the therapist does is ask if you and John Doe could go to the movies. It could be anything, really, from eating in a restaurant to swimming by the beach. If those steps work, then continue on from there.
Next is the trust fall. I don't do trust falls because I have back problems, but I'll save that for another article. If you and he both complete the trust fall part, then you're friends with John Doe again.
Now, for the part where you can use CBT to change your way of thinking about yourself. If you have already tried the other four tactics, and it didn't work, then this is for you. Failure is a part of everyone's life. Others fail more than others. Most people who fail at one thing become successful at another. If you're stuck in a never-ending cycle of negativity, consider the following options:
- Talk to your therapist and find out the underlying cause of your condition
- Work on a goal you can make in a year's time. Keep in mind that you will fail. Keep trying if you do.
- As stated in option number 2, Don't give up if you fail. Keep fighting this fear of failure.
- Seek extra help if you have trouble. Most often than not, people seem to have trouble expressing their emotions.
- Have a backup plan if anything goes wrong.
- As I mentioned, keep trying.
- At this point, you will start to have to face your fear head-on.
- If you fear failing in writing, then write. If you fear failing in singing a song, then sing.
- Conquer your fear one week at a time.
- When you've conquered your fear, you'll feel more positive.
Final Thoughts on Dealing With Failure
Digesting failure is hard, but once you conquer your fear, you will feel better. Read a book on how to deal with failure or go online. Cognitive behavioral therapy is your best bet now if you want to erase that fear. Also, work on that journal. You'll need it. Acknowledge that you failed and move on. Try to ride on that horse that you've fallen from. A good support system is all that you need to keep yourself from feeling sad.
The Differences Between A and B
What Not Overcoming Fear Of Failure Leads To
What Overcoming Fear Of Failure Leads To
More problems at work and school
Little to no problems around your work environment
Extreme sadness, despair and depression
More Happiness and Clarity around you
More problems in social situations
A happier social life
No progress being made
Progress being made.
My own Failure Capsule.
Have you ever felt failure in your life?
Dealing With Failure?
If you answered yes to the above question, how did you overcome failure?
Goodreads ("Failure" and "Dealing With Failure" quotes)
© 2017 Erick Hernandez