This is a bit of a story about myself and overcoming the fear of failure.
I know it’s not good form to be a therapist and to admit to not being perfect but in my case it’s true. Not being perfect is one of the things that I do very well.
I help others daily in my work and this itself is part of the problem and the solution. Part of what I appear to do well is to be able to empathise with people and understand what they need to learn.
Doing it for yourself is another matter. It’s only when you start assessing what’s going wrong that sometimes the penny drops. CLANG!
I get through a lot of things in a week but I often found myself wondering why some things didn’t get finished even though they appeared to be important. I was afraid of failing, in some cases it stopped me from starting.
So the crux of this is:
If you don’t start something then you can’t finish it. If you don’t finish something then you can’t fail.
There are some other aspects to this but this reluctance to start something is a dead give away.
So the official (if there is such a thing) line is three main points:
- What did I learn from the experience.
- How can I grow from the experience
- List some positive things that come from the experience
But if you’re not starting then it’s not so straight forward because there’s no experience.
Or is there?
The fact that there is something you’re not doing indicates that every time you start then you fail to continue.
The event is so fleeting that you miss it:
- It’s usually something that’s important to you.
- It’s something that you put off
- It’s something that you have really good reasons to put off
And that’s why you don’t notice. That’s why you don’t even realise you’re doing it. That’s why I didn’t realise I was doing it. I spot it in others but not I never noticed it in myself.
So what did I learn when I realised?
Not starting is a lot like running away and that’s not what I do or who I am.
How can I grow?
I can learn something new so that I can recognise it in future. Naming the game is a large part of the solution.
What are the positives?
I know now. I can see that it applies to so many things that I nearly do. I know where to start to fix it.
Overcoming the fear of failure for yourself might be easier to do than you think.
The situation here is that fleeting moment when you think about doing the thing and come up with all those reasons why not to do it and you don’t do it.
Think about that momentary situation where you put it off. Notice your body language at that instance, notice if there are any momentary physical symptoms. Become aware of those reasons why you shouldn’t continue, all of them.
Be aware that putting it off is actually fear of failure. See how that feels. Understand what’s going on.
Listen to the story that you’re telling yourself as to why you can’t do it.
Think about that story and notice what changes you need to make to the story will help to change your mind.
Start telling yourself the new story. The story is important. It’s the story of overcoming your fear of failure. It’s the story of your future success.
I’m using my new story every day now. Sometimes it grows when I add something new to it.