Happiness and Fear of Failure
What would you do if you didn't think it were possible for you to fail? Often this is a question that can really get to the heart of what you should be doing with your life. Another way to ask this question is what fear is standing in the way of your happiness?
Fear is a protective evolutionary mechanism, that ensured our survival in the past. Fear often has a tendency of getting in the way of our happiness in modern times. Recognizing this can help us to make changes in our lives.
Often, people become so fearful of making a mistake, that they miss opportunities to grow as a person, to advance professionally, to achieve academically, or to build and refine their talents.
Fear of Failure and Getting Better at What You Do
Those who are the best at what they do, have an attitude of constant willingness to look at the areas that they need to work on and improve. In fact , in school, relationships, and on the job, the better you are at making mistakes and learning from them the more happy and successful you will be.
Athletes, musicians, and other experts in their fields are required to consistently be open to making mistakes by trying new things, and also to learning from their mistakes in order to hone their craft. This attitude of being open to making mistakes and learning from them is key to having happiness and self fulfillment.
Procrastination and Fear of Failure
Many of my clients identify procrastination as one of the symptoms they wish they could overcome. Yet they see it as a sign of laziness, or stubbornness. The way that you see a problem often dictates your solution to it. If you view your procrastination as a sign of laziness, you are likely to berate yourself . In case you haven't noticed, this strategy is never helpful in moving you towards your goals. In reality, procrastination is frequently a sign of fear of making mistakes. Often procrastinators have extremely high or unrealistic expectations of themselves that prevent them from undertaking tasks. Perfectionists are very frequently procrastinators. Perfectionists will often put off simple tasks because the requirements they have for performing those tasks are unrealistic.
Those who procrastinate often create a cycle where they are continuously shaming themselves for their failure to do the things they need to do, and this can lead to depression and self esteem issues.
Fear of making mistakes will ensure you never work up to your potential, and you never maximize your happiness. Women experience fear of failure more than men and it often starts in childhood. Young girls afraid of failing and taking risks often never allow themselves to face the challenges that build coping and problem solving skills.
If fear of failure is an issue you recognize that may be limiting you, or your children, you can begin working on it today.
1. Do a survey of your life and areas where you may be stuck when you would like to be moving forward. Is it because you are afraid of making a mistake? What do you gain if you don't try? What can you gain if you do?
2. Start to journal about the fears you have of not being successful . Explore how your inaction is contributing to your unhappiness.
3. Explore whether the goals you are not meeting are due to" laziness" or fear of failure. What thoughts do you have that keep you from taking the steps you need to?
4.Create a list of how your procrastination or fear of failure has held you back. Then create a secondary list of all the things you could do if you weren't afraid to fail.
5. Start to address some of the things you have been putting off today, recognizing that inaction is always a path to unhappiness, while action gives you a chance to be successful. Even if you fail, you are ahead of the game. Each mistake you make leads you closer to happiness, if you are open to learning from it.
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