How To Succeed Without A Fear of Failure

How To Succeed Without A Fear of Failure

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

Success, whatever form it may take, is rarely achieved in one shot. Whether it is a career or a life goal, success does not normally take a fortuitous route. Late night television has aired many biographies of “overnight celebrities”, detailing the years of failed attempts at success. There are many instances of well-known individuals who have experienced failure on some level, but instead of viewing it as the end of a dream, have used it as a motivator to push them to succeed. 

NFL Coach of the Year Bill Belichick, was fired from his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. He didn’t give up on his dream job though, and has since gone on to become one of the best coaches in history. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as one of their 6pm news anchors, because she got too emotionally invested in her stories. She went on to host a very successful TV show, and now has her own TV network. These 2 examples demonstrate a strategy; one in which failure is viewed as a stepping stone to greatness.

On it’s own, a fear of failure can be viewed as a negative emotion. After all, fear can be a debilitating roadblock. But if you turn it on it’s head, a fear of failure can be seen as a challenge; it can be viewed as a motivating factor pushing you to take a risk. If you can train yourself to view a fear of failure as a bench mark for change, then you are well on your way to achieving success. 

But how can you turn a feeling of fear into a positive motivator? How can you succeed without fearing failure? You are able to forge ahead fearlessly by examining the advantages of failure itself. Once you are no longer afraid to fail, you can channel that motivation into accomplishing your goals.

The Advantages of Failure

Failure offers many advantages; lessons worth learning and mindsets worth adopting.

  • Failure offers an opportunity to learn many things, and because these lessons can affect you emotionally, they are very powerful.
    • Failure teaches you what doesn’t work. By narrowing down the possible approaches to success, you are able to determine what other paths will move you forward; “each failed attempt brings us closer to success”.
    • Failure teaches you the “why’s”; you are able to try again, better equipped with the knowledge of why something didn’t work.
    • Failure teaches you that not always succeeding, is a part of life. Accept failure as a probability and not a possibility; by viewing it as a regular aspect of life, it will not seem as threatening
  • Failure makes you stronger. Accepting a failure and forging ahead creates an opportunity for reflection; you are able to view yourself as a survivor; stronger and better equipped for the next attempt.
  • Failure reveals your abilities. Sometimes if you push yourself too far you will fail; however, you will never know how far you can go unless you test your boundaries. By avoiding your limits you will never achieve your goals, for a fear of failure will stop you a lot shorter than failure itself. “Occasional failures are a guaranteed outcome of trying something new and a good signal that you’re pushing boundaries”.
  • Failure builds courage. Once you have failed, you realize that you are able to surpass it. This acceptance of failure enables you to take more risks because you know that you are able to handle it; failure will no longer be a threat to you.
  • Failure creates resiliency. Every time you face failure and survive it, you will bounce back stronger. Resiliency itself will help to improve your confidence; you will believe in your ability to surpass any setback. “Successful people are resilient and resilience only happens when you fail”.

Failure recommits you to your goal. Moving beyond a failure will demonstrate your character, your courage, and your mindset. It will show you and everyone else, what you are made of. You will be able to use any setback as a motivator to try a new and better approach.

How to Succeed Without the Fear of Failure

Becoming aware of the benefits of failure, enables you to view it as a non-threatening possibility; you are able to channel the lessons and mindsets involved and use them to your advantage.

  • Take risks. Remind yourself that failure is not a threat; it is merely a normal part of life. Acknowledge that although you may fail, you are resilient; you will be able to bounce back better and stronger every time.
  • Test your boundaries. Remind yourself that by testing your limitations, you are guaranteed to grow and succeed. Only by pushing yourself further and further will you see how far you can go.
  • Use this power of a possible failure to motivate yourself. Approach the possibility of a failure as a sign that you are trying new things and pursuing your goals. Remember that success does not happen by accident, nor does it occur when you are standing still.
  • View any failure as an opportunity to learn. By acknowledging the importance of these lessons, you will be able to build on them and use them as stepping stones to greatness.

The possibility of failure should not be viewed as a negative thing, but rather, as a positive step towards achieving your career goals. Success can only be accomplished when you try new things and push your boundaries; a fear of failure in this situation can be seen as a sign that you are moving forward. 

Embrace the possibilities, for once you are no longer afraid to fail, you can achieve anything.

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