Have a fear holding you back?

With few exceptions, most of us do.

Overcoming fears is one of life’s great challenges, and all of us can learn the skills to do this better. Here are a few ideas to overcome fears of failure:

  1. Refocus from ‘fear of failure’ to ‘fear of never knowing’ by considering what Tony Robbins describes as the rocking chair test.
    Consider your current decision from the perspective of your last few years of life. Will you regret having not tried?
  2. Just do it. don’t deliberate. When I feel tired, or lonely or discouraged, I can easily talk myself out of doing things that are good for me. In those times, I think of the 1980’s Nike campaign, “Just Do It” or the children’s story of the little engine that could that repeated “I think I can, I think I can . . .” until he reached the top of the hill. Lastly, my high school coach helped us perform with visualiations. We’d think about success, what it felt like in all sort of detail. It made beginning a lot easier.
  3. Schedule your action. Commit time in your calendar to do the things you fear and put those things first in the day, not last.
  4. Learn to be vulnerable. Brene Brown retells Theodore Roosevelt’s speech referred familiarly as, ‘The Man in the Arena’ story. It is a powerful repositioning of ‘trying’ as the measure of success.
    Brene adds some incredible meaning to the story with three points:

    1. Showing up and being seen is required to create and make things that matter.
    2. If courage is a value you hold, failure will likely be one of the occasional consequences.
    3. Don’t accept criticism from those who aren’t also ‘in the arena’ courageously fighting to create things that matter.

How have you overcome fear of failure?


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