Goals and Fear of Failure
by Carol Brown
Have you ever held back on doing something because you were afraid of failure? Most people have. Let’s face it; no one likes to fail. None of us likes to feel like we’re ineffective, weak or lacking in any way, and that’s exactly how failure makes us feel.
However, you may be surprised to know that failure doesn’t exist – until YOU say it does. In the dictionary, failure has several definitions:
a failing to do or perform.
a state of inability to perform a normal function adequately.
a fracturing or giving way under stress.
a lack of success.
Look carefully at those definitions and you’ll probably realise they have one thing in common when it comes to goal achievement: failure is a PERCEPTION.
If you believe you have failed, then you have. If you believe you don’t have the ability to succeed, then you don’t. If you believe you can’t handle the pressure of achieving your goals, you can’t. If you believe you’re not successful, you aren’t. Failure only exists in your own mind. The moment you decide to give up or stop working toward your goals, failure is born.
But what if you never do that? What if you continue working toward your goals, one step at a time for as long as it takes? There’s no failure then, is there?
This insight should be encouraging if you’ve been working toward goals and not yet seeing positive results. Simply keep going and you cannot fail!
Here are some tips to help you on track and focused on your goals:
1) Never give yourself an out. Most people do this without even realising it. They are willing to work hard on achieving their goals, until the going gets too rough or their motivation dwindles. Don’t do that! Commit to making your goals happen, no matter what! By all means, take a breather and take stock but never quit, never contemplate admitting failure, and never lose your inner determination.
2) Don’t get hooked on a specific timeframe for completion. It’s okay to set a general timeline, but be aware that some circumstances will be beyond your control, so you can’t say for sure when your goal will be achieved. If you do that, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, get a general idea of when you’d like your goal to be completed, but then take it a day at a time and focus on making progress, not reaching the finish line in as little time as possible. Make sure you do something every day to take you towards your goal. It doesn’t have to be momentous; it can be a tiny step, but do something!
3) Finally, be sure that you don’t view obstacles and setbacks as failures. The two are completely different. An obstacle, setback or delay means only one thing: it’s not time for your goal to be completed yet. That’s it. It doesn’t mean you failed; it doesn’t mean you’re weak; it doesn’t mean you’ll never achieve your goals. It simply means you’re not done yet. You’ve got to keep moving forward and find a way around or through the obstacle.
Wishing you every success!