Fear of Failing

I have often asked myself what holds people back?  And by “people” I mean me.  I know I like to write and have been told by some folks that I write well.  So if I love it so much, and am good at it, why don’t I do it constantly?  Yes, it’s hard work.  Yes it is difficult to pour your heart and soul into something and lay it out there for every one to see.  But I am used to working hard; so is it more than that?

So when I saw this post by an man who has been an ‘internet marketing guru’ for many years, it made me think:  Is the reason for not pushing through a fear of failure?  Here is what Jim Edwards sent in an email a while back:

Jim Edwards’ Question of the Week – Oct 13, 2012 ============================================================

Q: “How do I overcome the fear of making mistakes
and failing?”

A: You’ve probably heard this before: we are only born with
two fears. Fear of falling. Fear of loud noises.

Every other fear is a learned response.

My best advice in this situation is to sit down and really
think about WHY you’re afraid. Fear of mistakes and failing
is usually a MASK for a different, “background” fear.

Are you afraid of looking stupid to others?

Are you afraid of wasting time? (Big one for me)

Are you afraid you might NEVER get what you want?

Are you afraid of putting out a TON of effort and energy
and not getting anything in return?

These are all legitimate concerns, especially in today’s
hectic world. BUT, we can’t let these fears paralyze us.

My solution is to simply redefine what “mistakes” and
“failure” mean and how you interpret them.

For me, a “mistake” is when I don’t take action. “Failure”
is when I don’t give something 100%.

If I take action and give it 100% effort, then everything I
attempt is just something I’m trying in order to see what
kind of result I get.

As far as wasting time or putting out a ton of effort with
no return, that actually happens very rarely. Any time you
give something 100% of your time and attention good things
tend to happen.

The minimum that happens when you put out 100% effort is
that you learn a lot, you get valuable results to use to
plot your course moving forward, and you build momentum.

So, if you’re afraid of making mistakes or failing, you’ll
want to do two things:

1. Figure out the underlying fear, and

2. Remake your personal definition of what making a
“mistake” or “failing” really is to YOU.

Armed with this new understanding and outlook on life, you
can move past that fear and start getting better results!


So for me, this means that I am adopting the attitude of “There is no ‘failure’.  There is only moving forward and finding ways that worked or didn’t work.  The only ‘failure’ is not moving forward.”

What does it mean for you?

Categories: Inspiration

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