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How to Use Fear of Failure to Succeed - Laree' Griffith

How to Use Fear of Failure to Succeed

We don’t actually fear failure – we fear what we make “failure” mean about us. 

We want to have success without ever falling down because we’re afraid of looking stupid. We worry about what others might be thinking about us. We’re worried that we’re going to feel like crap and beat ourselves up because that is what we tend to do when we do have a fail. 

This is the most important thing to be aware of. If you’re not, it’s much too easy to hide under the umbrella of “fear of failure” so we don’t disappoint ourselves. 

But the irony is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because we guarantee there will be no success when we don’t even try. Success requires failure, often massive failures. 

You simply cannot have true success without failure – and the bigger, the better – because the things we’re afraid will cause us to fail are most likely the exact actions we need to take to succeed.  

If your strategy for success is to fail as little as possible along the way, you are keeping yourself stuck from ever achieving your goals. Failure, namely learning from those failures, is required to move you to the next level. 

Think about it. 

If you knew you weren’t going to have to fail, you probably would have already done all the things to achieve the success you want. 

When you aim for less of anything, including fewer failures, that is what you get, including less success. You have to be willing to break your current glass ceiling and let the glass shards land where they will. 

So, here is the exercise that is going to change how you think about fear of failure forever.

You want to make a list of all the major fails that could happen along the way to the success you want, the things you are afraid to do because you might screw up, you might look stupid, you might offend someone, you might be humiliated or alienated if you take the required risk. 

That list becomes your roadmap to success. Those are the obstacles you need to move toward and take action on, that will elevate you toward success and not continue to keep you just under the radar of safe mediocrity.

Actively move toward those possible fails.

If you just say you’re willing to fail, that’s lip service. When you actively move toward those potential fails and commit to learning from them no matter what, you are guaranteed to grow closer to your success. It’s the only way. 

When you’re committed to not just the success but to taking the emotional risk to get there, you can move forward. Open yourself up to failure on purpose. It’s something you are willing to feel the whole weight of because you know, in the end, you have your own back. That is what matters. 

The bottom line is you’re either going to be successful at avoiding failure or you’re going to be successful at striving to reach your goals and maybe even reaching success beyond what you currently think is possible. 

I’ve never succeeded at anything by practicing the art of NOT failing.

You create your success through what you learn from your failures. With each so-called failure, you learn and build confidence or self-trust.

There is a quote that I just love and I’m not sure who to attribute it to, but you are either learning or you’re winning. So, you could just replace the word “failing” completely, and if you make the same mistake twice, it just means you haven’t learned the thing you were meant to learn. Fail again. 

Someone might ask at this point, “What about fear of success?” Exact same thing. You’re not afraid of success; you’re afraid of what you are making that mean about yourself. 

So, make that list of the things you are afraid to do because you might fail and that is your work. Let that be your roadmap to success. 

I’m now accepting clients for my one-on-one coaching program. If you’re developing a project, rewriting a current one, or marketing a completed one, I can help. Book a free 30-minute consultation here and find out how we can turn your obstacles into your successes.