Fear of failure is a natural part of the human experience. So much so that, like every other phobia, it has a cool Latin name, atychiphobia. Admittedly to be diagnosed with atychiphobia, you will be at the extreme end of being fearful of failure. Today we’ll look at some strategies to help you beat these feelings.
The symptoms of fear of failure
The first thing to realise is that we do not want to remove the fear of failure. We want to manage it. By managing our fear of failure, we can use it to help us better plan and focus on what we want to do.
What though are the signs that we are having a fear of failure crisis?
- Perfectionism – you will only do what you know you can do perfectly and successfully.
- Low self-esteem – you tell yourself you’ll never be able to do what it is you are wanting to do.
- Self-sabotage – you procrastinate or have excessive anxiety and can then never see through what you want to do.
None of these three options is a fun place to live your life suffering from and being held back by. What we need is to learn to live with the fear of failure and how to lower its effects on ourselves.
How to cope
One of the first ways to attempt to beat the fear of failure is to permit yourself to fail. Doing this may not always be practical. Grinding a foot-high ledge, then this okay, gapping between buildings and this is not an option.
The reason it is okay on a ledge is that one of the best questions to ask yourself is, “What is the worst that can happen.” On the foot-high ledge, the worst outcome will generally be much lower than the high-speed gap. On a ledge, feel free to give yourself permission to slam.
You’ll now find that ledge is a lot less daunting.
Now, we need to think of a way to target that gap. Another simple idea is to redefine success. Usually, we might think about what could go wrong and haven’t considered how success would feel. Think about success and how you will feel after. Stop your fear of failing getting in the way of your success.
Take this time also to boost your self-esteem. As you work on how success will feel, tell yourself how skilful and talented you are. Don’t worry about boasting to yourself. Allow yourself the time to feel great about all the time you’ve put in to develop the skillset to be a great rider.
The next thing to do is to try and be more mindful. Being more in the moment and realising that negative thoughts will come and go and it is best not to dwell on them will also help.
If you have an intense fear of failure and anxiety, you must see a physician or mental health professional. You may need medication and to be referred to a therapist. Words on the internet may not be enough.
Do not be afraid of this. You are not alone, and you will find a support network.