Overcoming Fear of Failure

Fear of failureI try to pick a tip and a thought to go along with a story each week. Since our living arrangements are in a rehab care facility right now, my schedule is very chaotic and I’m finding it harder to write because there are so many interruptions. I’m not complaining though because I appreciate the caregiving support of nurses, CNA’s and therapists.

As I contemplated and researched for a tip to go along with my article, I Need Thee Every Hour, I thought about our biggest worry this year, a failed surgery and/or failed recovery. I have enjoyed studying ideas on how to overcome the fear of failure, which can be debilitating and an unhealthy aversion to risk. Some classic symptoms I’ve been feeling are anxiety, vulnerability, mental blocks and perfectionism.

Our ability to manage fear of failure is a predictor of success. The supremely gritty are not afraid to fail, but embrace it as part of a process. They understand there are valuable lessons in defeat.

My research took me to a great article which I have taken the following information from. http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/overcome-fear-of-failure/

  1. Consider the cost of missed opportunities– The biggest risk that people fail to consider is the benefit they lose by avoiding high risk/high reward opportunities. High risks offer the greatest reward. Without taking risks, you can’t harness opportunities. You can live a quiet and reasonably happy life, but you are unlikely to create something new and you are unlikely to make your mark on the world.
  2. Research the alternatives– The unknown is a major source of fear. When you don’t know what you’re dealing with, potential consequences seem far worse than they actually are. Take the power out of fear by understanding it. Research all the potential outcomes (both good and bad) so you genuinely understand the risk of failure and benefits of success. Analyzing these outcomes will help you see through the fear of failure and make a logical decision.
  3. Put the worst-case scenario in perspective– One of the most powerful questions may be if you fail, how long will it take you to recover? The answer is probably less than you expect.
  4.  Understand the benefits of failure– As Emerson said, life is a series of experiments, the more you make the better. Each failure is a trial in an experiment and an opportunity for growth. Even if a failure costs you financially, the educational benefits can far outweigh the loss.
  5. Make a contingency plan– In case your first option fails, have a solid backup plan. If you manage risk intelligently, you can capture the benefits of high risk opportunities while leaving yourself a safety net.
  6. Take action– The best way to reduce fear andbuild confidence is taking action. As soon as you do, you’ll begin accumulating experience and knowledge. Everything is hardest the first time. Start off with small steps and build up your confidence until the fear of failure is manageable.

I thought these steps were excellent and by researching this topic my confidence grew. Mark’s recovery is slower than we’d like, but we took a high risk for a better quality of life. We applied all of these steps and added one more important step for us—prayer. This article helped me realize we did all we could to make a wise decision concerning Mark’s health. Now it’s important to stay positive and trust in the Lord.