I feel that fearlessness is not a state of having no fears but rather, a state when you are calm even in the presence of the source of your fears. This might seem ambiguous and impossible but just stick with me for the duration of this series.
“It is not failure itself that holds you back, it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you.”
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something, but I can’t accept not trying.”
“I have probably earned the right to screw up a few times. I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.”
So for a long time now, my motivation for success has always been that if I didn’t work hard enough, I would fail. I would disappoint so many people, including myself. That I would never become all that I hope to be. That fear kept me working even when I was spent.
At some point in life, you will realize that things don’t always work out and somethings we really hope would work, don’t. Every time I failed, I got so depressed and discouraged and wondered why me??
There are two approaches that I have used to dealing with my fear of failure
- Systematic approach: Most times when I’m about to make a decision or take a risk, I consider the best and worst case scenarios.
I ask questions like
- What could lower my chances of achieving the worst case scenario
- What improves my chances of attaining the best case scenario
- What contingencies can lessen the impact of the worst case scenario
For example, you want to take professional exams. If you pass, you get the certificate which will help you out with your dream job. However, if you fail, retaking the exams is too expensive. For me, that’s enough motivation to do the best I can, but in a systematic approach you consider all the options
In the worst case scenario:
- Should you get a less skilled job and save enough to retake the exams
- Should you abandon the exams
- What type of preparations can you make to ensure that if you retake the exams, you will pass
When things appear within our control, we feel better going in