Sunday, 16 September 2007

Overcoming Fear of Failure

Once you realise that almost anything you want in life is achievable the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome is the fear of failure.

So what is the best way to take on the niggle in the back of your head saying "what if I fail?"

The easiest way I believe to overcome this fear is to look at the situation differently. Once you understand intellectually why facing potential failure is a good thing, it becomes easier to address the more specific fears you have about failure.

I believe the cost of not facing potential failure in some areas of your life is greater than experiencing the actual failure itself.

Take for example the fear of starting your own business and going bankrupt as a result. This is a pretty common fear that keeps most people as employees for all their lives. But what if your worst fears actually came true?

I could not think of many more character building things than overcoming bankruptcy. Furthermore there would be so much to learn about yourself as well as finances by living through the process. Think of some of the great people who have faced bankruptcy and come back, most notably Donald Trump. The people that come back often go on to live lives that are much better than they ever were before. Although bankruptcy destroys all your financial assets it grows your greatest personal asset which is who you are as a person.

I'm not trying to glorify bankruptcy, I am trying to emphasize that our greatest fears are not as bad as they seem. Very often it is worth taking on something where we fear failure, because the real reward comes in who you become as a person by taking on the challenge, not necessarily just the end result.

To summarize all this: You have a choice. You can take on the challenge of achieving what you want most in life, e.g. financial independence, the perfect relationship for you, great health, etc. or you can play it safe and not achieve those things, but not risk losing what you already have. The cost of not taking on the challenge is not only that you will never live to experience the things you truly deserve in life, but you become less of a person, because you will live a life that has been bound by fear.

When you remember that in life all you really have is who you are as a person the choice becomes somewhat easier to make.