Fear of failure is the enemy of confidence. If you can face down your fear of failure, you can build your confidence.
Years ago I was asked the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” It was an empowering question, but one that bothered me on a certain level as well. The question felt artificial, as there are very few scenarios where failure is impossible.
So I came up with a couple of different questions.
“What would you do if you knew that you had the strength and ability to bounce back from any failure?”
“What would you do if you believed that failure was a learning experience on your path to success?”
In other words, bolster your confidence that you can handle failure, and failure becomes less scary.
Follow these 3 steps to combat your fear of failure and build confidence:
Step 1: Think back to a time when you failed at something. How did it feel?
I’m guessing it didn’t feel good. Maybe you felt embarrassment, or shame, or guilt. Maybe you internalized it and felt like you yourself were a failure. All of those feelings are normal. And its totally normal to want to avoid feeling like that again!
Step 2: Once you acknowledge how you felt, ask yourself, “what did I do to pick myself up and bounce back?”
“What did I learn from that experience?”
Unless you are still sitting on the ground, unable to get up to this day, you did something to bounce back from that failure. The next time you are tempted to avoid failure by playing it safe, remind yourself that you are strong enough to handle it if the worst case scenario happens and you fail.
Step 3: Once you are confident that you can handle failure, try focusing on how you will handle success! What you focus on gets bigger, so the more you focus on the path to success, the greater the probability that you will achieve it.