Fear of Failure: Which Type Is Restricting Your Life?
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SNW007: Fear of Failure: Which Type Is Restricting Your Life?

Fear of Failure: Which Type Is Restricting Your Life?

Episode Summary:
I believe fear of failure is one of the most under diagnosed, misunderstood, mismanaged – constraining phobias around.
Because people sometimes think they have it when they haven’t, don’t realise they have it when they do and don’t know what to do about it when they have.
The fear of failure stops some from acting on their ideas and starting a new project or venture.
While, in others, it stops from ever finishing one.
In this episode I reveal the 4 types of fear of failure, how you can diagnose which one you’re suffering from and the most powerful, yet simplest, way to cure it.

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Episode Transcript:

I believe fear of failure is one of the most…

under diagnosed, misunderstood, mismanaged – constraining phobias around.
Because people sometimes think they have it when they haven’t,
don’t realise they have it when they do and
don’t know what to do about it when they have.
The fear of failure stops some from acting on their ideas and starting a new project or venture.
While, in others, it stops from ever finishing one.
Their fear of failure being so intense, that they would do anything to avoid facing the truth:
Did their idea work or not?
And that’s a serious problem.
Because if we’re in a middle of a project and then discover we have a fear failure… we’re stuck!
We can’t finish it – because we fear failing.
But, we can’t give up on it… because we’d be admitting we couldn’t do it.
Which is failure.
Which we have just realised we’re scared of!
So what do we do when we’re faced with such a difficulty?
Do we take a long hard, thoughtful, look at ourselves and dig out the real reason we’re scared of failing?
Do we go and seek professional help and advice, to try to overcome our irrational fear?
Do we sit down with our loved ones and explain to them the situation. Ask for their help and support to get us through this emotionally tough period of our life?
No. We ignore it.
Because we have a far better plan.
We’ll just keep ourselves busy for YEARS…
Doing non-essential tasks, or tinkering around the edges, or redoing work we’ve already done.
Or we will work tirelessly towards an unachievable perfect result.
Anything, anything rather than knowing the truth: whether our idea, project or endeavour will work or not.
And that’s bad enough, but consider this…
While we’re stuck on this project, that we will never complete, we won’t move on to anything else.
We won’t admit we fear failing.
We don’t want to face knowing if it would have succeeded or not.
So we just sit there, for years, never knowing.
Life passes us by.
Still we sit…
Nothing progresses…
For years…. and years… sometimes for life!
But then there’s others that THINK they procrastinate because they fear failing… when they don’t.
They don’t fear failing… it’s just the idea or project they’re working on doesn’t excite and motivate them enough to get on with it.
That’s not fear of failure. That’s having the wrong ambitions.
But it can be just as damaging.
Because they put their life on freeze-frame for years.
Mistakenly thinking they suffer from fear of failure, when all they need is to have more belief in themselves.
With more belief, they can create and pursue dreams they’re more passionate about and believe they can achieve it.
Either way, if you admit you suffer from the fear of failure, if you suffer from the fear of failure but won’t admit it, or you think you suffer from fear of failure – when you don’t…
It’s severely limiting your life
So, over the next two episodes, I’m going to explain to you how you can remove the fear of failure from your life once and for all.
And this is where you start:
First,  you need to diagnose exactly what it is you’re fearing if you did fail.
Because you can’t just say “I fear failure!” It is pointless, because it’s too vague.
It’s like going to the doctors and after a thorough consultation the doctor proudly declares:
“I know what’s wrong with you… you’re ill.”
Because if you don’t know what’s wrong, you don’t know what you’re trying to cure.
And if you don’t know what you’re trying to cure, how you can cure it?
You can correctly self-diagnose what you’re fearing, by following these two steps:
Step #1.
If the fear of failure has stopped you starting work on an idea, ambition or dream write down these words…
“I think the fear of failure is stopping me from starting…”
And then complete the sentence; or
If fear of failure is stopping you completing a project, write down these words
“I think fear of failure is stopping me from finishing…”
And then complete the sentence.
A simple, but massive step. Because you have now admitted to yourself – on paper, in black-and-white – that your fear is holding you back.
Step #2.
You now need to work out why you fear failing the project or idea you’ve just written down.
To do that you need just one more sentence, which starts with the words:
I fear failing….(whatever project it was that you’ve just written down) because…
And then, in a short while, you will complete that sentence with one of these four types of fears:
#1. Fear of what others will think
#2. Fear of proving myself wrong
#3. Fear of change
#4. Fear of ending my dream
To help you decide which of these fears you may be suffering from, let me explain what these fears are.
Type #1 – Fear of what others will think.
You fear being ridiculed, or looking incapable or stupid. Or you’re comparing yourself to others that you perceive to be more successful and you feel a massive pressure not to fail.
If that sounds like your fear of failure. Then write it down to complete your second sentence.
Type #2 – Fear of proving yourself wrong
I think, this is the most common fear of failure type. But most people do not realise they are suffering from it, because it all happens subconsciously.
And this fear stops us from finishing our ideas because if we fail, we would be proving ourselves wrong. We’d be saying to ourselves, “oh… I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.”
In other words, we’re fearful the result won’t match our self-image.
We can’t risk finding out our idea failed. So to avoid that result we never finish or start the project.
By doing this, we may not have proved ourselves right. But we haven’t proved ourselves wrong either and that leaves us with the peace-of-mind that it COULD work.
We’re subconsciously protecting ourselves against the possibility of having to face the failure and the damage that could do to our fragile self-esteem.
And I call it fragile self-esteem, because if you suffer from this fear, it is what you have.
Your self-esteem is high enough to have the idea or dream in the first place. It’s high enough not to dismiss the idea completely, but it’s not quite high enough to be able to cope with if it failed.
If it’s this fear stopping you from achieving what you want to achieve, then write it down to complete your sentence.
Type #3 – Fear of Change
This is the fear that if your idea fails, it could negative impact your life.
Examples of this fear are:
“I want to start this business idea I’ve got. But I’m in a well paid job now, if I do it and it goes wrong how will I pay the mortgage… how will I put food on the table? It will be safer to where I am.”
Or…
“I want to take up this new job offer. It’s more responsibility, more challenging, more exciting… but what if I can’t do it? I will then lose my job. If I lose my job how will I pay the mortgage… how will I put food on the table? It will be safer to stay where I am.”
As a side note, this fear of change can stop people completing their ideas because they fear a positive outcome.
For example:
“If this goes well, I’m going to have to employ staff, find bigger business premises, register for vat and so on. That’s a big responsibility, a huge commitment and pressure. That scares me, I think I’ll hold back for now.”
Is it the fear of change that’s holding you back? If so, put that down to finish your sentence.
Type #4 – Fear of ending your dream
People often don’t realise they have this fear either. Because, just like the fear of proving yourself wrong, it works at a subconscious level.
This is the fear that if you fail in achieving you dream or ambition, you’ll have nothing left exciting to aim for.
You’ll be left with no ambitions, or hope.
But, of course, we all need hope in our lives to perform.
So, subconsciously we protect ourselves from losing that hope. And we do that by not completing our ideas – so we never have to face the risk of ending our dream.
Because false hope is easier for us to live with, than having no hope at all.
And if this fear is stopping you from trying to achieve your dreams, then write it down in your second sentence.
So they are the four types of fear of failure
You should now have two sentences which state:
“I think the fear of failure is stopping me from starting (or finishing)…” (whatever it is for you)
Followed by either:
“I fear failing this because… I’m worried about what other people will say.” Or,
“I’m scared I’m going to prove myself wrong.” Or,
“I’m worried that my circumstances would change.” Or,
“I’m scared that I will have nothing left I want to achieve.”
Of course, your fear could fall into more than one of those types.
“I fear failing because I’m worried about what others will say AND that my circumstances could change.”
And that’s ok. Your fear could even fall into three of the different types – no problem, you’ll be able to work through it and cure yourself.
Mind you, if your fear all four of the different types – then, honestly – forget fear of failure for now.
You need to start working on your self-esteem first.
Increase that and you will create a far healthier, more positive and  accurate perception of yourself.
Achieve that and some of your fears will disappear.
And we can help you create a more positive and accurate perception of yourself through this show.  If you haven’t already, it would be worth listening to my previous episodes (in particular episode one).
You can also join our Dream. Trust. Achieve. Academy – which is FREE to join and you can find all the details at supernowwow.com.
Ok, so you now know…
a. What you’re not starting or completing because of the fear of failure; and
b. What it is you actually fear.
So, in other words, you have diagnosed what the problem is.
You may have only written two sentences down, but believe me that is massive step towards you achieving whatever you want to achieve in life.
I estimate you’ve already achieved more than over 99% of the worlds population:
You’ve thought about why you don’t start or finish your ideas, ambitions, dreams…
You’ve pinpointed which ideas, ambitions, dreams… you haven’t started or finished; and
You’ve worked out exactly which fear is responsible for you not starting, or finishing your ideas, ambitions and dreams.
Because, as you know, when you go to the hospital ill – the first they need to do is diagnose what’s wrong with you. If they don’t know what’s wrong, they can’t treat you.
Or, if they get the diagnosis wrong, they prescribe the wrong treatment and you won’t be cured.
You’ve done the hard part – you’ve diagnosed the problem.
And in the next episode I will share with you THE four remedies that cures all the four fear of failure types.
But, I don’t want to leave you feeling frustrated if you’re now motivated to start curing your fear straight away.
So, I’m going to share one of the remedies with you now.
And this remedy is the strongest antidote, to any fear of failure, available.
And it is this:
Create ideas, dreams and ambitions that excite you more. New ideas that ignite increased passion in you and this, in turn, will increase your motivation to overcome anything.
Not all the time, but usually the quickest easiest way to cure fear of failure is simply to have dreams that you desire more.
The more you desire the result, the more motivated you will be to achieve it.
Makes sense, right?
You’re going to be far less motivated to complete something that you fear failing, if you’re not even that bothered about achieving it anyway.
For example, the fear flying will cause some to just point-blank refuse to ever fly. And if you’re fear of failure is that strong – it doesn’t matter how excited you are by your dreams, the fear will stop you achieving it.
And my next episode will explain exactly how you cure this strong fear.
In others though, the fear of flying isn’t so strong that they never fly.
They fear flying and wouldn’t fly away for a long weekend.
But the fear wouldn’t stop them from taking their annual two week holiday.
Same fear.
The fear that stops them from flying away for the weekend, but doesn’t stop them taking a two-week holiday.
The only difference is the level of desire that creates different levels of motivation.
A weekend away would be nice. It creates some desire. The desire creates a certain level of motivation, but not enough to overcome the fear of flying.
However, a two-week holiday abroad creates more desire. The increased desire creates a higher level of motivation, which is now high enough – not to remove the fear of flying – but to fly anyway.
With any new idea, ambition or dream you will always have, to varying degrees
Motivation and Fear
If the fear level is higher than the motivation level – then you’ll procrastinate, or not start it at all.
If the motivation level is higher than the fear – then nothing will hold you back from trying.
You will still have fears. And that’s good. If you never feel fear, you’re not being brave enough in the first place.
You just need to make sure your motivation outweighs your fear. Make sure it has more power.
And here’s more proof:
You would not let fear of failure stop you running into a burning house to save your family.
You wouldn’t stand on the pavement thinking, “What would people think if I failed in this… I might get criticised by some folks. No, I think I’ll leave saving my family for now.”
No, you wouldn’t think twice about it. You’d have plenty of fear – but the motivation to save your family from death overrides every negative emotion.
So take another look at your dreams.
Do they excite you enough to overcome the fear of failure?
Are your dreams so outrageously exciting to you, that when ever you imagine what it is going to be like when you achieve it – you get goose bumps. And a burst of adrenalin and your hearts starts beating faster?
Because if you have a dream that excites you that much, that will create such high levels of motivation in you – you will overcome any fears you may have about failing.
Or are your dreams realistic? Have you kept a level head?
Have you thought, “Who do I think I am. Come on, this is the real world… I’ve got to be realistic with my ambitions.”
Because if your idea, ambition or dream has been created from within that mindset, you’re not going to have much desire to achieve them.
A low desire creates little motivation to overcome the fear of failure stopping you from achieving them.
So, decide to spend this week being unrealistic.
You have the freedom to do whatever you want to do with your life.
And if you’re current set of dreams and ambitions are not big enough to overcome your fears of failing…
Then rather than spending your time trying to force yourself to overcome the fears.
Your time would be better spent creating dreams and ambitions that are big enough to overcome them naturally.
Because this week, these days, this ‘now’ is going to pass anyway.
So make this ‘NOW’ a Super NOW…
A super now that makes you go WOW!

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