Feeling like you’re failing can be crushing and overcoming fear of failure can seem so out of reach.
It can feel as though your whole world is caving in and you’re unable to see what you’ve achieved in the past or quite how you can move forward in the future either.
The feeling of disappointment for and in yourself can be soul destroying, debilitating and frankly freaking awful to experience.
I remember feeling it all so intensely and for prolonged periods of time – which led me into panic attacks and depression.
It’s not just a feeling that remains in your energy or thoughts, it filters through your whole being, fuelled by thoughts of letting people down, or letting your self down.
But whether you feeling it intensely or to another degree the fact remains that it can be both painful and uncomfortable so Id like to share some tools with you that will help in overcoming fear of failure.
Often when my clients apply to work with me they’ve usually come to the stage where they’ve experienced this – its as though they’ve been banging their heads against a wall, unable to move forward and create the business they desire or reach that next level with ease and its never anything to do with the strategy that they’ve tried to get them there.
The important thing to note is that they feel as though they’re failing to achieve what it is they desire – the income, the happiness, the goals, the clients.
As though it’s hard to be themselves, to express themselves fully or stop worrying what other people might think.
As though it’s hard to be authentic or stay in integrity with who they are.
And these feelings can blind us as to how we can move forward.
Understanding the process of overcoming fear of failure
More often than not our feeling of failing comes from our own expectations.
The pressure we place on ourselves to hit a certain goal by a certain date, to become the type of person who can hop onto social media and do an hour long live in a flash without batting an eyelid, the type of person who can close 5 sales calls at a high price point in under 30 minutes and juggles two kids whilst she does it.
But if that’s not who we are – and importantly if that’s not what’s aligned for our personalities then its not going to happen (you can check out this post on why alignment is your best business strategy right here) and that doesn’t mean there isn’t another way that is right for us, who we are, our natural pace, or that we have to give up all hope (if you want to jump to figuring all of that out click here)
Our expectations set us up to fail all the time because they’re so rigid, they don’t allow space for things to work out differently.
So where does that come from and how can we stop it?
It comes from media, conditioning. It comes from scrolling Instagram or Facebook and falling into comparison, self doubt and not-enoughness.
It comes from unknowingly but regularly conditioning ourselves into insecurity.
We see other people we admire or watch on social media doing the things we wish we could do and we immediately judge ourselves for not being able to do the same thing in a snap but then set our expectations based on this experience.
Now whilst I could offer you platitudes and just tell you that its important to remember that failing is always a lesson never a complete failure (and it is) and that we never really know the full picture when we see others doing well on social media – I’m not going to because I know first hand that that little reminder doesn’t help you shift those emotions or that energy and get back to an empowered place swiftly.
Most of us have a tendency towards people pleasing in one way or another – we want to be liked, we want to be admired, we want to be seen to be doing well at life or in business and other people’s opinions matter to us (that’s what triggered mine).
But what we forget is that our own opinion of ourselves matters most and it’s THAT that helps us become more empowered swiftly – assisting us in overcoming fear of failure.
So yes whilst our own expectations can place pressure on us to ‘perform’ well, it’s our own perception of who we are and what it is that we are capable of that can help to turn things around so we can overcome fear of failure and build confidence at the same time.
So let’s check that out first of all shall we?
PERCEPTION OF SELF
First of all – without you being you, without your unique and individual personality and life experiences you’re human (at least if you’re reading this I hope you are!) and just that sheer fact makes all the difference.
It means that you have the power to choose to be, do or create anything that you want.
The fact is that it’s only the way you’ve learnt and been conditioned that separates you from believing in that reality.
But as neuroscience, psychology, as quantum physics today tells us – our biological state gives us these opportunities to create, choose and be anything or anyone that we want.
Have you ever immersed yourself so deeply in a book or a movie that you’ve come out the other side feeling as though you are that person or that you can see through their eyes or live out their actions? This is an example of how malleable our perception really is.
Imagine instead of taking just those few hours of reading that book or watching that film, multiplying that intensity and depth of learning within your body.
Can you imagine the difference that could make on your perception long term?
Can you imagine how teaching your brain that this is now who you are can change your perception of yourself and your opportunities? (this is where I get excited and geek out a bit because it’s incredible what we get to do with our minds and bodies given chance!)
So if you want to work on overcoming fear of failure and the procrastination or anxiety it can bring:
REMEMBER: your humanity makes your opportunities to be, do or create what you choose completely possible. It’s just your perception that is making you feel as though you’re failing and that can be changed.
Practically if you do want to change your perception or beliefs on something to open your opportunities I would recommend using MAP or meditation – these two modalities work on a subconscious level making change fast, effective and long term which is why I use both with my clients – many other things – affirmations, mirror work, desire lists, re-writing beliefs – simply aren’t as effective long term, we have to change our operating system not just the way we use our apps!!
I mentioned earlier that our expectations create pressure for us, that and the fact that we care about what other people think and how they view us – so let’s talk expectations.
Take a moment and think about what it is that you want to create and when you want to create it by…
Now tell me what the rush is to create it by this certain date?
Goals, targets, desires, expectations – all of the things that we implement into our businesses create pressure for us to perform, to get it right, to be perfect, to get shit done and done by a certain date.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
What if instead you were able to release the pressure? To still be driven towards what you desire, to still take steps towards it on a daily basis BUT without the pressures – what difference do you think that could make to your enjoyment of your work, to your energy and what those things could contribute to your getting things done and your movement forward?
The point is that expectations can be unrealistic and create stress, anxiety, overwhelm and fear of failure and we often base them on what we think other people are doing, what we should be doing, what might be expected of us rather than on our own decision founded in what works for our well-being.
So, decide what it is you really want and then ask:
- Do I want this for me or because I think it’s expected of me?
- Do I choose this?
- Why do I choose it?
- If the outcome was guaranteed to happen would I still want it by X date?
- Why is achieving this by X date important to me?
Just becoming aware of these things can help you release the pressure, release the feelings of failure and reset your expectations.
Now of course to the tools you need that will help you move through that overarching feeling or panic, anxiety or failure in the moment:
Make sure that you are being conscious of your breath – this is a practise that can help you on a daily basis. It can ground you, bring you back into your body – away from thought, away from your mind and back into a calmer state of being. Becoming aware of the depth of your breath can steady your autonomic nervous system so you’re able to access a different state of being much faster.
And even if you’re not experiencing intense pain, panic or negative state you can still use this practise of conscious breathing on a daily basis – between doing tasks – to refocus and bring more energy into your body.
Know that this feeling, this emotion – will pass.
Our emotions are energy in motion – and they need to be allowed to move through you in order for you to return to a state where they’re no longer coursing through your body but have passed, allowing you to return to feeling calmer again.
I know it can be hard in the moment but focusing on the breath, on your body over the thoughts that are fuelling the feelings really helps re-focus the mind to allow for your body to surrender and let this energy pass.
If your feelings aren’t momentary but are more prolonged or experienced consistently we can tackle this from another angle:
CREATE A LIST
Fold a piece of paper in half and on one half write down what it is that you are proud of yourself for – what it is that you have achieved. Remember that change happens in small increments not all at once so acknowledge yourself for how far you have come, the small steps or moments that make up a life, that make up presence, that bring joy.
On the other half of the paper write down why you’re feeling as though you’re failing – whether there were any triggers to you feeling this way, whether it’s because you’re worried of how you may be perceived by other people, whether this pressure, this expectation, these feelings are coming from a place that you’ve chosen.
When I say chosen what I mean is that often we’re socialised into being worried of what other people think – into people pleasing, into worrying about what if’s.
But if we allow ourselves to return to our selves – into the present moment, into being aware of what and how we really want to be thinking and feeling we find that we actually DON’T want to be bothered about what other people think, that we DON’T choose this – we can move ahead empowered to align with what we do choose.
Now I know you may be thinking that you feel powerless to choose whether you care about what other people think of you and I get it – it is something that’s totally socialised into us as well as being a part of our humanity BUT if you can tap into your higher self, tap into who you really are – that confident powerful version of you who knows what you’re doing, where you’re headed and are making progress towards that ideal place – you become aware that it doesn’t matter as much as it did and these feelings begin to hold so much less power over you.
Returning to sovereignty over conditioning makes all the difference.
It’s who YOU are and how you perceive yourself that matters most.
And if you feel as though you are shooting in the dark, as though you don’t know what makes you so great, you don’t know which direction to turn with your business or dream for your life then firstly its freaking normal, secondly IT’S OK to feel this way and thirdly IT CAN BE CHANGED and there is a simple and speedy process to help you do that.
If you’d like to take this a step further and figure out what it is that is in integrity for you, what is special about you, what pace works for you AND use that information to elevate your brand or business, your relationships, health, well-being or life – click right here to find out how.