Are You Afraid Of Failure Or Afraid Of Your Success?

When we have big dreams, we have big expectations for ourselves. The bigger the dream, the more you expect from yourself.

Expectations are a valuable tool, but it’s essential to be mindful of how we use them. For example, what are your thoughts when your work is not perfect and falls short of your initial expectation? If you beat yourself up with “I’m not good enough” thoughts, you feel defeated. It’s like you’re in the depths of fear and success research, to be honest.

The Fear Of Failure

When we criticize ourselves for not achieving the expectation, it becomes the weapon that hurts us. If we have an attachment to being perfect, we end up avoiding the dream because it’s easier to avoid the disappointment of failing to be perfect.

We often perceive successful people as shiny, well-groomed folk with abundant natural talent who achieve overnight success. But, unfortunately, we don’t get to see the dedication, hundreds of failings, and rejections they faced.

If you observe a toddler learning to walk, you will notice they stumble time and again. It is unlikely you would think to yourself:  “Well, I guess Mabel just isn’t meant to be a walker!”  The same applies to the pursuit of your goal.

Learning must be woven into your strategy. When something doesn’t work out the way you hoped, look at the lesson it teaches you. Then, look at how it teaches you to be better next time. My business mentor often told me that you hadn’t failed a hundred times; you are playing the game too small and too safe.

To get started, break down your goal into several targets. Then, look at what you will need to achieve that goal and identify the areas you need to become more competent in. Next, create failure strategies, and list all the ways you will overcome the setbacks before they even happen. When they do, you will accept failure and learning as part of your goal, avoiding unconscious anxiety.

What Is Unconscious Anxiety?

When we attach self-worth to our achievements, we become imprisoned by the expectation of always being perfect and always getting it right. But, unfortunately, this style of thinking won’t help you move forward. If you think you must be perfect before you step out and make it happen, you are putting an impossible task upon yourself.

How To Overcome The Fear of Failure

Success means change. Change is like shedding skin. It can be excruciating, but it means you are growing. Try not to brush over emotions, but acknowledge the discomfort, anxiety, and fear you feel.  It’s important not to overplay the problems you may encounter to pursue your goal with lots of ‘what it’s because the problem doesn’t even exist yet. Imagining the problems which may happen once you succeed creates unnecessary stress too.

It may or may not happen, and even if it does, you will be in a different place with different resources to deal with it. So focus on what you do have control over. Focus on what you can do today and this week. Putting your energies on something you have no control over is a valuable wasted resource that would be better invested in your goal.

People Will Judge You

People will judge you no matter what you do in life. What goes on in someone else’s mind has nothing to do with you; it has more to do with them. I have seen people show genuine care and concern for me, but their judgments were based on the own fearful limitations they have placed upon themselves.

People will also be envious, so they will chop you down to make themselves feel tall. Finally, people will disapprove, even if you bring positive value, simply because it doesn’t fit within the mold of their thinking.

Perception is projection. This means the same as every thief thinks others are thieves. People feel more like a reflection of themselves and have little to do with you, so don’t get caught up trying to meet people’s thoughts because you will stay tiny if you do. Critical, unkind people think small and want to keep people on that same small level.

It is tempting to govern your life and to try and fit in the small mindsets of approvals. Consider any woman who achieved anything victorious. The Suffragette movement, Rosa Parks, Greta Thunberg, Yara Shahidi, and Megan Rapinoe. None of these women took action to fit within the mindsets of others. Being fearful of someone else’s thoughts will mean you do what they want of you. All that you are and what you stand for will dissolve over time.

You Can’t Let Go Of Your Past

We all remember a part of our life when it was easier. We had more money, fewer responsibilities, more support, and easier access to opportunity. Unfortunately, it is easier to cling to the past than face the reality of the present. As much as we shouldn’t project what might happen in the future, we shouldn’t allow what happened to influence what we can do today.

What may have worked for you in the past does not mean it is what you need in the present. Letting go frees us from the limitations we place on ourselves and enables us to look at what we do have today and get on with moving toward our goal.

You Won’t Fit In With Your Peers

Doing the same thing as the other mums at school and the other women at work and what your family expects of you makes life easier to fit in. Are your peer’s people who you are inspired by? Do you aspire to their achievements? Do you respect the way they operate?

If you do not have these sentiments, it is likely you won’t fit in with their way of thinking as you grow. This doesn’t mean you won’t have things in common or lose your authentic relationships. You can continue to connect on the things you share in common. If you are afraid others will reject you as you grow, then is it worth inquiring what are in the foundations of your relationship.

If you don’t fit in, accept it as something great and look to spend time with people who are like-minded as yourself. For example, if you spend time with women who judge and criticize other women, tear each other down, or wait for someone to leave the room before they speak of her, ask yourself if these are the people who will help you become your best. Communities are for like-minded people to inspire and empower each other to grow.

Is It The Fear Of Success Or The Fear Of Failure Which Holds You Back?

It’s about fear and success vs. fear and failure. Going for our ultimate goal means pouring our talents, purpose, meaning, and ultimately our hearts and souls into actions that would show everyone what we are. However, this exposure can present us with feelings of vulnerability. We want people to love, respect, and appreciate us, but we can fear that somehow once we succeed, we will be naked in our success, and the dream can be taken away quickly. So instead, we stay in our comfort zone, silencing our dreams and aspirations. We ruminate over fear and success.

Your goals can be lonely because many people do choose to play safe. But, in truth, it has all been done before. Your problems, thoughts, and feelings are much the same as many women and men who have chosen to start the path to their goal.

It is experiencing and stepping into the learning zone, which enabled them to push through adversity and failure. Consider the day you celebrate your ninetieth birthday. Will you be happy that you pursued your dreams and goals or happy that you didn’t?