Fear of failure is a common fear that prevents people from moving forward and achieving goals. But, failure is not something to be afraid of. Failure means we have tried something different. Failure is a learning experience.
When we are young, we are not afraid of failure. We do not fear taking our first step. We do not fear rolling over. We just do it. We try again and again until it works.
But somewhere along the way, we start to fear the unknown and we begin to worry about failing until we simply stop trying. And when we stop reaching, our goals become dreams, and our dreams, wishful thinking. The fear of failing has limited us. Our fear has also limited the joy we may have received had fear not stopped us.
When we are held back by our fears – however rational or irrational they may be – we are also limiting our joy. Remember how joyous you felt when you completed a challenging task? Yes. That joy!
If fear has held you back from moving forward on something, what have you lost? Some may say nothing because you didn’t take the risk but the truth is that you have lost an endless amount of joy that could have been felt by completing a difficult task or taking the leap of faith and experiencing the unknown. The question to ask yourself is not whether you can do it but rather, what are the consequences? What is the worst that can happen?
In many instances, the worst that can happen is really not that scary. No one is injured or will die. You might get embarrassed. You might lose some money but overall, you are alive and you have learned.
Of course we need to be fearful of some things because these fears set reasonable limits. Fear of fire or hot surfaces protects us from burns. Fear of getting hit by a vehicle will keep up from walking in front of a moving car. These fears are the fears that keep us safe and free from injury. If the worst that can happen is damage, death or serious injury to you or others, perhaps it is a valid fear.
When you start to let go of limiting fears, you start to open up possibilities. You experience more joy. You learn. And then you learn again! By facing our fears and learning to live with less fear, we increase our potential joy quotient exponentially.
So ask yourself – What is the Worst That Can Happen – and face your fears head on!