What is fear, is it the absence of courage of presence of doubt? Does it happen when you are unsure about the outcome or has no faith in your own capabilities?
To follow your dream you need to be fearless and confident. But fear has somehow been with us since childhood. We all experience it there is nothing unnatural about being fearful. Whenever we want to do something new, there is a pattern in the way we think and how fear operates. When we are in our teens, there was less space for fear in our lives. Most of us would look at the positive side and jump into doing something new, without even thinking what negative impact that action can have. But then we quickly learn, most often than not that it was a wrong decision. So next time when we want to do something new, the fear of failure comes first to your mind. It is your mind’s reaction to keep you in your comfort zone, and failure is the most common fear that cripples most of us. If you understand that failure is often the first step towards success, then the fear of failure goes away. We can negate this fear of failure by properly analysing our capabilities and ourselves. By understanding our limitations and what skill sets need to be developed to be successful in our endeavours. Highly successful people have told us how they have failed, and how it has shaped the way they think and has been the reason for their success. You too can do this all you need is the right approach.
Whenever we try to do something new in life, our mind creates lots of stories; they all start from ‘What if’,
What if I cannot do this new thing properly?
What if I lose my money in this?
What if I fail, what will others think about me
What if people lose interest in me?
What if people think I am dumb?
What if my peers don’t respect me?
What if this also will be like my past, an attempt without results?
What if I don’t get time to do it?
What if I cannot make money?
What if I do this and don’t succeed
What if my parents don’t approve of me doing this?
What if my wife and kids don’t support me?
What if I become a failure?
There are lots of ‘what if’s’ in our head before we start on a new path; the fear of failure is far more than the joy of success. We start imagining situations that will never even happen in a thousand years and get anxious about it. Our mind starts telling us stories about why we shouldn’t leave our comfort zone and venture into something new and follow our hearts command.
We must accept one thing that failure is part of our life, and without initial failure, we couldn’t even walk. A child attempting to walk for the first time falls an ample lot of time before he/she could stand on two feet and then starts to learn how to take baby steps and the same child within few months starts running. And the beauty is the child while trying has no fear of failure; the child doesn’t know what is a failure that word doesn’t exist in the child’s mind. For the child, it is all about various attempts to start walking.
Similarly, you must have heard of this famous story of Thomas Edison, his teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” This is one of the best ways to explain that there is nothing known as a failure but attempts to reach your goal.
These attempts of failure are going to be a fundamental element of your success. Why we are so scared of it is because from childhood it has been ingrained in our minds that failing is wrong, it is shameful, and it brings disgrace to our family and us. But if we could learn to shift our perspective and look at failure as not something to be ashamed of but as a proud moment in our life where due to a failure we have learnt a lot more and have become wiser than others who have not failed. The failure has taught us to be a better human being, it is a beautiful achievement. We must wear failure as a badge of honour it will be our advantage over millions of people who don’t.