The Fear Of Failure

Once while having a conversation with a member of a Fortune 500 company the issue of failing was approached.  This individual had a dream of growing up the company’s ladder but was afraid of failure.  Failure is an anchor and a concept that has been developed over time to equate with loser.  This equation simply does not add up.  I like Wikipedia’s definition of failure, “Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.”  That is much more accurate than what many have come to believe.  In particular the words “may be” are of importance here in the Wikipedia definition.

Failure, in reality is what many must do so one can succeed.  Failure is no different from trial and error.   It is no different from fine tuning or the strength of fortitude.  It is just a word not an ending or a life sentence.  Need to overcome your fear of failure, revisit reframing.

There is a tremendous difference when it comes to fear of failure now compared to ten, twenty or more years ago.  The difference is in the speed of business.  The fear of failure walks hand in hand with inactivity.  Inactivity use to mean standing still in the business world, no longer, it now means falling behind.  And if that wasn’t enough to address the fear of failure, the fear of failure also joins up with other negative behaviors such as procrastination.  Psychology Today had an interesting blog post a few years ago about overcoming fear and its relation to other behaviors including competence/self-efficacy. You may find it enlightening,  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/200902/fear-failure .

The most important note here regarding fear is that we have the ability to unlearn any behaviors tied to it.

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