In high school, our basketball coach was treated like a God. Basketball was an important sport there that it seemed like it risen above all else. The basketball coach was a born teacher and can bring life lessons to anything.
One training session the coach made a drill where the players had to move backwards as they are dribbling the ball. Although a strange drill to learn, it overall made the players have more agility in their movements.
The students wanting to impress the coach would be doing the best they could. The coach would yell at the students to go faster while everyone was going at a good speed. They got it wrong because they were doing it perfectly. He would tell them to go again, and if they didn’t drop the ball then they aren’t pushing themselves enough.
No one could do it for long in the next round. The purpose of this drill was to go beyond what your abilities are. That’s what they did. Moving faster with a backward step with ball in hand. This allowed the students to push more to do it longer. The failure was from impressing the coach, not the true failure of improving.
Fearing of failure is a legit and real defense our minds have. It essentially wants to protect you from things that are potential threats. Potential being a key word here. This part of the brain where it’s designed to protect you from physical threats like predators. Now risks are the same feeling when facing a lion. Our threat system isn’t good at seeing the difference in physical threats and potential ones.
Comfort zones are more than a concept. When you step out of them your mind will set more boundaries designed to protect you. Your mind is doing what it’s suppose to do, protecting you by sending you signals that feel fear in the risks and unknowns.
Dribbling backwards without losing the ball was a comfort zone and the coach knew they wouldn’t improve without it. But when you’re encourage to fail, they vastly improved. Failure was the goal now. Failing was success. They dropped the ball until they improved.
This is how you can overcome a fear of failure.
Ask yourself what is failure? The only true failure are the ones you didn’t learn from. Facebook has constantly failed with other apps and websites. It’s because they failed that lead to success.
Their motto is ‘Fail fast, fail forward”. The biggest failure for such a big company is being scared of failure that will allow them to push boundaries. If they didn’t apdapted or tried new things they will fail to keep their users interested and comptition to take them.
Understand Your Fear
Now what is your fear? Not everyone fears the same thing. Fear can come from thinking the worst possible outcome or unrealistic perfection. But what is the worst that can happen? When you think about failing as a business owner whats the worst that happens? You’ll still have friends and family. would you lose the drive that is the reason you started in the first place?
Counter Fear With Confidence
This world favors those who act and lead with confidence. No one is expecting your failure. The world will naturally have supporters for you. Sure, there will be some haters too, but it’s in what you’re doing. It’s nothing as personal as they try to make it out to be. The right opportunity will always show itself in some form. When you look at all the country leaders, CEO, or even just your parents, they include some kind of confidence that we need in our lives.
Take Incremental Action
The size of challenge can be all it takes to make you have a fear of failure. Look at a picture of Mt. Everest from it’s base camp. It’s one of the most imposing feats in the world with-50degree weather, storms, and no easy way to scale up, yet 100’s of climbers do so every year. Many are actually just hobbyist with just a dream. They all start the same way no matter the experience. All actions began with a habit to getting your goal.
Simply Ignore the Fear
The surfers you go after the big waves that are the size of major buildings that terrify with a giant force. It’s impossible to not have some fear over them. How they handle it is they don’t look at the impact zone which is where the wave is contacting with the sea. There’s problems in life where you can look dead on but there’s some where you can look around it.
Challenge Yourself in Other Areas
Taking on other challenges besides the ones where you want to grow as well. Think about why people want to run in marathons. To push their abilities through building a willpower and drive. When you can succeed in one feat, it feels like other feats are possible. This is all about applying other goals elsewhere. With the right mind and aspirations there’s a lot more things you can do.
Debunk the Myth of Fearlessness
Successful people look fearless and amazing but that’s just how they are being perceived. Successful people all started out ordinary and through practice and determination they are where they are. There’s the misconception that they aren’t full of fear because they able to achieve regardless of it. Being brave isn’t living without fear , it’s learning how to live with fear, confronting it, and working with it.
Fear is normal and a part of humanity, it’s what keeps us safe. It’s a part of us. No one is really fearless, they’ve just learned how to live with it.
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