“But what if I fail?”
What if. The worst of all questions. What if that idea for your dream business is actually a bit rubbish? What if he says no? What if it goes wrong? What if eating three tubs of Ben & Jerry’s is a bad idea? What if doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t know already. It’s a question that has no answer. Even if you believe in something like fate or destiny, there’s no way of knowing what the future – or the consequences of your actions – holds.
Being afraid of failure
No one wants to fail. There’s no easy way to put this, so I’ll say it: You Will Fail.
There will come a point in your life when you plan all your plans, and despite those plans being as rock solid as they can be, you will fail. You won’t land that dream job. Your business will go though tough times. You will be rejected. You will throw up after consuming far more dairy then is medically advised.
But there are three reasons why failure isn’t a bad thing:
You live and learn.
Boy, don’t we all. Whether it’s a terrible haircut that leaves you feeling so self concious you decide hats are the only way out, or making a terrible decision that haunts you for years down the line, the best thing to do is to analyse why you made that decision that’s caused you to fall. Was it being too impulsive? Not planning enough? Having your heart set on something uncertain? Whatever the reason for your failure, finding out what may have contributed to it will stop you making the same decision so easily again.
You get to fix the problem.
Instead of giving up and rolling over in defeat, see what the flaw in the plan was. Where the weakness lies. If it’s in a relationship, perhaps see what areas you discovered are absolute want and musts for your next one. If it’s losing a job, see what areas you need training for, and try and get more experience. Learn from the weak spot. Failure means you can see it, patch it up, and resume getting on with your life.
You gain respect.
A lot of people are happy to just meander through life, working for someone else, living in a comfortable setting, just letting things be. In a study conducted by the University of Melbourne, it was revealed people who were content to let life lead them were £82,000 worse off over a four year period than those who took charge of their own destiny. So, you tried. It didn’t work out. But you know you took a risk, which is way more than can be said of most people.
I’ll throw in a bonus fourth. How boring would life be if you let fear dictate everything you did? Can you imagine never again doing the things you want to, because of some irrational fear it might not go to plan?
So how can you stop being afraid?
Know that in your lifetime, you’ll fail many times. Some failures will be trivial, some may be massive. But knowing this, having a realistic attitude, will soften the blow.
Know that if something doesn’t work out, you’ll learn everything you need to stop it happening again.
Know that you can’t control everything. And trying to will only leave you with more grey hairs than you can count, and a hairdresser’s bill to rival Cheryl Cole’s.
Know that it’ll be over soon. Sure you may be left red-faced. But in ten years time, it’ll seem so insignificant.
Know that failure is just a thought. You can control it.
Have you ever let a feat or failure stop you from doing something you desperately wanted to try? Or have you failed spectacularly, only to learn from it and make your life better? Share you stories below!