I like quotes. They can be a really powerful way to keep something important in your mind. Often just a few words mean so much.
There is an old Chinese Proverb – ‘Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.’ There are a number of similar quotes but this is one that has stuck with me.
For a long time I was scared of failure – many people are. Failing at anything. Relationships, education, friendships, work, and the list goes on and on. Through that fear we stop trying. You can imagine the thought process:
- I am scared of failing because when it happened last time I was embarrassed/disappointed etc. I let myself and other people down.
- I don’t want to feel those emotions again as it was painful.
- I am going to avoid putting myself out there so there is no chance I will fail. I have successfully prevented myself from feeling those negative emotions again.
Problem solved, right? And as simply as that the trying and endeavouring stops. Usually piece by piece, but the human mind has an efficient way of helping us to protect ourselves from what are ultimately not real fears.
I am not even sure when it happened, but at some point I broke the cycle. Perhaps it was just an age I reached and I thought – what am I doing? I am not doing things because I am scared of failure, but then I have no hope of ever succeeding. It was that lightbulb moment. At first I was still scared to fail but I continued regardless. I cut out the avoidance part.
Once you stop avoiding what you are scared of you not only feel great when you succeed, but I realised I actually didn’t feel as bad as I thought I would when things didn’t go to plan. Cutting out the word ‘failure’ also helps – as it is such an absolute word. I had not failed, I was still trying.
In time the fear of not succeeding diminished until it did not exist. This did not happen overnight. It was a slow process but I saw improvements as I persisted with making mindful changes to my behaviours. It may take focussed changes in your habits at first, but it will soon become an innate part of who you are.
Take some time to consider if a fear of failure is holding you back and then set goals to push yourself forward and address those unhelpful avoidance behaviours.
Whether its Mindfulness & Productivity or Health & Fitness our #BestMeLife Journals will help you achieve your BestYou!
I was on ITV This Morning show, talking about how I've overcome my failures to get back up again to help others, catch it here - ITV This Morning with Calum Best