I know I am not the only one who struggles with the fear of failure. Lets face it life can be scary, and sometimes we just don’t have the skills set to deal with it.
Combine this fear with say social anxiety, and you have a recipe for under achievement and, choosing self preservation over self fulfilment.
But there is a light at the end of that very long tunnel, and if you do the work you too can take hold of your fears and turn your life around.
Over time I have learned some valuable lessons that have changed my life. I hope they can help you too.
Choosing the easy and non confronting path in life can lead you down some interesting trails, but they are unlikely to reveal your true calling or path you were born to follow.
For me, my fear of failure is only surpassed by my fear of success.
Success has it’s own set of obstacles, a veritable war zone with barbed wire and land mines, waiting for the unwary traveller as you venture forth to traverse the life you crave.
Far too many of us are terrified of rejection and crippled by the weight of expectations that accompany success. The anxiety that comes with fears such as these is overwhelming at times. It creeps into every part of your life and rules you with an iron fist. Always there to restrict you, grabbing you by the arm and pulling you back if you try sailing towards uncharted waters.
Fear & anxiety is always there to prevent you from taking that big step, the one you are supposed to take, to the path you were always meant to follow.
The struggle with self belief
Fear of self is a strange bedfellow.
She is your partner in life that will always have your back. An annoying neighbour who always wants to dominate your time. And, a jealous ex who doesn’t want to see you fly. Fear of self is intangible and can become almost impossible to overcome.
I have tried. Many, many times, to shed myself of this irrational fear and the parasitic anxiety that lingers beneath the surface of your conscious mind.
The thing is, of course, it is completely and totally irrational.
I am in no danger physically if I step on that stage and sing a song. I am in no danger if I write that book I have always longed to create. It is not going to kill me if I walk up to a crowd of people, introduce myself and join in on the conversation.
But this, unreasonable fear will inevitably drive my anxiety to a point where I am barely able to function; especially in a social situation where I don’t know anyone.
I know I will never get to know anyone if I don’t first go and meat them.
But social anxiety doesn’t think the way people normally would, if they were anxiety free. It is always on high alert, and self preservation will always take precedence over enjoyment and self-fulfilment.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs doesn’t take into consideration the dysfunction of self deprecation. A person needs certain basic requirements for a healthy, happy and fulfilled life, but his theory is based on external influences; food, safety, love. It doesn’t take into account a person self-sabotaging their own life. A self-deprecation that ends in an inability to achieve emotional safety, love of self and self-actualisation.
So how does a person move through such fears?
Besides the obvious suggestion of therapy?
I believe it is possible to learn to stand beside your fears, rather than defeat them and proceed hand in hand, as you would your life partner. It is a theory that I am testing everyday. And I will continue to practice this theory as a means to combat my personal challenges.
This is what I am doing and it may help you…
Every day, I wake up with the fears looming large in my mind. But instead of submission, I choose to look the fears in the face and thank them.
I thank them for protecting me all these years, and for having my back. I thank them for getting me through the lonely days of my childhood. And I thank them for never abandoning me.
But then, I let them know I no longer need their services or help. I have learned the necessary lessons they wanted to teach me, and I feel strong enough to move forward. Then;
I walk beside them, to keep my enemy, my friend, my protector and my captor, close. Beside me they cannot creep up on me, they cannot hijack my emotions and they cannot block my path.
Together we are stronger, and together we will achieve the things we were so afraid of.
Meditation and self awareness
Part of the process to self awareness is meditation and mindfulness. Most successful people in this world meditate in one form or another. And for good reason. Check out some famous success stories here.
If you allow your mind to become restful and quite, to be free from distraction and busy thoughts, you will be able to focus on the important things in life and find a clear pathway for your success. Mindfulness allows you to discard the unnecessary chatter that can overwhelm your thoughts and focus on the tasks that need to be addressed.
This clarity of mind also eliminates the negative chatter that builds up your fears. Allowing your stronger self to take charge.
When your fearful voice is silenced your power voice is able to speak up and be heard.
So silence your biggest critics (your thoughts) by making them your best friend and you will open up a world of inner peace and success.
Until next time
stay safe and be happy
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Robyn Williams 🙂