Did you know that the fear of failure is the single greatest obstacle to success?
The experience of the fear of failure is in the words and thoughts of “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”, “No one will take me seriously!”
In the body, we feel it starting at the solar plexus and moving up to rapid beating of the heart, shallow breathing and a tight throat. It can also manifest as a heaviness or tightness in the pit of the stomach and an urge to retreat or run away.
The second major fear that interferes with performance and inhibits expression, is the fear of rejection. We learn this when our parents make their love conditional upon our behaviour. If we do what pleases them, they give us love and approval. If we do something they don’t like, they withdraw their love and approval-which we interpret as rejection.
As adults, people raised with conditional love become preoccupied with the opinions of others. Many men develop Type A behaviour, characterised by arrogance, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some unattainable high standard.
This is expressed in the attitude of “I have to, I have to,” or “I must” and is associated with the feeling that “I have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please the boss” who has become a surrogate parent.
The Most Common Trap
Most adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the trap of feeling, “I can’t, but “I have to,” “I have to,” but “I can’t.”
So what is the key to success?
The antidote to these fears is the development of courage, character and self-esteem. The opposite of fear is actually love, self-love and self-respect. Acting with courage in a fearful situation is simply a technique that boosts our regard for ourselves to such a degree that our fears subside and lose their grip on our behaviour and decisions.
And what can you do to achieve this?
Here are two things you can do to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence and overcome your fears.
Firstly, realise and accept that you can do anything you put your mind to!
Repeat the words, “I can do it! I can do it!” whenever you feel afraid for any reason.
Go inwards and visualise your success. Just close your eyes and rehearse in your mind exactly what it is you want to achieve. Use your imagination, use all of your senses, immerse yourself in that dream or scenario, what you can feel, see, hear, smell and taste. Feel and taste the energy of success.
Secondly, continually think of yourself as a valuable and important person who has a contribution to make in whatever way and however large or small and remember that temporary failure is the way you learn how to succeed.
Always remember, if you think you can or you think you can’t, you are absolutely right!