Failure comes for us all, but how you deal with it will determine how much it impacts you. Are you so afraid rejection and failure that many times you don’t even try? Do you feel hesitant to start projects or to put yourself out there because of how you may fail?
That’s the case for a lot of people who live with a crippling fear of being rejected for failing, particularly when it comes to public failures. If that’s true of you, you may want to know how to overcome a fear of failure and rejection.
There are a few steps you can take and different things you can try to help get past this fear. It’ll be very difficult to do some of the most important things in your life if you’re constantly dealing with a fear of messing up or a fear of being told no. We’re going to show you some things you can do to help conquer this fear. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have some difficulty in overcoming these fears, but little by little you will start to see some personal victory.
It Starts by Facing Reality
If you have these strong fears, you may be deceiving yourself by thinking that avoiding train will avoid failure. What you may not realize is that failure comes as well by simply not trying and by giving up. If you don’t even attempt, then you failed at the very first step.
It’s time to realize that failure happens to everybody, even the people who seem very successful. The millionaires and celebrities that you may look up to as paragons of success are people who have failed many, many times. Companies that you may consider as being very successful likely had rough initial startups. They may have struggled with products that didn’t work and pitches that no one took.
You too are going to have these initial stages of failure before you succeed. Most people fail more than they succeed. They struggle to get it right the first time, and the second time, and maybe the first 10 times. But then they succeed.
If you want to succeed, then you’re going to have to try and you’re going to have to accept that failure may be a part of the process. Before you can succeed, you will likely fail many times. That’s simply the reality of the world we live in. And that is what the biggest success stories had to overcome. They had to deal with their own failure many times before they became successful. Keep that in mind as you struggle to overcome your fears.
Think Little of Failure
Failure happens to the best of us, and before you can succeed, you will likely have many missteps and many mistakes to go through. What may help is if you start to think a little of your failure. Fear of failure often comes from thinking of failure as having worse consequences than it does. It can help to think through what might happen if you fail. Don’t just dwell on the worst possible scenarios but think about what’s most likely to happen. You can even look up online the statistics of the results of your failure.
For instance, a huge number of people fail their driving tests the first time. Looking up the statistics, it appears that about 50% of people who attempt a driving test will fail it on their first time. However, most of them will go back and take the driving test again. They are much more likely to complete the driving test successfully the second time. In fact, every subsequent time they take their driving test, they are more likely to complete it.
This is the same way for most of what you may fail out in life. Remember that the more you try, the better your chances are that you will get it right. Think of failure as a stepping stone to success and as a necessary part of the process. Many people will have to fail first before they succeed, and if you just think of it as something small rather than the end of the process, it won’t seem like such a big problem.
Learn from Failure
A lot of how to overcome fear of failure and rejection videos will tell you that failure is a learning process. In order to succeed, you have to learn from your mistakes.
Once you realize that you will fail every now and then, you want to make your failures useful. You can stop thinking of your failures as completely worthless and instead see them as a learning opportunity. Failure can only become a stepping stone to your success if you take time to consider why you failed and what you may need to do differently.
Winston Churchill famously said that “failure is not fatal”, and that’s true for anyone who learns to not just overcome their failure and not just stop fearing their failure but also learns from their failure.
Face Your Fears
Another quote that comes to mind is one along the lines of the only people who never succeed are those who don’t bother trying. There are a lot of people who never overcome their fear of failure because they never learn how to face those fears.
What kind of rejection are you afraid of and what kind of failure causes you to tremble? It may be necessary to face these fears no you don’t have to do it in a big, bold way at first. You can instead face your fears little by little.
Maybe you have a fear of failing at a job, and that keeps you from going and applying for work. What you can do instead is do work for your friends and family members and see how that goes at first. Take it slow and take it small, building up your confidence. This will help you to learn how to be less likely to fail at working for other people.
You could also try freelancing work, doing something you’re good at on your own terms. In this way you’re approaching your fear of work failure and career failure in a slow way that’s under your control.
This is just one example of how you can face your fears in small ways that are more manageable for you. You can do the same thing with rejection. You may fear that you will fail an interview and be rejected by a potential employer. That fear can keep you from applying for jobs that you might actually be good at.
You can face these fears by doing mock interviews, perhaps getting a friend to interview you and using sample interview questions they find online. Going through this process in a safe and controlled environment can help you to deal with the fear of being rejected. Whatever fear of rejection you may have, you can handle it in a similar way, testing out and training for it before you go for the real thing.
Don’t Let Yourself Procrastinate or Hesitate
A lot of people who fear rejection or failure will end up hesitating and putting things off, and this can be very dangerous. What it means is that you’re less likely to do what you’re afraid of and commit yourself. The longer you hesitate and the longer you put something off, the less likely you are to accomplish it.
It helps to give yourself a short rule to live by in order to make a decision. Give yourself a short period like three seconds to make decisions that aren’t major ones. Those things that you are afraid of should be treated with quick action. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to turn away and not even try. So, when facing these fears, demand of yourself just three seconds to make that decision. Taking that quick action will keep you from thinking about everything that could go wrong and falling into a cycle of despair and fear.
If you know what it is you want to do and you know that your fears are holding your back, it’s time to take action. It is time to change the way you handle the things that cause you fear. Once you start to look at your fears in a different light and treat them differently, you can start accomplishing more and doing things that you’re proud of.