Fear of failure is probably the single, greatest obstacle to success in our adult lives. We become totally preoccupied with seeking approval and not making a mistake. The fear of failure is often expressed in the words “I can’t”. We feel it in a physical way by the fast beating of the heart, rapid breathing and a tight throat. We can also experience this in the irresistible need to run to the loo.
Our second major fear that creates an obstacle in our performance is the fear of rejection. We learn this at a very early age when our parents or guardians make their love conditional upon our behaviour. In many cases, if we do something to please them, they give us love and approval. If we do something to displease them, they withdraw their love and approval – which we often interpret as rejection.
Going through divorce or break up of a relationship, being made redundant or retirement can trigger these feelings of failure. But remember, you haven’t failed……the relationship failed with either your partner or your employer. You did not fail.
As adults , we become preoccupied with the opinions of others because of this perceived rejection. Many people develop hostility, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some imagined high standard. This is a belief that we have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please the boss. The boss has been replaced as the parent and is perceived as the approval giver.
Research has shown that more than 99 percent of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the vicious circle of feeling, “I can’t, but “I have to,” and “I have to,” but “I can’t.”
We can beat these so called fears by remembering that fear is a thought. It doesn’t exist until we think about it. We can increase our self-love and self-respect. By not thinking about fear we can make those ‘fears’ subside and they are unable to affect our behaviour and our decisions.
Put the past behind you, it cannot be changed. The future is an incomplete equation. We have no way of knowing what is going to happen in the future. If we think we know, we are making up a scenario. We are not afraid of what we think we are afraid of – we are afraid of what we think. We can only live in this moment. Take a deep breath, relax into this moment. Allow yourself to just be.
Remember, you are wonderful. You are a valuable and important person. What you think is ‘failure’ is temporary and it is how you learn. Absorb all that you learn and become the valuable and important person that you know you are.
If this resonates with you, and you would like to learn more and how I can help you, get in touch with me today. I would like to hear from you.
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING