Polly’s Top Tips On Overcoming Fear Of Failure

Learning something new requires moments of looking stupid, crashing and burning, making mistakes, and falling on your head. Mastery takes dedication, commitment, and thousands of  hours of practice. Being a beginner demands chucking our egos in at the door, asking for help, and saying I don’t know a lot.

Now let’s dismantle the topic, dive deep and get honest.

Get a pen and paper sit down with a hot cup of coffee and answer these questions:

  1. What is it you are really afraid of? In order to overcome your fear of failure you need to know what it is you are actually afraid of. Be real with yourself here. Most likely it will be other people’s judgements of your so called failure or your judgements of yourself.
  2. What does your inner critic tell you? Shine the light on this voice in your head and write down all of the negative comments it is sabotaging you with. Example: “If my manuscript gets rejected by this agent that means my book sucks. That means I am worthless. Really why did I even bother to write the book. Maybe I should go back to something safe that doesn’t expose my vulnerability.” Now pull out some Byron Katie tactics and examine your beliefs. Are they really true? Because one agent rejected you that means you are worthless and so is your book? Is this really true? Is your worth as a person equal to some subjective opinion of a stranger? All art is subjective. Not everyone is going to like you or your creations, but that doesn’t mean that just as many people will connect with your work, and quite possibly what you create and have the courage to put out there could help people. Find another agent and try again.
  3. What is your definition of success? Now this is important. Everyone has a different version of what success is. Get clear with what it is FOR YOU. Readjust your view of success so that it is in alignment with your truth and your beliefs. The person who wins the gold medal at the end of the race isn’t the only person that wins. Putting yourself out there, training everyday, committing to a goal and following through are all successes!
  4. What are your motives? Why are you doing what you are doing? Why do you want your book to be a #1 New York Times Best Seller? Is it for your ego? So that you can feel good about yourself, post it on Facebook and get a lot of praise? Or is it because what you have to say could be valuable and helpful to others. Be brutally honest with yourself. The reality is nothing outside of us will ever give true inner satisfaction. No amount of money, praise, awards, likes or recognition will give you inner contentment. This is your job. Only you can give this to you. So if you are thinking “When my film wins an academy award then I will be happy.” It might be time to re think why this achievement is so important to you.

Now that you have unearthed your inner demons it is time to get into alignment.

  1. Visualize your project and how it will touch people. Feel it in your heart. How do you want your work to be a positive force in the world and begin feeling it now.
  2. Do your work because you love to do it. Not for the outcome. Create because you love creating. Train because you love your sport.
  3. Get over yourself, go out there and do your best. Love and accept yourself no matter what the outcome.
  4. Cheer on someone else. Encourage a friend who just got a great new writing gig, or who just ran their first marathon. Become the world’s best cheerleader, and put that supportive energy out there for others.

Playing small and hiding our gifts out of fear is the biggest disservice we can do to ourselves and to the world. What if this project was your entire reason for being on Earth and you blew it because of your self sabotaging ego. The time is now, and life is short. We all have been given unique gifts and it is our job to get out of the way and let them flow through us. Trust that where your project ends up is excatly where it is meant to. Do the work and let go of the results. The outcome is not up to you. Trust that we are always where we are meant to be and that every so called failure always brings us closer to success.