You might just be surprised how many successful people suffer (or have suffered) from this fairly common disorder. Atychiphobia is nothing more than a fear of failure and it can affect your life in many ways. Most importantly this type of fear can cause you to fail subconsciously long before you realize it is happening.
How you think determines what you do and sometimes more importantly, what you don’t do. Think about it. If you have a fear of heights you avoid high places. If you have a fear of water you certainly don’t plan an ocean cruise for your next vacation, right? Accordingly, if you fear failure you will not do those things that could possibly lead to success and you may not even realize that you are doing it. It is, in a sense, a form of self sabotage and it can dramatically affect your career.
Every entrepreneur suffers from fear at one time or another. This is a normal reaction when making life altering decisions but allowing it to influence your decisions is a big mistake. Risk is a normal part of business and being willing to accept that risk is what makes a successful person able to excel in their chosen field. Here are 3 steps that you can take to overcome fear of failure.
Understand and accept that failure is normal
Yes, we all fail before we succeed. This is a normal part of life as well as business and failure comes with the territory. Keep in mind that failure is temporary and each occurrence is unique in its own way. Failure is a great way to learn valuable lessons from your mistakes and will prepare you better for future successes. Experience and knowledge are gained when we don’t succeed and this positions us to do even better the next time around. Thomas Edison once said, "I failed my way to success." I couldn’t imagine a better way to say it.
Discover the TRUE cause of your fear
Ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?” Discovering what it is about failing that truly worries you is the only way to overcome the problem. Are you worried about what others will think of you if you fail? Perhaps you just don’t want to deal with all of the “told you so’s” that you might hear from friends, family or colleagues. Or maybe you are worried about the financial ramifications of not succeeding.
You must identify exactly what is causing you to be afraid and then make a contingency plan to address the issue. Worried about losing your savings? Then find a different way to finance your ideas. Perhaps a loan or even a business partner is a better way to go. Concerned that you won’t know what to do next if you do fail? Again, plan ahead and formulate “plan B” before taking the risk. Addressing your concerns with logical alternatives will dramatically reduce your fear of failing. Often, it is the unknown which we fear the most.
NEVER stop pursuing your dreams
The minute that you give up is the minute that your fear wins. Remember, your dreams are just as powerful and possible as your fear. Taking action is one way of battling fear and is much better than doing nothing at all. It was once said that “Fear of death is worse than death itself...” and the same can be said for any type of fear. It is the person that never gives up that is destined to be successful, even if it is not now.
It might help you to watch interviews with many famous and successful people. They all have stories of how they failed in the beginning and what they did to finally realize their dreams. If this doesn’t help to inspire you and make you realize that failure is not failure at all, nothing will. Failure is nothing more than a necessary ingredient in the formula for success.