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Do You Fear Failure or Success?

Fear of Failure:

Countless psychological studies have shown that the fear of failure is the number one barrier to personal success. We fear failure because we don’t separate tasks from ourselves, and therefore our self-esteem is at risk each time we attempt to do anything we really want to achieve.

In other words, we’re afraid of being humiliated, because at the subconscious level, we link failure to humiliation. So how do we get over our fear of failure and its misguided companion humiliation?

  1. Admit you’re afraid to fail.

  2. Realize that every time you fail, you’ve become a better writer/parent/business owner.

  3. Recognize that each failure brings you one step closer to success.

  4. Relish the learning experience, and reject the illusion of humiliation.

Fear of Success:

Why in the world should we fear success? Isn’t that what we want? Well, the way we idealize success can cause us to subconsciously avoid it, because we know from experience that success brings unexpected changes along for the ride. We worry that we don’t really deserve success, or that success will bring increased expectations that we won’t be able to meet. We’re afraid our friends and family will be resentful or jealous, and that the responsibility that comes with success will overwhelm us. In other words, our vivid imaginations talk us out of doing the things we need to do in order to succeed, just so we can avoid unexpected change.

Remember these things to fight back against the fear of success:

  1. Change comes whether you succeed or fail. Why not succeed?

  2. Babe Ruth held the home run record and the strikeout record simultaneously.

So whatever action you take, whether its learning a new skill or setting your sights on a new business venture, be cognizant of the fears that may discourage you. Along with any new endeavor there will be hiccups and possibly huge errors to manage. If you can embrace the reality that change creates a range of emotion that isn’t fatal, remember Babe Ruth and swing for the fences.

And, however comfortable you assumed you were with change, you may experience unexpected pushback, making this the ideal time to engage the support of a career coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services customized to fit your needs.


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