What is fear of failure and rejection?
Are you scared or fearful? Do you hesitate or procrastinate when you know you should be taking action?
Maybe you get stuck, unable to move forward or backwards out of paralyzing fear?
It prevents us from doing what we need to do to better our life and to be the person, spouse and parent we need to be.
All of us, even the most confident among us, have a fear or phobia that at one time held us back.
To be alive is to be afraid of something. Perhaps you are afraid your spouse doesn’t love you or will leave you? Maybe you’re afraid of bad things happening to your kids? Or perhaps you have a fear of never reaching your full potential and just working and toiling in mediocrity until you die.
Of course some people have simpler fears like being afraid of snakes or bugs.
But whatever your fear(s) they ARE holding you back. They ARE preventing you from being and doing more.
So learning how to overcome fear of failure and rejection is crucial!
In the case of your marriage, insecurity can actually push your spouse away. And over-the-top fear of your children getting hurt can actually cause them harm since that can prevent us from preparing them for the real world.
One of the key differences between Successful People and Unsuccessful People is the ability of the successful person to acknowledge and work past their fears. Want to know more tips and strategies to be more successful? I highly recommend you take a moment and check out my post on just that.
How can I overcome fear of failure?
As with any issue, problem or addiction, the first step in learning how to overcome fear of failure and rejection is acknowledging it.
An alcoholic is 50% on their way to recovery the day they acknowledge they are an alcoholic. They may not have stopped drinking yet, but just by being honest with themselves and others, they are well on their way.
Because admitting you have an issue is scary. So by admitting it anyway; by facing your fears, you are taking those first steps to overcome fear of failure.
Show me someone successful and I’ll show you someone who has learned how to overcome fear of failure and rejection. They may not have conquered their fears, but they are no longer controlled by their fears.
They acknowledge the fear, they don’t run away from it. But most importantly, they don’t let the fear hold them back.
Once you acknowledge the fear, the next step in learning how to overcome fear of failure and rejection is to baby step your way to getting past it.
Simply begin to do little things to confront the fear. Fear of heights? Go up a step from the highest you’ve gone. If you can go up 1 step, the next day you go up 2.
You see standing on top of the Empire State Building is daunting for almost all of us. But how hard is it to climb a ladder or look over a 1 story balcony? Not hard at all. If you break down the goal and the fear a little bit, day by day, eventually you’ll get exactly where you want to be.
Want some more simple and actionable tips on how you can Face Your Fears and Live Your Dreams? Check out one of my most popular posts on that very subject.
What causes a fear of failure?
Atychiphobia is the technical name for the phobia that causes a fear of failure. I’m not talking about run of the mill fear, but more like when it becomes debilitating or disruptive to your daily life. Kakorraphiophobia, while similar, is the fear of rejection.
As with many phobias, these are often linked to trauma in our past.
Ironically, it’s not uncommon for someone with atychiphobia to have been raised by a parent with it as well. As parents we know we have to protect our kids. But there IS a difference between protecting them and helicoptering over them so much that they never learn to pick themselves up after they fall down.
Kids need to get their hands dirty. They need to know you believe in them and trust them. But they also need to learn how to take care of themselves because let’s face it. You won’t always be there.
There’s a huge difference in never letting them out of your sight and allowing them to run wild with no supervision.
If you teach your child to fear the world; that the world is a deadly place, they could easily grow up with tychiphobia. Trust me, it’s easier to start your kids off right then having them have to learn how to overcome fear of failure and rejection as an adult.
Do you struggle with a traumatic past and you know it’s holding you back? My most shared post on Twitter is about how to Let Go of Past Hurts & Move Forward.
Why are we afraid of rejection?
A fear of rejection is a little less tangible that a fear of something like snakes or even heights.
Fear of rejection is typically tied to low self-esteem. When we don’t feel good about ourselves and our efforts, it can cause paralyzing fear. It becomes easier to not put ourselves out there than it does to try and risk not succeeding.
Of course low self-esteem damages us in many ways beyond a fear of rejection.
If you struggle with low self-esteem, I highly encourage you to work on how to overcome fear of failure and rejection and check out my post 9 Amazing Ways of Boosting Self-Esteem. In that post I walk you through some simple techniques that can help you overcome your low self-esteem.
What is the fear of not being good enough?
In a nutshell we’re talking about a fear of imperfections. Thus right out of the gate we have to acknowledge that this person will NEVER achieve their goal. You see we human beings are inherently flawed.
We aren’t perfect and we WILL make mistakes.
So if you suffer with a atelophobia and dream of never making a mistake you will always wallow in the fear of not feeling good enough. You will feel self-conscious. And you may feel inferior performing even the most mundane tasks as you may feel you aren’t performing them correctly.
This disorder can affect work, relationships and the person’s overall feeling of well-being. Thus it’s crucial that if you feel like you fall into this category that you seek professional help.
There are a number of things you can do that can affect brain chemistry and your overall outlook. So in addition to seeking professional help, I strongly suggest you to check out a recent post of mine called 11 Ultimate Ways to Improve Your Life Before You Die. Just some simple tips that I truly believe can help reframe our overall outlook and attitude.
So what are my . . .
5 Easy Ways of How to Overcome Fear of Failure & Rejection?
1. Acknowledge your fear
Like an alcoholic taking that first step and saying “I am an alcoholic” you have to admit you have a problem.
You know you’re afraid of (insert phobia here). Chances are your friends and family know too. So pretending it’s not there or ignoring it isn’t helping anything. Acknowledge your fears. Own them.
You may never get to a place where you don’t feel it. But you definitely want to get to a place where you control them rather than the other way around.
This is the first step in learning how to overcome fear of failure and rejection.
2. Use the 3 second rule
When we are afraid, we hesitate. A single guy might see a beautiful person across the room. But he’s afraid he’ll get rejected if he strikes up conversation. So he hesitates; he procrastinates. He does that long enough to where he either psyches himself out of doing anything or until someone else swoops in.
But in that first few seconds, when you feel the sweat and the heart pounding, act within 3 seconds. Don’t give yourself a chance to chicken out. When we act within 3 seconds of an idea we don’t really give our brain time to think of all the negative consequences that hold us in mediocrity.
Leap; then look.
3. Accept that you won’t always succeed
You know what happened to the guy who never tried to do anything he wasn’t sure he could do?
He did almost nothing.
You see there’s only 2 things certain in this world; death and taxes. Everything else is a risk. We can manage that risk with training, information and support. But to do is to risk.
Want to achieve great things? Want financial independence for your family? You’ll have to take risks.
So know going into anything that you might not succeed (the first time). Know you will fail. Accept it. Learn from it. But don’t let that keep you paralyzed in mediocrity.
Michael Jordan is perhaps one of the most famous basketball players in history. When he was in high school, guess what? He got kicked off the basketball team.
Good thing he didn’t give up!
4. See the value in learning from mistakes
Believe it or not, but there was a time when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs got fired from Apple. Let me say that again. The guy who practically invented tablets and smart phones once got fired from his own company.
But he went off, started some new companies, figured out what he needed to differently and then came back.
When he returned to Apple, years later, he ending up taking them to heights of success they had never imagined. Heck, you might even be reading this on a device he helped create.
If he had given up when he got fired or didn’t see the value in learning from his mistakes, the iPhone, iPad and iPod might never have existed. Jobs knew the value in learning how to overcome fear of failure and rejection. Do you?
5. Build your self-esteem so you care less what others think
I’m not saying walk around like an a-hole. But there’s a huge difference between not placing value on other’s opinions and placing all of your feelings of self worth in the hands of someone else.
Accept who you are. Strive to improve a little every day. Own your mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. If someone you know and trust gives you some good feedback, take it to heart.
But don’t allow others to make you feel bad about yourself. No one can do that on their own; it requires your permission.
If you feel bad about yourself, acknowledge what you did that you feel was wrong. Then own it and fix it. If you need to apologize to people you’ve hurt, that’s a big part of owning it. But they don’t get to tell you how to feel about yourself. Let them explain how your actions made them feel, but don’t let them dictate your own feelings of self-worth.
Working on how to overcome fear of failure and rejection is really just about making yourself as good as you can be. And what constitutes “good” is a question only you can answer.
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Have you wondered how to overcome fear of failure and rejection?
Are you still struggling? Do you have any tips? How can I help?
Feel free to comment here or email me with any questions!