The Fear of Failure

Ever since I’ve been opened up to the concept that we can truly achieve anything we set our minds to, I have been filled with drive and determination. It has been about 2 years since I first started to practice this mentality, and have since improved greatly in every aspect. I began to feel like I finally got it, like I am fully in control. Yet here I sit, a stone’s throw away from launching Motive, frozen in fear. The fear of failure.

It has never occurred to me that until now, I have never been able to complete anything I set out to do. Every attempt I’ve made on anything has been half baked, slowing down just before reaching the finish line, unable to cross it. A subconscious fear that I could not get myself to consciously think about. Pushing it away into the back of my mind and occupying my time with the sweet, stimulating distractions of competitive video games and cinematic television.

Below are 4 simple steps to keep us in control and break out of the clutches of this destructive behavior.

1. Awareness

The first step is to identify when we are self-sabotaging ourselves due to fear of failure and to be aware of it. For me personally, this always happens when closest to the finish line. I used to think that this is just our motivation and determination waning down, but instead it is simply an overwhelming fear that is holding us back from achievement. We must first be aware this is happening in order to stop it.

2. Acceptance

Let’s face it, not many of us enjoy being scared, but fear is not necessarily a bad thing. Fear is our brain’s way of telling us that we must prepare for something that is coming up. We must accept this fear and take it for what it is, a helpful warning. We must use this as a sign to step up our game, cross our T’s and dot our I’s, dismiss no detail, and turn our fear into certainty.

3. Abstinence

Now that we have identified our fear and how to use it to our advantage, the next step is to stay clear of any trigger that will reinforce our destructive habit patterns. These activities can be considered our “comfort measures”, the things we quickly run to in order to escape reality while disrupting progress on what’s really important to us, ease the pain and bring on the pleasure. Unfortunately this pleasure is temporary and only serves as procrastination, prolonging the time it will take to reach what we believe will be truly pleasurable, the ultimate achievement of our goals. We must take great strides to stay clear of these distractions and stay focused on the long-term. For a smoker who is trying to quit, one cigarette is enough to send them back into a downward spiral. Even if your comfort measures may not seem as serious as a smoker relapsing, anything that is standing in the way of you and your goal should not be taken lightly. One time is all it takes and suddenly that activity is OK again. Abstain from these activities if you know they are hampering your progress. Whenever we get the urge to escape to comfort, we must replace that intention with the final step…

4. Action

When it comes down to it, there are no results without action. We must stick to our daily grind in order to really ensure we will get to where we want to be. There are no shortcuts here, action is action, but do not confuse action with movement. Through my own experience, I have spent many nights “moving”, without much ACTION. Taking action requires us to focus on what’s most important. Without prioritizing our time, we are simply running in circles, a whole lot of movement, not enough action.

With consistent action, our success is guaranteed, it’s simply a matter of time.

What’s YOUR Motive?