Fear of failure can be a powerful motivation. What though if this fear becomes so crippling that it makes us procrastinate or avoid doing what we love? It can turn into a limiting, self-fulfilling prophecy that only has one end result: Regrets.
1. Failure is unavoidable.
How awesome if you can figure out the “perfect way” to sing (or create your art) right off the bat. Making mistakes is much more realistic though. If something is important enough to learn, failure will be definitely on the menu. So keep on going until it works, that’s the only way to learn.
2. Find meaning.
Did you ever notice that if you really, really want something, you get into “I feel the fear and do it anyway”-mode? When you burn for something, you might still feel nervous not to get things right, but you won’t let it hold you back. Use this as a compass: How much do you really want to sing or create? What is your actual motivation?
3. Failure isn’t a monster out to get you.
Failing only means you tried and didn’t get it 100% right. Does that make you a failure as a person? ABSOLUTELY NOT. All the people you admire have failed many, many times, I can promise you that much. They have probably “failed more times than you tried”, or so the saying goes. A wrong choice, or not getting it right straight off the bat, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
4. Be present.
You know what’s the best way to worry yourself sick? Living in the future (or past). Talking yourself into expecting potentially negative consequences will make you anxious. You can only influence the here and now. If you absolutely have to think about the future, imagine things going well for you, and live as if you’ve already achieved what you want to achieve.
5. Love the fear.
Feeling a little scared when trying something new is totally normal. You wouldn’t be getting anywhere if you always stayed in your comfort zone. Only trying new things has the potential to change your art, performance, business or life. So reframe your thinking: Discomfort and fear can be a compass to something amazing.
6. Take action.
If you are prone to feel paralysed by fear, tell yourself this: By giving in to fear time and time again, you let your emotions control your behaviour.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can teach yourself that you can sing, perform or create despite feeling fear, not because you don’t feel any. In time, the amount of fear you feel will decrease – I promise.
7. Look ahead (that’s not the same as worrying about the future in case you wondered).
If you allow fear to control your behavior, what will your life look like in 20 years? What could be different if you didn’t let fear control your actions? And what’s worse: A bit of discomfort now or a life filled with regrets?
8. Failure is an opportunity to learn.
Failure doesn’t feel particularly nice, but it also teaches you what you can improve on. You might only need a couple of tweaks to turn a failure into a success. So think about everything you can learn from your mistakes, and then apply it.
Fear doesn’t need to limit your creative life (in fact, there is no true creativity without failure). You are in control, and you can choose to adopt a growth mindset.
© Petra Borzynski 2018