Oh my goodness. That title is a flashback to earlier years. Those words may have echoed across the practice field for football, the gym in basketball, the wrestling room, or out on the track. Some of you may have set off a teacher, a parent, or someone in authority who barked out that rhetorical question. You also may hear that statement from an all to familiar voice; your own. Sometimes we go after ourselves for a mistake or blunder of some sort. It might cut the deepest when it comes from a spouse or family member. That person might be upset or deeply hurt by something you did. Ok, now, don’t think about this too much. I need to break you out of the mood I’ve put you in. Let me explain where I’m going.
There are some deep-seated fears at work inside of all of us that might be sabotaging our performance or our ability to chase our dreams. One of those fears is the fear of failure. There isn’t a person who I’ve met that isn’t influenced to some degree or another, by the fear of failure. What is wrong with you? Well, nothing. It’s a natural built-in function that our brains process. It can be quite helpful in situations where it rescues us from injury from a physical and/or emotional standpoint. But one of the negative side effects is that it can cause an avoidance of taking any risks whatsoever. Small risks like trying to meet a new acquaintance at a networking meeting. A larger risk like asking someone on a date or bigger yet, asking someone for their hand in marriage. But that’s not all. This fear and avoidance of risk could keep you from chasing and fulfilling your dreams. None of us want to look back on our lives during our final stages and have regrets about what we should have or would have done if we just would have given it a try. Oh, yeah, the fear of failure can be a real dream crusher. But there are some things that you can do right NOW to help you muster up the courage to step up to the challenge.
- Be brave – Get up in the morning and tell yourself, “I am brave. Succeed or fail I’m going to give it my all!” Seriously, say that to yourself. Even better yet, do it while you’re looking at yourself in the mirror.
- Redefine your comfort zone – If you are existing in your comfort zone, you are not performing at your best. So, become comfortable when you’re pushing yourself to peak performance and learning new concepts and strategies.
- Face those fears that are holding you back. How many times have you heard a very successful public speaker mention how frightened they were about public speaking before they forced themselves to face that fear? Once they committed to conquering that fear, they became good enough at it to be a sought-after keynote speaker.
The bottom line is that for you to be able to avoid regrets in your future you’ve got to gamble on yourself. Deep down inside, you know you can do it! If you’re not successful, think of all of the people who you’ve heard speak who talk about their multiple failures before they were successful. Failure and setbacks are not the ends; they are just the beginning. So face your fears, chase your dreams, and if you get knocked down, get up, dust yourself off, and get back after it!
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