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How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Approach goals vs. avoidance goals

Goals can be classified as approach goals or avoidance goals based on whether you are motivated by wanting to achieve a positive outcome or avoid an adverse one.

When you’re dreading a tough task and expect it to be difficult and unpleasant, you may unconsciously set goals around what you don’t want to happen rather than what you do want.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure

How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure

https://hbr.org/2018/12/how-to-overcome-your-fear-of-failure

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Focus on learning

The chips aren’t always going to fall where you want them to, but if you understand that reality going in, you can be prepared to wring the most value out of the experience, no matter the outcome.

Redefining failure

Behind many fears is worry about doing something wrong, looking foolish, or not meeting expectations — in other words, fear of failure. By framing a situation you’re dreading differently before you attempt it, you may be able to avoid some stress and anxiety.

Approach goals vs. avoidance goals

Goals can be classified as approach goals or avoidance goals based on whether you are motivated by wanting to achieve a positive outcome or avoid an adverse one.

When you’re dreading a tough task and expect it to be difficult and unpleasant, you may unconsciously set goals around what you don’t want to happen rather than what you do want.

Create a “fear list”

Tim Ferriss recommends “fear-setting”  - creating a checklist of what you are afraid to do and what you fear will happen if you do it. 

This exercise helps you seeing with clarity the benefits of the attempted effort and the cost of inaction.

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Define the Problem in Writing

Write a clear description of your problem, the answer to the question, “What exactly am I worrying about?”

Fully 50% of all problems can be solved at this definition stage. Many of our worries exist because we have not taken the time to sit down and really define clearly what it is that is bothering us.

The Worst Possible Outcome

Write out the worst possible outcome of the worry situation. Answer the question, “What is the worst possible thing that can happen as a result of this problem?”

It is resistance to facing the worst possible outcome that causes most of the anxiety and stress associated with worry. Writing it down will take away its power.

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Not Celebrating Your Success

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Pursuing Perfection, But Never Feeling Perfect

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Not Allowing Yourself To Fail

Instead of forgiving and viewing mistakes as a learning opportunity, you criticize and put pressure on yourself for not predicting a less than perfect outcome. You feel inadequate, and these feelings preoccupy your mind, often to the point of losing productivity.

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Strategic developmental feedback
Strategic developmental feedback
  • Big-picture focused;
  • Organizationally aligned;
  • Behavioral and specific;
  • Factual, not interpretive;
  • Both positive and negative;