Have you ever been so scared of making a mistake or failing that you decide not to do what you wanted to do? I have definitely done this more than once! And now I wonder ‘what if…’
What if I had had the courage to send that email? What if I’d been brave enough to pick up the phone and make that call? I’ll never know what could have been if I’d not been frozen by fear of making a mistake.
Last year I came very close to another ‘what if’… I had decided to put on an event, which I was very excited about. However, I was also very nervous too! I kept thinking, ‘what if no one turns up?’, ‘what if I end up losing money?’, ‘what if people think it’s a terrible event’. I remember there was a point where I nearly decided to not bother doing it – purely because I was scared, but somehow I plucked up the courage and decided to give it a go. I made a decision to stop focusing on all the ‘what ifs’ and start focusing on what I needed to do and then I got on and did it to the best of my abilities. The event turned out to be a great success and it’s crazy to think I came so close to never doing it – all because I was scared of what might go wrong.
So many of us miss out on so many great opportunities, because we’re scared of the things that might go wrong. We let the fear of failure hold us back.
I think it’s fair to say that the person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything. If you read a story about a successful person or a successful company I guarantee there will have been multiple failures. More often than not, it’s our failures that lead us to our successes.
If the formula for success is to fail more why are we so scared of failing? Perhaps it’s because at school we’re conditioned to believe that failing is bad. Perhaps it’s because failing means we haven’t achieved what we set out to achieve and this makes us feel disappointed. Perhaps it’s because failing pushes us outside of our comfort zone.
Whatever the reason, we need to let go of our fear of failing and embrace it. We need to have the courage to make mistakes and then learn from them. We need to have a positive attitude towards making mistakes and realise that our failures contribute towards our success.
Ps. I now have two words to say to fear “bugger off”