One of the biggest barriers to confidence, especially when it comes to work, is our fear of failure. So many of us worry that making a mistake will cost us our reputation and even possibly our job. We generally fear repercussions more than the actual failure embarrassment, the uncertainty of our future, loss of interest among those who are important to us and more.
Nobody wants to fail. But what if we reframed what that meant to us? Let’s look at a few tips.
- What if we and our leaders around us stopped calling it failure and instead focused on the positive aspect of taking risks? One way to do that is to recognize that progress is the reason we try. When we attempt something new, we can look at it as an opportunity to move the needle forward. Even if it’s something you have never tried before, it is a chance to grow and learn. If it doesn’t work out, it’s ok because you’ll have the opportunity to try something different or take another approach. It is simply redirection, not an end to everything.
- The other way to look at it is that we have survived 100% of our worst days. Even when you do make a mistake, you will get through it and move on. Don’t let mistakes accumulate in your brain. Address each one on its own, in the moment, and then consider what you learned from the experience. Rehashing how many mistakes you’ve made, or allowing your inner critic to revisit them over and over, does not improve your odds for the future. It only weighs you down. Analyze the moment, find the key takeaways that can be used later and then keep going.
- Anticipation of what could go wrong is often a killer of confidence. Worrying about what we cannot control heightens unrealistic expectations. Staying focused on the things we can control can help to mitigate some of that fear. And reminding yourself that there will be bumps along the way can prepare you for what may happen.
- Finally, it’s important to remember that humans are not robots. We are not expected to get everything right all of the time. And all of us make mistakes. ALL. OF. US. So, if you do experience a failure, try not to compare yourself to others in that moment. Because everyone has been in your shoes, even if it doesn’t appear that way.
Photo credit: Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash