Have you ever been so afraid of failing that you decided not to try it at all?Many of us have probably experienced this at one time or another. The fear of failing can be crippling – it can cause us to do nothing, and therefore resist moving forward.Like most people, I have a friend who I think is probably the most brilliant person I’ve ever met. She has the potential to change the world and I don’t mean that in the sappy, supportive best friend sort of way. Some of her ideas really blow me away. But too often she fails to take chances. Too often she lets opportunities pass her by. If she had only applied herself, she would probably own a chain of salons by now.
I kept encouraging her to chase after her dreams. But she always told me that she was scared. Things like getting rejected for business loans, asking her family and friends to support her social media page, or selling her services to people just gave her anxiety.”I just don’t want to make a fool of myself,” she said. And that’s when it hit me. I quickly realized that for most people, the one thing that holds us back from trying to achieve our goals isn’t lack of opportunity but often our own fear of failure.
I will admit that I sometimes fall into this myself. I know this happened to me early into my career. I had a really bad accident with a customer’s acrylic set – and honestly, that really killed my self-confidence. I was devastated for the next few months. And it was hard for me to get back in the groove.I formed the acrylic on her nail so unevenly and when it was time to file I burnt her a couple times. It took me 1 and a half hours to finish. She was so mad that she caused a big commotion and embarrassed me in front of all the other customers in the salon. That really traumatized me.I’m not sure if this ever happened to you but I kept on doubting myself afterward. I just didn’t have the confidence to do acrylics anymore. I was in a bad rut. I was downplaying my own skills to avoid the possibility of another failure.I told myself that I shouldn’t give up because I had my young family to take care of at the time. So I challenged myself through adversity and kept training on fake practicing hands and young customers until I felt comfortable again.I learn that failure can teach us things about ourselves that we would never have learned by ourselves. For instance, failure can help you discover how strong of a person you are.
Often, valuable insights come only after a failure. Accepting and learning from those insights is key to succeeding in life.Countless psychological studies have shown that fear of failure is the number one barrier to personal success. We fear failure because we don’t separate tasks from ourselves, and therefore our self-esteem is at risk every time we attempt to do anything worth living for.In other words, we’re afraid of being humiliated because at a subconscious level, we link failure to humiliation. Fear of looking foolish in the eyes of others is a serious stumbling block. So how do we get over our fear of failure and its misguided companion humiliation?
Here are 3 certain steps (in no order) to manage those fears and learn from your experiences:
Redefine failure. My mother used to say, “just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you’ve lost.” If your objective is to be greatest, then I would agree that you will fail at some point to get there. You must take that failure and reframe your perspective on the situation and gain control of your fears and face them.
Have a contingency plan. I find that making a Plan B is a great way to assure myself that if you don’t meet the objective; the world will not end. All doors are not closed. No, does not mean never. Having a solid workable Plan B can ease the pressure when attempting new things to help alleviate irrational fears.
Indulge in some positive self-talk. Stand in the mirror and go through your daily affirmations. Chant a mantra that puts you in a positive place. Say only positive things about yourself and your goals. It may feel strange and silly at first, but after a while, it becomes a habit. Positive thoughts begin to dilute negative ones and you become your own cheerleader.
How I learned all of this was making mistakes and learning from it in the last 20 years in this business.But don’t think that I don’t have fears anymore because I still do.I have been stuck on trying to start a beauty brand for years, and so many of my friends and family encouraged me to start one but I just couldn’t push forward with it. I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of the negativity. I kept thinking about all the negative outcomes that could happen if I started one.Now I know exactly what my friend was going through when she told me she was scared.I had to reframe my thoughts. I couldn’t let fear stop me from pursuing my dreams and goals.
(By Sahar Hosseini)
It took me a while to find my reason why but I found it. And in my next blog post I will go more in-depth about how I found it and use it persevere through all the tough times.But for now, I want to finish up by telling you guys that I finally overcame my fears and decided to start my beauty business! I was really hesitant at first to share this but I finally decided to put it out there in the universe.
I want to close this blog article out by telling you that doing something new can be very scary. Feeling fearful or anxious is okay, just breathe. Take a moment to examine your fears and decide to act despite them. In my opinion, that’s the sign of a true champion. Let me know what were some of your fears and how you overcame them in the comments below! Also, remember to share this article with whoever you think might need to read this today.
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