Today is a quickie, with a few big ideas. My topic: fear of failure.
The only way to accomplish anything great is to risk failing at it first. As a society we have forgotten this. We are held and hold ourselves to high expectations of perfection.
Sadly, fear of failure is exactly what leads to failure itself. When we are concerned about failure we create the very conditions for failure to happen. We tense up, get in our heads, and cut ourselves off from our own vital energy. We can even stop trying, however subtly, in expectation of failure. We start playing it safe.
Fortunately for us, our chances of success go way up if we can find a way to work with our fear of failure. This fear is simply an internal mindset. Its when we try to be perfectionistic, overly self critical, and become worried about looking bad.
What to do with such a mindset? Well, change it of course!
We must learn how to fail constructively. Because failures are inevitable, nothing can be accomplished without some failure along the way. Indeed, without occasional failure one can never hope to become better.
So failures are in fact an opportunity. They provide a spotlight on the areas in which we can improve. Failure is actually invaluable feedback. Moreover, we cannot improve without determining the areas in which we need to improve!
DC Gonzalez, a top peak performance coach, has one tip for how we can work with this and other mental issues that may come up for an athlete or performer.
First, we must adapt what we imagine is the self talk of the best in our sport or field. Then we must move as they would, telling our body in a deep way that we are successful ourselves. And finally, we must breathe deeply.
If all of these steps are followed with full attention and intention, they can lift us right out of the gutter of anticipated failure and give us the focused mindset necessary for effective performance.
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