Fear of Failure, Fear of Success, Opposite Sides of the Same Coin
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Fear, like other feelings is amoral, neither good nor bad. It can warn us of real danger and harm or distort reality that can result in being emotionally crippled and paralyzed. What we will be focusing in this reading is dealing with the irrational fears that have no basis in realty. Fear of failure can be tied to falling short and looking inferior to others. Fear of success is tied to a fear of being viewed as someone as being more capable than one is comfortable with.
Regardless, whether it’s fear of failure or success, the common theme is feeling threatened when dealing with change. As we have stated before, there is a tendency to feel comfortable in maintaining the status quo. Getting out of our comfort zone can be scary. After all, we would be facing a big unknown.
However, don’t underestimate your inner power to deal effectively with fear. You got this far in life with all its uncertainties, pressures and negative self-talk. Success or failure does not define who you are as a person. It’s what you do with these two imposters that counts.
First, you may want to identify specifically what your fears are. Break down what exactly are you afraid of and how your fear prevents you from your living life more fully.
Embrace the feelings associated with the fear rather than retreat from its existence. Running away from the feeling only reinforces the fearful feeling.
Rather reframe your thinking about yourself and who you want to be. The way you think about yourself, certainly affects how you deal with fear. Begin by identifying your strengths and challenge the distorted, negative views that cripples you. Your self-esteem directly affects how you deal with unrealistic fears. Therefore, persevering in developing and maintaining a positive self image is a daily endeavor.
By consistently reinforcing a positive view of yourself, your ability to handle any fearful situation is strengthened. Seeking daily opportunities for self- affirmations can be a beginning. A simple technique of writing on the palm of your hand an affirming statement such as “You can handle anything that you are faced with” can help when faced with an unpredictable situation. Coupled with this, is taking small purposeful steps by pushing through those fears as they present themselves.
You may want to view facing your fears less as changing the core of who you but rather adding to that core. The basics of who you are will continue. However, what will change is controlling your fears rather than having your fears control you. This will take some getting used to over a period of time until you achieve a new state of equilibrium.
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