A Coaching Power Tool By Adam Bakai, Personal Coach, GERMANY
What Is the Difference Between Fear of Failure vs. Embracing Learning?
Fear of Failure
Being afraid of failure can have an overwhelming effect on us. We don´t like to face the fact that we can´t achieve anything the way we wanted to. Am I wrong? Am I stupid? What am I good for? What if I am never able to do this?
We don´t like to expose ourselves to the outside world if we do something wrong. What do other people think of me? Will they trust me, or will they laugh at me? What if my mistakes influence other people around me? If I make a mistake, how can I forgive myself? How can others forgive me?
These are just a few examples of what questions we think of once we realize, we made a mistake. It is not a pleasant feeling; therefore fear can be a natural and understandable reaction to failures.
Yet, what if we don´t let our fear paralyze us? What if we use it to constantly improve ourselves? What if we consider failures as assets, in order to learn and become a better version of ourselves?
Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts. – Nikki Giovanni
Nobody is perfect and we will always make mistakes. Once we make a mistake, we can “wallow in the swamp” or we can choose to learn from it. Once we learn from it, we have a good chance to correct the mistake and/or to do it better next time.
Take a deep breath and reflect on what happened.
- Is the outcome really that bad?
- What went wrong? When? Why?
- Was the goal we set realistic?
- Did the circumstances change, and we did not see them?
- What actions do we need to take right now (after the mistake has been made)?
- How could we do it better next time?
Don´t judge yourself for what happened but learn from it and do it better next time! Not judging yourself does not mean that you deny the fact of the mistake, or you don´t own what happened. Apologize and make amends if necessary. Ask for constructive feedback from others! Owning your mistakes, overcoming failure, and improving yourself show maturity and strength. Also, you can learn something valuable that you would probably never forget again. Isn´t that better than “wallowing in the swamp”?
Overcoming Fear of Failure vs. Embracing Learning
The fear of failure can be paralyzing. But failures also offer the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and become a better version of ourselves. All human beings make mistakes, but if we choose to learn from them instead of being afraid of them, we can reach new heights and constantly learn valuable insights about ourselves and also about our environment.