Hard charging, Type A personalities, often struggle with taming their fear of failure. Most would agree that fear, when kept in check and under control, is an emotion that can both protect and propel us. Understanding the cause of the fear you’re experiencing is the first step to developing a plan to calm it, contain it, control it.
Anxiety is the result, or symptom, of fear. If I fear I won’t be able to hit the ball, anxiety causes me to dread my up-at-bat. If I fear I will fail my statistics class, then anxiety will kick in and cause me to block any learning that will ultimately help me pass the class. If I fear I will miss my monthly sales number, my anxiety will cause me to go into rapid-fire mode doing as many things as I can simply to create the appearance that I’m working hard.
Anxiety perpetuates fear, creates the stress, and force, strong enough to shut you down. Dealing with anxiety is critical to successfully navigating change, taking risk, and managing failure. Here are 3 ways to keep your anxiety in check:
- Ask the question “why not me?” When we think we will fail it is because we don’t feel competent, smart enough, savvy enough, or insightful enough to win. Why not? Rather than thinking about the failure, replace that thought with the question why not me. I’m smart, why not me? I’m intelligent, why not me? I’ve accomplished a number of great things, why not me?
- Turn anxiety into excitement. Replace, what if I fail, with what will I learn? Replace what if this doesn’t last, with how much better will I be no matter how long this lasts? What will I have experienced that will make me more valuable, more fulfilled?
- Breath. The power of 10 minutes of just breathing is quite powerful. Call it meditation, self-reflection, self-empowerment, or self-love, whatever you call it the purpose of this 10 minutes is to rebalance your inner self. To bring calm to any internal bubbling that’s taking place. There are thousands of books on this subject, apps for your smartphone, and calming music for your ears. Get one, or some, but act now to calm the storm from building.