This article is part 4 of 7 in our A Week of Excuses series. Why do we put off those things we want most in life? Why do we let excuses stand in the way of pursuing our dreams? In this week long series we dive into these questions, deliver actionable steps for common obstacles, and provide resources to help you take the first step to making your dreams a reality.
Failure is a part of life and will happen to all of us. We’ve all tried something and failed, whether it’s a relationship (my marriage #1 rings a bell here), a business (been there, too) or simply trying to finish War and Peace. If you are going to try something, failure is a possibility.
There is no easy way to simply get over it, but when going for our dreams we must take action in spite of the fear.
Shift your energy from protecting yourself from failure to squeezing the life out of life. – Danielle LaPorte
This excellent video (just 2 minutes long) with Edward Norton provides an enlightening perspective on fear and how has learned to cope. He states that the most important thing is to realize when you feel fear so you can recognize it and move despite the concern.
Inaction is the Failure
Instead of focusing on the fact you may not achieve your ideal end result, focus on how you will feel if you never even try to make it a reality. Taking no action at all towards your dream means you will never fail, but also guarantees you will never see your dream come true. It also guarantees your life will be far smaller than it has to be.
It also helps to understand how your fear operates. You are comparing your current situation to the final achievement, and if your goal is big you can only fear the giant gap between the two. It is scary to think of all the work and potential for failure in between.
But when you focus on the very next step, the gap is much smaller – microscopic, even. Your fear is much more manageable in small doses, especially when you have success upon success to counter it.
Inaction is the failure, but small, regular action will win the race.
10 Dreams and Resources to Help Move Beyond Fear
- Change jobs – overcoming the fear of change is hard, but this resource will give you helpful ideas to make it happen.
- Attend a spiritual silent retreat – an honest and amusing view insight a 10 day silent retreat.
- Run a marathon – thinking about the end result is almost overwhelming, but starting small is key. Get off the couch, and put one foot in front of the other with Couch to 5k.
- Become an actor – excellent interview with Edward Norton talking about how he deals with the constant fear.
- Start a business – start small by creating a side business and grow it over time.
- Sing in public – start with karaoke and here are 11 steps to get you up on stage and impressing the bar with your sweet voice.
- Learn to salsa dance – this story will inspire you to get started learning now.
- Become a professional photographer – this covers a broad set of fears so well that now I’m thinking that I may be need to confront my own fears and put my photos where my words are.
- Have your paintings exhibited in a gallery – excellent article for any artist who fears failure. Nice insights tailored just for you.
- Be a professional poker player – advice from a professional player on how he deals with this ever-present fear.
Neutralize your fear of failure by rediscovering your reserves of self-confidence. Our latest book, Strip Off Your Fear: Slip Into Something More Confident, will give you the tools to do it.
Tune in tomorrow when we’ll be discussing how to start creating momentum with your dream and addressing the excuse “I don’t know how to get started“.