Fear of Failure

August 3, 2007 § Leave a comment

The fear of failure – good thing or a bad thing? Yes and no. Think about it, you have an exam to sit and you need to study. Very few people actually enjoy studying but the fear of failure miraculously allows us to find the resources we need to sit at a desk for hours cramming. The same holds for writing reports, training for a sport and so on.  However, the fear of failure crosses the threshold on to the bad side when it starts to hold us back from the things we should be doing –  taking a chance in our career, sitting down to write or paint, phoning someone we haven’t spoken to for years. Studies have shown that we are much more likely to take a chance and gamble in order not to loose what we already have than gamble in order to get something we don’t have. Now that leads to a very static life likely to get caught in an eddy. People don’t realise how stuck they are.

Where does this fear of failure come from? Well the interesting thing is, as in evolutionary design, the mind doesn’t create new fear for every new situation, it builds on previous fear. You can usually trace fear back through your timeline to a very young age. So you first feel fear, great, it produced the desired response and you got a result , whatever that may have been, you ran away or attracted your mothers attention. The next time you are in a tricky situation you know where to get that fear feeling again. And this continues for the rest of your life growing an intricate and powerful fear response. And a lot of the time the fear is completely disproportionate for the situation … say in an interview where the adrenelin produced is sufficient to get you out of a tiger chasing senario but certainly not helpful in a situation where you need to think clearly and appear relaxed…. I don’t think so!

However, help is at hand. NLP can break the neurological connections to that old fear allowing you to create a new and more appropriate fear for the adult you now are. It wont stop your ability to feel fear, it just means that you are no longer tapping into the deep, pit of the stomach fear that is completely inappropriate and is holding you back mightily.

Do not let the fear of failure hold you back any longer … it can so easily be got rid of, its just a waste of your time and time is precious in this life.  Think  about what it will be like in the future, now, when you are doing the thing you were meant to do , as you look back on the way it used to be as  you think about it , now.

Dorothy C. Le Grove is an NLP Master Practitioner. she lives in Glasgow Scotland.

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