Is there a sport or game that you know you’re not good at? Something that you know there is little to no chance that you can will if you play?
Whether it’s golf, tennis, or basketball, there is a sport that you will tend to avoid playing. Not because you can’t play it, but because it’s not fun to lose.
With all loss there is pain and grief.
It doesn’t matter if it the loss of a game, a relationship, money, or a job. Anytime we lose something, it forces us to grieve.
For some of us we can get to a point where we stop trying at things because we don’t like the feeling of failure. Fear, shame, and guilt are crippling. Most people never fulfill their potential because they hold themselves back with negative self-talk, and a fear of repeating a previous failure.
When you hear the stories of those that have been successful in business or sports, you will see a common theme of learning lessons from failure that prepared them for future success. Developing a champions mentality that doesn’t crumble if the initial product launch fails, or if you miss the game winning shot is crucial. There is a learning opportunity in failure that produces future success.
I love what Michael Jordan said, “I never lost a game. I chose not to lose. Instead I choose to learn from defeat to teach me something to make me better.”
Champions never quit. Learn from failure and don’t be afraid to try again.
Here are 4 things you can do to overcome the fear of failure.
Failure is not an option.
Legendary Coach Joe Paterno taught his players that there is a moment in every game where one team will accept defeat as an option. This is especially true for teams that don’t have a winning culture. Remember, failure begins at the moment that the thought of failure is acceptable. When things go the wrong way or begin to get hard, losing teams will allow the situation to dictate the potential of their outcome.
This is true not only in games, but in life as well. Take a moment and reflect on times in both your personal or professional lives when things were not going well. There was probably a moment where failure, breaking up, or quitting became an acceptable option. Being a champion doesn’t mean you will go undefeated. Being a champion means you never accept defeat…you simply ran out of time.
Process over Product
Think of success like a fruit tree. What would your success look and taste like? I’m sure you would want fruit that is plump and juicy, not withered and rotten on the inside. The only way to produce healthy fruit is to have a healthy tree. A healthy tree must be planted in great soil that gives it the proper nutrients to grow.
Champions honor the process of growth, realize the value of being healthy, and do not take personal or professional short cuts. They understand that in order to produce the results they want they must get the proper support from people around them to help develop them. They also understand that the process of growth is a slow one that allows for successes sustained over time, rather than sporadic victories.
The Score Doesn’t Dictate Performance
A common mistake people make is to let the score of their game, life, business or marriage dictate how they perform. The score should never dictate the amount of effort you give. The 2017 Super Bowl was a perfect example of one team who played based on the scoreboard, and the other team who played with all out effort consistently regardless of the score.
Your consistency of effort often proves to be the deciding factor between success and failure. Assess whether or not you are consistent and still giving the same level of effort to reach your personal and professional goals as when you first began. You will see a pattern of behavior in those areas that correspond to degree of success you experience.
Surround Yourself with Winners
When things get rough (and at some point they will) the difference between winning and losing can be based on the type of teammates or support you have around you. The people around you must have the same positive mentality as you do. Otherwise, you not only have to manage your emotions, but you also have to manage the emotions of those around you.
Assess your team around you? Will they be the reason why you are successful, or will they be the reason why you won’t be.