Do you have "Fear of Failure"? Read this.

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Charly The Rabbit, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Charly The Rabbit

    Charly The Rabbit Junior Member

    Feb 17, 2016
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    Hello BHW members:

    Some months ago I discover I have "fear of failure" which is very different to fear to uncertainty, which is very common in most people.

    Fear of Failure is different, it terrorizes your mind, and can paralyze all your actions trigerring strong moments of depression.

    In this post I will explain how I develop this illness, why it happens, and offer you some tips I found to fight against Fear of Failure (FoF). Let's start !

    1.- How did I developed Fear of Failure ?

    Usually fear of failure is developed in childhood but in some cases is possible to develop it on adulthood which was my case.

    According to MBTI test (is a personality test) I'm a INFP, one feature of my kind of personality is to be very idealistic and perfectionist, which under certain circunstances might be good but in others might be a nightmare.

    One of my first "idealistic dreams" was to become an Independent Game Developer, I love computer programming, but after several trials, reality hit me direct on my face, showing me that the approach I choose to achieve my "dream job" was wrong.

    It's very hard to see how something you love becomes into a painful nightmare, every game I did was a financial failure. It was like loop: Urgency for money -> Hurry Implementation -> Bad Game -> No sales.

    Certain day I realised I went bankrupt, and found myslef in a difficult situation to need to "abandon" my dream job. It was a very difficult choice but I did it.

    I decide to put all my focus on "Internet Business", I always love the idea to be independent (I don't see my self on an office from 9 to 6) and I put all my efforts on this new "dream job"

    I tried many online business (8 to be exact) with differen approaches and on all of them I failed. One of the major problems I didn't want to figure out is that Online Business requires "Time Investment" AND "Money Investment". Time wasn't a problem for me, the problem was money. I was obsessed with the idea to be "independent" that I refuse to work for any company, this obsession was something psicologist called "Irrational Thinking". I was in a loop again: No money to invest -> Project Fail -> Refuse to work on a company -> No money.

    Those all failures unleash the "Fear of Failure" on me. I came to think that I was a failure as a human (another irrational thinking).

    2.- The experiment that blew my mind

    After reading some info on internet and confirm I have "Fear of Failure", I decide to search a solution and found a very interesting book called "What's stop you by Robert Kelsey".

    The first chapter blew my mind, it talks about an experiment did by a psicologyst from Standford University. He choose some kids and divide them in 2 groups, group A tend to have success thinking while group B tend to have fail thinking.

    He create a game with some big ring, the goal was to throw the rings on a stake, the distance have to be choosen by the kids.

    Kids with success think, tend to stand up in a realistic distance, this mean: not to close to be a boring task but not too far to be impossible. They enjoy realistic challenge.

    In the other hand the other kids, He found 2 different behaviors, some of them put absurdly close to avoid any chance of failure and the others put in a absurdly far distance to ensure the failure. Why this second kids did that? the answer is awesome.

    Those kids ensure the failure because they prefer the consolation of their parents "It's ok, you tried to far, but at least you tried, next time you will do it better"

    I Instantly found my self on those group. Many friends told me why don't get a job, so you can invest on your business. I was obssessed with the idea to be independent and refuse me to work for others, uncounciously I put myself on a far distance to fail, because with that money I could easily experiment different strategies on my business. why I did this??? the answer was the same as the kids, I became addict to "consolation words".

    I never understood why some of my closest friend didn't want to meet with me. After reading about that experiment I found the answer. Every time I met with them I always talk about my struggles and failures, at the beginning they gave me supportative words, and I became "addict to those words" but after some meetings, they didn't want to speak with me, which is understandable, who want to hear someone who alltime is speaking about their problems and is depressive?.

    Be concious of this behavior was a huge relief because I could figure out that the only I need to do was to detect all my "irrational thinkings" and then start to "question them".

    3.- How to fight against "fear of failure"

    Here I will details some strategies talked on the book and other I found on internet to fight against fear of failure:

    • Question yourself, one of the most useful sentence to do this is: "What if....", Ex: What if I found a temporal job to grab some money to invest?. Do I really going to die If I work for others?. Sometimes do this by yourself might be difficult because we are "blind" of our own irrational thinking. The best is to talk with someone about your problem and listen his/her solution if they were you. You will find a very different approach that might help to question your irrational thoughts. Be open-mind even if their ideas sounds absurd to your vision.
    • Let it go and accept your defeat. "Some times to win the war, it requires lose some battles", this is very difficult because we are socially programmed to not accept failure or consider them bad. But think carefully, isn't it worst to fight a lost battle?. You will find a HUGE relief. Ex: I have decided to abandon all my online business temporaly to study some update courses in order to be able to get a job, the idea is demostrate to myself that I won't die if I work for others, I have planned to restart my online businesses later, after all everything is already configured and I only need some money to invest. This might sound simple for many of you, but when you have Fear or Failure, is very difficult to see it or take a single action.
    • Before start a project consider the possibility of fail, this doesn't mean to be negative, this mean to be realistic and be councious that one possibility is fail, this will give you relief, and prepare you psicologically and helps reduce stress. If you deny the possibility of fail it will generate stress on you and affect your actions and thinking.
    • Be flexible, have plans B,C,D.....kwowing you have alternative plans relief the tension and stress. If plan A doesn't work, alphabet have more letter :)
    • One problem with people with fear of failure is to see success as a binary thing, "Success or Failure", but the reality is that success always have middle points, celebrate minor success, it doesn't matter if are tiny, this is very useful on those person who think about themself as a "failure guy". You will realise that you have more successes than you thought in a day.
    • Because everything described above are difficult to achieve, you might feel depress or your poor progress, again question yourself and find some relief activity. Ex. Every time I feel overwhelmed with this transition against FoF, I go to walk to the park, it helps me a lot. Find something that works on you.
    If you reach this part of the message, thanks to read, and I hope it can helps someone out there. If you detect a person with Fear of Failure, help him/her to realise their irrational thinking.

    If you have anything to recommend me, I'm open-mind to hear your tips agains FoF.

    Charly The Rabbit.
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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016