Fear of Failure: How to Tell if You Suffer From it & What To Do

I took a writing class when I was in University. The teacher was wonderful, and she had us do tons of writing exercises every week. One week, she made us write the first draft of a story. By hand.

We had one hour, and the class wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Almost no one finished their story, because we were writing it by hand and there was no way to edit it. In the end, the teacher told us we were doing it wrong, because we tried to write our story perfectly. 

”This exercise isn’t about doing it perfectly. It’s about getting it done.

I knew then and there that was something I struggled with. I didn’t want to do anything less than perfect, scared that she would read my story and not like it, which to me, was the worst kind of failing.

The next lesson, she had us do the writing exercise again. This time, my handwriting was sloppy, my sentences weren’t perfect and I hated the dialogue in my story. But I finished it, and it felt great. It’s important to just finish it, you can always edit later was a lesson I learned that day.

Fear of failure is a very real reaction of your mind – it protects you from perceived threats, for the most part. It’s not wrong to fear failure on some cases, but when it dictates your life, it can definitely become a problem.

7 Signs You May Have Fear of Failure

Note: the following are not official diagnostics, but these characteristics are common in people that have an extreme fear of failure.

  • Failing makes you worry about what other people think of you
  • You compare your failures with the failures of other people
  • Failing makes you worry about how capable you are
  • You tell people beforehand that you don’t expect to succeed in something
  • You apologize beforehand just in case you fail
  • Once you fail at something, it’s difficult to imagine what you could have done to prevent the failure
  • you often get headaches, stomach aches, sweaty hands and other anxiety symptoms when you’re fearing a failure

I Have Fear of Failure, What Now?

The biggest problem people with fear of failure deal with is that the feeling is often unconscious. It’s not as simple as just shutting it off.

One of the most common moments to feel the fear of failure is when you’re doing something that’s outside your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is more than just a concept; pushing these boundaries trigger very real neuro-physiological reactions of the mind’s threat system. If you stay within these boundaries, you will feel safe, there will be no fear of failure. But if you’re brave and get outside of your comfort zone (where all the  magic happens) you will have to deal with that feeling – fearing failure often feels unsafe, uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing.

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Decluttering Your Closet Effectively: 5 Tips You Haven’t Heard Yet

You look at your closet every day without really seeing anything. You have the feeling that all of your good clothes are buried under your crappy ones, and that one top you’ve been looking for for over six months? It’s nowhere to be found.

As a chronic declutterer, I want to pass on my declutter-wisdom to all of you who are new to this magical phenomenon (I like using hyperbole, can you tell?) Here are five tips you haven’t heard yet (promise!), take note.

Start with the things you love

When you’re starting out, your closet can look overwhelming. Time to throw everything on the floor and only pick up the things that you love. The things that make you feel amazing, you wear a lot and you will not get rid of, even for a million dollars. Chances are you only have three to five of those pieces, if any. It’s important to note that once you’ve gone through your clothes and picked out the things that you love, you can’t go back later to add things to it. If you didn’t pick it up the first time or if you’re on the fence about it, you don’t love it enough.

Get creative with Pinterest

When was the last time you decluttered your closet? If the answer is never (it probably is) chances are you still have clothes that are almost ancient. You might love those clothes, but they don’t reflect your personal style anymore.

Here’s where Pinterest comes in. Make a separate board and pin pictures of outfits to it that really speak to you. Not just the shoes or the jacket, but the entire outfit. After pinning a bunch (it’s addictive) you will notice that there’s a certain style and certain colors you gravitate towards. You might like earthy tones, knee-length dresses or bomberjacks. Whatever it is, it’s important that pieces you decide to keep in your closet reflect the style you’re trying to achieve.

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11 Podcasts For Self-Help Junkies

I love podcasts. I love that I can listen to them while doing other things, like exercising, cleaning or doing the dishes. I love that I feel like I’m getting smarter while being productive at the same time. For a self-help junkie like me, it’s like a drug.

So naturally, I listen to a lot of different podcasts. Some I hate, some I like, some I love. Some I really want to share with you.

The Confidence Podcast

The Confidence Podcast is dedicated to loving the skin you’re in. Trish, the host of the podcast, believes that we cannot only become more confident, but also become better people in general by investing daily in our mind. She interviews tons of inspiring people to help you get motivated to get shit going!

Learn Out Loud

A classic self-improvement podcast, if you ask me. Learn Out Loud focuses on achieving goals, improving relationships and increasing creativity. The podcast also focuses on some well-known self-improvement techniques like the 4 hour work week and The Secret.

The Overwhelmed Brain

A podcast for people who are tired of being told to ”just think positively”. This podcast is for critical thinkers. It dives deep into lots of different subjects related to self-improvement and provides actionable advice. Bonus: there are a whoooole bunch of episodes.

Good Life Project

Unfiltered conversation about finding meaning, happiness and love in your life. From iconic world-shakers like Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Sir Ken Robinson, Seth Godin and Gretchen Rubin to everyday people, every story matters. What I love about this radio show is that every episode is different, and the person being interviewed really sets a tone. A good podcast for people who get bored easily and want to move onto the next thing.Read More »

How To Motivate Yourself To Do Literally Anything

Yes, you can motivate yourself to do anything. Literally anything.

I know that’s a lot of promise, but this technique works for me every. single. time.

 

What motivates us?

In short, humans are motivated by two things. Pleasure and pain. Between the two, I have found that pain (or discomfort as I like to say) works the best. You are more inclined to do something if you know something bad is going to happen when you don’t do the thing.

So how do I motivate myself?

To be able to motivate yourself through pain or discomfort, you have to create a situation for yourself where you have to make sure something not-so-fun will happen if you don’t do the thing. There are two ways in particular that I’ve found helped me.

Money: I did this one a lot in college, I would give my friend $20 and tell them to keep it for me until after I had done the thing (like writing a paper) and I had to do it within a specific time frame. If you KNOW you’re going to lose that money you’re much more inclined to go through the hassle of doing the thing you don’t want to do because you don’t want to lose that money, and every time I did this I WOULD get the thing done.
Peer pressure. I think peer pressure is an incredibly powerful thing that we should use to our advantage whenever we can. I will use peer pressure to motivate myself sometimes by tweeting a specific goal of mine, or by telling it to my friends. For example, a while back I tweeted that I wanted to post at least three videos and five blog posts a week. If I don’t, everyone can see that I failed this fairly simple goal, and nobody wants to be considered a failure, right?!

As I said in the beginning, pain isn’t the only motivator. Pleasure is also a motivator, by rewarding yourself for example. But I have found that rewarding myself doesn’t work unless I really want the reward. Usually you’re already quite comfortable and you have no problem to really go without the reward.

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5 Productivity Hacks That Actually Work

I’m the kind of person that goes on websites like Lifehacker and constantly tries out those so-called life-hacks. I’m absolutely obsessed with living a life that’s not only productive, but also as easy as possible (who isn’t, ha). But we all know some of those articles are filled with fluff and tips we already know. In this video, I’m discussing 5 tips or ‘hacks’ that have actually worked for me and I still use on a regular basis.

If you like this video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel!

A short rundown:

The Pomodoro technique: This is a technique that helps me to take breaks and stay productive throughout the entire day. It’s really simple: you work in 20-minute time spans, and after working focused for 20 minutes you’re allowed to take a five minute break. Every four sessions, you take a twenty minute break. This helps me to stay focused all day and not feel lethargic by the time 2 o’clock hits.

Google Inbox: In my opinion, Google Inbox is much better than the regular Gmail. It’s focused on keeping your inbox completely empty, something that the organiser in me absolutely loves! Google Inbox also allows me to sort my emails in folders and bundles, which keeps everything looking neat. Read More »

7 Ways You Can Make Yourself Smile Today

The best way to brighten up your day is to SMILE! But that doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes, simplicity is all that it takes to have a better day.

If I’m having a rough day, I usually do one of the following things to bring a smile on my own face.

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Go outside

Just go and take a walk! Especially if it’s sunny so you can get some Vitamin D in. Some fresh air is good for the soul, even if you’re not a super outdoorsy person. Did you know that people who spend more time outside are generally happier? Makes sense to me.

Help someone else

This is probably my favorite. By far the best way to turn my frown upside down is to help someone else. Maybe it’s a friend that’s having a rough time or taking some work from the hands of your co-worker. No one around you that needs help? You can always buy coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks. 🙂Read More »

How To Stick Up For Yourself: Learning To Be Assertive

Do you know that Spongebob episode where Plankton yells at Spongebob to be more assertive? That’s kind of what I want this blog post to be.

Okay, not really, but I do want to talk to you about being more assertive – because it’s going to be an incredibly useful tool as you learn to stick up for yourself.

Being assertive is letting someone know what you need and desire, as well as how you feel. It shows confidence, dignity and self-respect. People who are non-assertive (passive) are often quiet, they come off insecure and sometimes can’t get their basic needs met.

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Don’t confuse being assertive with being aggressive – they are two completely different things. Here are some great ways you can stick up for yourself without coming off aggressive!

Don’t be afraid of the negative

Life lesson number one: you can’t always say yes to everyone. This is something I used to struggle with in the workplace a lot. I wanted people to like me and to think I was a hard worker. So much, that I overworked myself. It’s important to realize that your own health always comes first.

Very often the fear of standing up for yourself comes from a fear of what the outcome will be. A co-worker will think you’re lazy, a friend will think you don’t like them etc. But I have noticed that people value my time more and overall respect me more as a human being when I started saying no every so often. Read More »