Let’s face it, healthy change is scary.
Deciding to take that first step to invest in yourself and your dreams and make permanent healthy lifestyle changes is a big decision that comes with a lot of emotion and, more often than not, A LOT of fear.
The good news is, we’ve learned to kick fear in the REAR by following 4 Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Failure!
Both Kalie and I are COMPLETE creatures of habit. Every time we take a step outside of our comfort zone, our mind is filled with “what if’s” and worries.
What if I fail?
We’ve all failed at something at some point in our lives, and I think we can all agree, the feeling of failure is never pleasant. We’re hardwired to question things we’re unfamiliar with, so it’s understandable to resist change and begin asking ourselves “What if?”
- What if this doesn’t work for me?
- What if I get it wrong or make a mistake?
- What if I’m too old?
- What if I’m too young?
- What if my friends and family aren’t supportive?
- What if people laugh at me?
All of these stems from one big question, “What if I fail?”
Before you know it, you’re replaying memories in your head of a time when you tried eating healthy, exercising more or making some sort of positive change, and the outcome wasn’t what you had hoped for.
Fear almost kept me from living the life I love.
I (Pam) was involved in a catastrophic automobile accident when I was 38, which left living life the way I knew it impossible.
In the blink of an eye, I went from my normal exercise routine of aerobics, step class and swimming to struggling to shuffle one foot in front of the other as a means of movement. Every week for 2 years, I worked with a therapist in an outpatient rehab facility doing small exercises to help re-build my muscles. Despite my efforts, I was miserable, and movement was extremely painful. I began to associate pain with exercise and allowed my feelings of fear to consume me.
- What if I start something new and fail?
- What if I can’t tolerate the pain?
- What if I never make progress?
- What if exercising makes my injuries worse?
- What if I’m exhausted and can’t care for my family?
- What if.
All of these “what if’s” made me constantly question my commitment to push forward. Thank goodness, I eventually realized what was holding me back from my own success… the fear of failure.
If I didn’t push past the “what if’s” I would never get back to living the life I loved and, eventually, I’d have years of regret. So, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and kicked fear in the rear!
Throughout my journey I hit roadblocks that brought back those feelings of fear, but I continued pushing forward. As I made progress and tasted success, my fear slowly began to slip away. Now, years later, I’m back to my old workout routine and I can look back with pride rather than regret.
So, when fear stares you straight in the face, as it did me, follow these 4 Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Failure.
Step 1. Find your why.
Finding your why is a complete game changer when overcoming your fear of failure. It’s the purpose that drives you. It’s the reason you’re thinking about stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s the ONE constant that makes the risk of failure worth it and guides you toward reaching your goal.
Find your WHY, put it into words, and any time that four-letter word pops up to hinder you from making healthy change, remind yourself of WHY the risk of failure IS WORTH IT.
Step 2. Get SPECIFIC by setting goals that lead you to achieve SUCCESS.
When you make your goals specific (and realistic), rather than general, you’re much more likely to succeed because they won’t seem so overwhelmingly out of reach. Simply put, by slimming down your end goal into smaller achievements or “mini goals,” fear is MUCH less likely to stand in your way.
Rather than saying “I will eat healthy,” create specific goals regarding your desire to eat healthy.
“I will take a few minutes every Thursday after the kids go to bed to create a grocery list. That way, while I’m at the store and my kids are being goofy, I’ll be able to stay focused and stick to shopping for healthier foods rather than grabbing unhealthy items I don’t want because I’m in a rush to get out as quickly as possible.”
“I will pack our family’s lunches before bed every night so I don’t make excuses and talk myself out of it in the morning when things are chaotic and I’m running late.”
Small, SPECIFIC goals lead to less stress, less fear, and ultimately, more success! For a great goal-setting guide, check out our Crush Your Goals Worksheet.
Step 3. Take it SLOW and remind yourself of your why.
The reality is that you may make mistakes or hit bumps in the road along the way; that’s just the way life goes. When you come across a closed door, remind yourself of your WHY, then open the door. Remember, mistakes only hurt for a little while, but regret will follow you for the rest of your life.
Step 4. Celebrate your successes!
The more you push yourself, the more confident you’ll become in the fact that your larger goal is obtainable. Celebrate every little success along the way. It makes the journey much more enjoyable.
Don't wait to take action, start today.
If you push yourself beyond your fear by following the four steps listed above, you’ll see that you’re totally capable of overcoming your obstacles and living the life you love. With perseverance and your WHY, you’ll be able to break your old habits and create new ones. You’ll feel good about yourself and won’t have to look back with the pain of regret.
Simply put, you’ll feel rejuvenated.
I don’t know about you, but when I feel awesome, I care more, do more and give my best to others. Every journey must start somewhere, so why wait to take the first step forward? It isn’t always easy, but rest assured, the juice is worth the squeeze.
Whether you are thinking about making a career change, trying to lose weight or wanting to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices, find your why, set a mini goal and take action today to overcome your fear!
- Put your WHY into words
- Get specific by slimming down your end goal into “mini goals”
- Remind yourself of your WHY when you hit bumps in the road
- Celebrate your achievements — big or small