The fear of failure is probably the single greatest obstacle to success in our lives. We can become totally preoccupied with not making a mistake and with seeking approval from our peers, our elders, our friends and everyone else we meet.
Fear of failure is most frequently expressed in the words "I can't". We can feel the fear in a physiological way by the fast beating of the heart, 'butterflies' in your tummy, rapid breathing, sweaty palms and a tight throat. We also experience this in the feeling of an irresistible urge to run to the loo.
Add to that the fear of rejection. We learn this at a very early age when our parents or guardians make their love conditional upon our behaviour. If we do something to please them, they give us love and approval, sometimes a treat. If we do something to displease them, they withdraw their love and approval - which we often interpret as rejection.
As adults we can place too much dependence on the opinions of others because of this perceived rejection. Many people develop hostility, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some imagined high standard. This is a belief that we have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please. In the work environment the boss has been replaced as the parent and becomes the perceived approval giver.
There have been various research projects carried out which have shown that more than 99 percent of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the vicious circle of feeling, "I can't, but "I have to," and "I have to," but "I can't."
But it isn't all bad news! These fears can be overcome by developing our self-esteem, courage and character. We can increase our self-love and self-respect. Acting with courage in a fearful situation is a technique that boosts our love for ourselves to such a degree that our fears subside and they lose their ability to affect our behaviour and our decisions.
Firstly we need to realise and accept that we can do anything we put your minds to. Repeat the words, "I can do it! I can do it!" whenever we feel afraid.
Secondly, we need to continually remind ourselves of just how wonderful we are, think of ourselves as valuable and important people and remember that temporary failure is the way we learn how to succeed.
Take action now to really begin to change your life.