We all get to that point in our life – that point where we are left feeling paralyzed because we are so afraid of failing at something. Oftentimes, when we experience this feeling, we simply won’t even try because of how monumental that fear of failure and rejection feels. That, or we subconsciously undermine our own efforts to avoid the possibility of a larger failure?
The fear of failing can be immobilizing. It can cause us to stop dead in our tracks, and therefore resist making any progress in our lives. But when we allow fear to stop our forward progress in life, that’s when we are bound to miss all of the good opportunities that life presents to us. All because of an uncertain possibility that we concluded within the walls of our own minds.
The Common Ways to Overcome Fear
We are often told and led to believe that the best way to overcome our fear of failure and rejection is to experience these challenges head-on. To those who are on the outside looking in, it may seem relatively easy. But for those of us who are being told to jump all in, it’s almost as bad as the thought of being tossed into a fire with no escape route.
The stress, the anxiety, the overwhelming thoughts all begin to flood our minds. While we are showing strength in taking a chance on ourselves in the first place, holding on to that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is surely enough to prevent us from taking and similar chances in the future.
It’s not to say that jumping into the fear of the unknown is always a bad thing. In many cases, it can actually be quite beneficial. But if we are jumping into the fear of the unknown without ever changing our perception of our fear of failure and rejection, that’s when we are bound to only regress instead of finding the strength to progress in the right direction.
What if there was a way through to better overcome our fear of failure and rejection. I’m not going to say that this is a “cure-all,” but what if there was an easier way to make strides in our lives?
How To Overcome Your Fear of Failure and Rejection
Imagine one of the goals that you have. Make it a big goal, one that you have wanted to achieve for as long as you can remember, and one that brings substantial amounts of fear to your psyche when you think about it.
For me, one of my greatest fears is my fear of losing money. As a result, it’s difficult for me to spend large amounts of money.
But what if, instead of seeing these challenges as obstacles, what if we make it our goal to fail and experience rejection regardless of if that rejection is internal or external? What if we decide to use a little reverse psychology to take some of the negative emotions away?
What might this look like for my fear of money? Instead of allowing my fear of failure and rejection to stop me from spending money, why not make it a goal to spend more money, to take myself out on a date once a week, or to experience that inner feeling of fear that comes with me spending money? Again, it’s not a cure-all, but it sure helps to take away some of the negative emotions that are related to fear.
How about for relationships? Another one of my fears is being rejected. It’s a fear that has stood in the way of me even talking to other individuals. But again, instead of doing everything I can to not be rejected, what if I made it my goal to be rejected? What if I made it my goal to walk up to somebody only to have them tell me no right to my face? Surely that would help to take some of the negative emotions and stress out of actually doing so.
The Power of Reverse Psychology
When we use reverse psychology, we are taking away the negative emotions that we have attached to our fear of failure and rejection in the first place.
Now, it’s not always good to beneficial to go into every situation expecting to fail, so that is when you have to use your better judgment. If you are confident, walk, talk, and act with that confidence. But if you are scared, feeling stranded or hopeless, make it your goal to fail. Make it your goal to be rejected by those around you, because if you do, you are more likely to actually take the action necessary to overcome your fear of failure and rejection.
You are never going to be able to overcome your fear of failure and rejection if you first aren’t willing to give yourself the opportunity to see what you are made of. Sometimes, all that this means is letting go of negative beliefs to find the strength in order to overcome these emotions. Who knows, maybe we will even surprise ourselves and make meaningful progress instead of experiencing failure and rejection.
Either way, it’s a win-win. When you make it your goal to fail or be rejected, you are going to be far more likely to take action on your life. You will build momentum for all of your other goals as well because at least you are moving in the direction that you set for yourself. If you fail or get rejected, who cares? Wasn’t it your goal to do so in the first place?
The other win comes from being surprised by what you’re actually made of. Maybe you don’t fail. Maybe instead of failing, you took action and realized that you’re a freaking rockstar! Or maybe, since you made it your goal to be rejected, you walked up to your crush and asked them out on a date. To your surprise, they said yes. Granted it wasn’t what you expected, you won because you got the date.
I wish I could say that it’s always going to be easy. I personally just started implementing this strategy into my life, and while I have made strides in overcoming my fear of failure and rejection, I have still found myself holding on to some of the negative emotions.
Here’s the catch though. These negative emotions are nowhere near as severe as they used to be. Because I am actually taking action towards overcoming my fear of failure and rejection, I am making more progress towards my goal than I have in a while. Seeing this progress has brought out a sense of happiness that I haven’t felt in a while – one that is enough to override the negative emotions of failure and rejection.
I want to encourage you to try this as well. If you are somebody who is experiencing an overwhelming fear of failure and rejection, try to use a little reverse psychology. Make it a goal to experience fear. Make it a goal to experience rejection. When you do, you are taking away some of the strength that you have given these negative emotions. And if nothing else, at least it will help to get you going in the right direction towards your goals.