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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

7 Reasons Why You Keep Failing in What You Do

7 Reasons Why You Keep Failing in What You Do

Success always starts with failure. Successful people tell their stories about how they failed and how they turned these failures into success, and one day you will, too. If you find yourself asking, “Why do I keep failing?” then keep reading.

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage that counts.” Our courage is born from the actions we choose to take when we face our failures and we reflect on what we have learned.

The path to success is not straightforward, and getting things right all the time is not realistic or helpful. Failure is a learning experience that shows us how not to do things, and it gives us the opportunity to keep fixing what we are doing wrong until we get it right.

Your failures are your learning opportunities. Thomas Edison said,

“I have not failed. I have found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

He did find one way that did work for one of his famous inventions, and that was the electric lamp.

Failure offers you the opportunity to grow, to become wiser and smarter than you were before. However, if you are not using the opportunities that your failures offer you, then you will never be able to achieve the success you want in life.

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Here are 7 reasons why you may feel like you are failing in everything you do. Address these 7 reasons and you will find that instead of experiencing constant failure, you will be achieving more in life.

1. Fear of Failure

Being afraid of failure paralyzes us. When we feel like we are failing all the time, we begin to see failure as something that is designed to punish us[1]. This is not a great mindset to have when you are presented with an opportunity. If you have a fear of failure, then you are setting yourself up to fail before you have even started.

2. Wanting Too Much Too Quickly

Social Media has a huge influence on how we live our lives. There are thousands and thousands of people on social media describing their incredibly successful lives with very short snips of video and lots of pictures of their material wealth: flashy houses, cars, planes, clothes, shoes, boats, and the list goes on.

We are constantly exposed to the concept that success is in the palm of our hand and all we have to do is go get it.

The message we get told over and over is that you can have anything if you dream big. That is the first mistake we make—we go dream big and set incredibly challenging goals, and when we don’t get the results we hoped for, we become very discouraged and give up.

There is no problem with aiming high and dreaming big. What you do need to take into consideration when aiming high, however, is the amount of effort, dedication, and work it takes each day to get even close to your goals.

Instant results are not realistic, so be very aware that the goals you set to reach the mountain top are realistic and achievable, one step at a time, not 100 steps at once.

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3. Lack of Planning

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin

Lack of planning works hand in hand with wanting too much too quickly. To achieve your dreams and goals in life, you need to have a plan. No plan means you are less likely to succeed. A plan gives your direction, keeps you on track, and holds you accountable.

A good plan will have attainable, measurable, specific goals all heading in a direction that will take you closer to achieving your goals. Also, think about and be prepared for the challenges and obstacles you may face, and have a plan to manage these as well.

4. Giving up Too Easily

Giving up is the number one reason why people fail. The road to success is tough, and there are a lot of bumps along the way. When you experience failure or rejection, it becomes easier to give up.

The next time you want to give up, remember that you are not your failures. Don’t attach your success to the project that failed or the rejection you experienced.

Reset your mind and use your power of choice to determine what you do next—nobody else has that power over you!

5. Resistance to Seeking Advice and Help

“Never let your ego get in the way of asking for help when in desperate need. We have all been helped at a point in our lives.” Edmond Mbiaka

The journey to achieving your dreams and goals in life can not be done alone—this is not a solo journey! One reason why you are feeling like you fail at everything you do can be because you are reluctant to get feedback from people or seek help.

Constructive feedback is important to hear as it offers you a different perspective on what you are doing and what you are hoping to achieve. It may be that what you believe is right, others don’t, and that’s okay. However, it is always good to know why they think that way.

In situations where you are confronted with hardship and failure, it is important to seek feedback and advice. What they tell you might be uncomfortable to hear, but if it is constructive feedback, it will help you gain insight and learn important lessons about how to move forward in your life rather than going backwards.

6. Not Learning From Past Mistakes

Important lessons are learned from the mistakes you make. However, these lessons are irrelevant if you choose to ignore them. The consequence of you ignoring those lessons is that you will keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again until you finally get the message—or not!

Don’t bury your mistakes. Spend time reflecting on what went wrong for you and what you learned about that experience. Find out what did not work, and then figure out what you can do to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

7. Not Believing in Yourself

You can be the most intelligent and talented person in the room, but if you don’t believe in yourself, then failure rather than opportunities will dominate your life.

What separates successful people from unsuccessful people is that successful people believe in themselves. They believe they can achieve the goals they set and that they can deal with the challenges and obstacles that will confront them.

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If you are constantly seeking reasons for why things are not working for you or have a habit of blaming anyone or anything but yourself, that is a definite sign that you have to work on your self-belief.

When you start backing yourself and believing in you and what you can achieve, you will be less likely to give up. Instead, your conviction will fuel you to find that solution that will work for you.

Our power of choice is the only thing we can really control. We can choose to allow failure to discourage us, or we can choose to use the experiences of failure to strengthen our determination to keep moving forward.

The Bottom Line

Once you choose to take action and eliminate these 7 reasons that are blocking you from living a successful life, you will find that success replaces failure, and you will naturally have more self-belief in what you can achieve.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford

More Tips on Overcoming Failure

Featured photo credit: Matias Malka via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

Take a moment and imagine what your life would be like if you had no fear. What would you do if you knew how to overcome fear? It’s not difficult to imagine that it would alter your life significantly.

I believe that fear is the single biggest obstacle that holds people back from fulfilling their potential and becoming the best version of themselves. Fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of success, fear of not being good enough

The question is, where does it come from?

Neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. We scare ourselves by imagining the worst possible outcomes, assuming that we are protecting ourselves from imminent danger.

You make the choice to be a victim of your fear and anxiety or to push them aside and be courageous.

In this article, we’ll look into the root cause of fear and how to conquer fear to realize our potential.

What Is Fear, Really?

This acronym best reflects what fear is[1]:

Learn how to overcome fear with the fear acronym

    Fear is an emotion created by your mind based on real or imagined threats. Fear may be completely founded in reality, or not. It may also manifest as anxiety disorders in some cases, as anxiety is based on worries or fears about the future.

    These imagined scenarios of perceived threats end up feeding your fear to the point where it becomes all-consuming. Often, these scenarios never happen.

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    The real issue is not the fear itself, but rather how we hold it in our minds.

    How to Overcome Fear

    Overcoming fear may sound easier said than done. When you are in the thick of fear, it’s hard to see a way out. The good news is that, because you are the root cause of your fears, you are also the solution to them.

    1. Identify Your Fears Through Writing

    There are times when I’ve felt afraid but couldn’t identify why. If you keep your fears inside, you allow your mind to control how you feel.

    In order to prevent this confusion from happening in the first place, identify what your fears are before moving on to learning how to deal with fear.

    What makes you feel afraid?

    Instead of just thinking about these things, write them down. When you write down your fears on paper and actually question them, it forces you to analyze why you are afraid. Questions are designed to trigger your fears and bring them to the surface.

    This isn’t a comfortable process, but deep inner work never is. However, if you continue to keep your feelings in the dark, the scarier they will be, and the more disempowered you will become.

    Once you identify the type of fear and the experience that you associate with your fears, you become armed with the power to take action to change them. Eventually, your fears become smaller and smaller, and your strength gets bigger and bigger.

    As you’re identifying what your fears are, you can try Lifehack’s Free Life Assessment. It will help you identify which areas may be causing you more fear and which you can fall back on as strengths.

    2. Practice Gratitude

    If you want to learn how to overcome fear, gratitude is key. From personal experience, I have learned that it’s difficult to experience fear and gratitude at the same time. They are literally on opposite ends of the continuum of the human experience.

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    When you are experiencing difficult times in life, it’s easy to drop into fear and overwhelm. In that energetic space, it can be hard to stay grounded.

    Developing a gratitude practice allows you to not drown in fear. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still feel it, but the blow will be lessened, thereby allowing you to see the brighter side of struggle.

    In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their physical and mental health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships[2].

    Anyone who experiences fear knows that there is almost always a story attached to whatever it is that you’re fearful of.  Fear loves to hang out with your inner critic and come up with worst-case scenarios about what could happen.

    Gratitude helps keep these limiting stories at bay when you’re learning how to overcome fear. When you practice gratitude, your brain shifts to what is currently working instead of what isn’t working.

    The act of being fearful is a future-oriented process, while gratitude is a present-oriented one. The next time that fear tries to creep its way into your head, replace that disempowering thought with an empowering one.

    You can learn more about how to replace fear based practices with more positive ones in this video:

    3. Release Control

    Being a control freak is how a lot of people manage their fears, or so they think. Unfortunately, control has no place on the path to learning how to overcome fear.

    In actuality, all that they are doing is masking their fears by trying to control everything. If you can relate, it’s time to release control. Trust me when I say that this is a losing battle.

    Fear results in controlling behavior, and when this behavior doesn’t give us the results we’re seeking, it further intensifies our fears.

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    In your attempt to control fear, you actually become a victim of it. This fear and control cycle leaves a lot of people feeling defeated. The reality is that there will always be things that are far beyond your control.

    The only way that we can move past needing to be in control is to accept that it is not always up to us. While you may be in control of your decisions, you don’t always have control over situations that you are pushed into, nor can you control how others react.

    The only thing that you have control over is your inner world and how you choose to respond to your external environment. The next time you catch yourself trying to control everything, step back and ask yourself what you are afraid of.

    Start to get curious about what thoughts are generating your fear. Curiosity and fear don’t like to co-exist. Once you let go of one, you invite the other in, which will help as you learn how to get rid of fear.

    True freedom comes from fully releasing control. When you are able to do this, you begin the process of releasing your fears as well.

    4. Recite Positive Affirmations

    Positive affirmations can be used to combat almost any negative thought pattern, which can be very helpful when you want to learn how to overcome fear. Using them to help challenge your fears can help retrain your brain and have your fears reframed as powerful statements.

    Research shows that you can actually train your subconscious mind such that it will help you to attract exactly what you desire in life[3].

    Instead of saying “I am afraid of doing this because I might fail,” look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am prepared for this, I am ready, and I will not fail.”

    The more you use positive affirmations, the stronger they become. The best way to cancel a negative belief is to develop its positive counterpart.

    Commit to making positive affirmations a key component of your morning ritual. It literally takes one thought, repeated over and over again, to set you on the path to transforming your entire life.

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    Here are more positive affirmations you can try: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

    5. Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

    Living in your comfort zone will get you nowhere in life, and it certainly won’t help you learn how to overcome fear. In my experience, not doing the things that scare you will only increase the likelihood that your fears will grow and inevitably take over every decision that you make.

    I want to encourage you to do one thing every day that scares you. It can be something small. All that matters is that you take action. Make it a habit to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

    Putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations triggers a unique part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s make-you-happy chemical. Here’s the mind-blower: that unique region of the brain is only activated when you see or experience completely new things[4].

    When you condition yourself to do something every day that scares you, your fear fades away, and your courage grows. Think about it…when you face your fears, how can you fear them again? Soon enough, your confidence will skyrocket.

    Final Thoughts

    The next time that you feel threatened by fear, I encourage you to pull upon one or more of the above strategies. Change your relationship with fear. Instead of letting it knock you down, use it as motivation to grow and achieve more.

    Once you recognize that fear is not real, the obstacles that appear to stand in your way will be removed, and you will feel empowered to take action.

    Your potential in life is limited by only one factor: you. Are you ready to transform fear into action?

    More on How to Overcome Fear

    Featured photo credit: Jonathan Klok via unsplash.com

    Reference

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