The F Word: Overcoming a Fear of Failure

05/04/2015 05:50 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2016

There's a huge difference between wanting to start a new project and actually going out and doing it. Envisaging what we could create is often the biggest reason that many of us choose to embark on solo projects, or think about going it alone. For many of us, though there's a huge block which lies between our future potential and our current reality and in lots of cases, it can prove detrimental to the life that we had imagined for ourselves.

The F word is not something that I like to drop into my everyday conversations but it sure is something that rattles around my head all day long. A fear of potential failure is probably the most prominent reason as to why many of the most promising and interesting creatives give up before they have achieved what they set out to. Failure is something with which we all battle everyday and, like it or not, if you want to go ahead on your own, it's something that is going to become a part of your reality. It doesn't always have to be a bad thing though and depending on the way in which we react, failure can actually be an invaluable tool to push us forward. How to use failure as a motivator and overcome the fear you may feel towards it? Now that is the million dollar question.

Failures come in many shapes and forms and, if you're anything like me, you've had your fair share of them. Seeing each experience as a unique learning point, whilst a hard pill to swallow, can be a great way to move forward.

Take Your Time
We've all experienced a failed relationship of some kind. Business, familial, romantic, there is not one of us that hasn't been scarred in some way or another. The most important thing is how we choose to move on. A failed relationship is not an indicator that you've failed as a human being but rather, that the link you tried to forge just wasn't right for either party. And that's really ok. Whilst it might seem like the hardest thing in the world at the time, failure in this way can also be an insight into what will work for you in the future. So grieve, take your time and then take it for what it is. Pick up the pieces of what went wrong and use it to move forward.

Take It In
One of the biggest mistakes that we can make when we feel like we have failed is to cut ourselves off from the world around us. Think of it like a proverbial licking-of-wounds; we were hurt in some way and therefore it feels natural for us to hide for a while. Self-induced isolation can be really damaging to our sense of self esteem and whilst facing the world when we have been burnt can seem like the worst thing to do, it is imperative that we keep moving. You don't have to go out there all guns blazing but try to listen to the world around you. What can you take from the professional sphere, what's happening that you can use to your advantage? You might have to shift your gaze but in the long run, it will help you out.

Help Other People
So things might not be going your way at the moment but unfortunately, it doesn't mean that the world will stop turning. Things continue to go forward despite our personal issues and sometimes, it can feel like we're completely alone. On the contrary, however, there are always others out there struggling too and often, it can be the best thing to put our own problems to one side and help other people. Whether it's a local charity, a friend starting a new project or a bigger cause, focusing positive energy on another project is a great way to regroup, get inspired and boost morale. Pretty soon, your own failure will fade away and you will be ready to begin again.

Step Out Of Your Head
The world's a big, beautiful, scary place and there's no time to be wasted in living inside your worries. Whilst it may seem like the hardest thing in the world, try to drop the niggly feeling in your mind and do something completely unrelated. Going for a walk, looking at a new landscape or visiting a different place can be a great way to lose yourself in the world around you. Slip out of your anxiety into something a little more comfortable. Ooh, slinky.

Failing is, unfortunately, a part of life and no matter how perfect or put together we may seem from the outside, it's more than likely that we're a hot mess of anxiety inside. The important thing is to give ourselves time to collate the information we know, file it away and move on. Organize your fears, people.