Is it true ‘a strong fear of failure leads to positive thinking’? We are wired to believe the only way you can be positive is when you feel positive, act positive, and think positive. In this article, we will discuss how this form of thinking, technically, isn’t true and why fearing failure can actually lead you to positive thinking and a successful outcome in life.
How Can it be That a Strong Fear of Failure Leads to Positive Thinking?
The general idea is that if you’re afraid of something, you simply avoid it, common sense, right? So, how can a strong fear of failure lead to positive thinking if you are wired to steer clear of things that scare you?
Studies suggest that those who fear failing may actually practice positive self-talk to motivate and initiate actions that will result in the opposite of the fear, success. While some may argue that a strong fear of failure can lead to catastrophic mental breakdowns, plenty of others find that fear can instill determination.
You Tend to Avoid the Things You Fear
The best way to explain how a strong fear of failure can lead to positive thinking is by comparing it to other relatable situations. For example, if you are afraid of clowns, you are probably not spending much time at the circus, and if you are scared of dogs, you won’t be volunteering at the local shelter any time soon.
So, it only makes sense that if you are afraid of failure, you will do everything in your power to avoid it. The best way to avoid failing is by running in the opposite direction and succeeding.
How Can You Think Positive When The Anxiety of Possibly Failing is so High?
The mind is a mysterious and wonderful thing. It can make you feel, act, and respond in ways you might not understand, and most of the time, it guides you to what feels right.
If you just got a new job and are anxious and stressed out at the fear of not performing your best and not living up to your boss’s expectations, you can go in one of two ways.
- You can allow your anxiety and fear to take over and turn you into a complete wreck, where your performance will lack, and you won’t have the opportunity to prove yourself.
- You can let your fears motivate you and become an inner voice of encouragement, praise, and solace. The fears can be the reason you work so hard to succeed.
Things Happen to You Because You Make Them Happen
Now let’s take a look at the flip side of the coin. Does positive thinking lead to success? Unfortunately not. If you could simply smile and think happy thoughts about being successful and it actually worked, then there would be no reason to fear failing. People do not succeed and make the most of their lives by thinking positive thoughts. Why? Because those thoughts still require action.
However, when those positive thoughts are being fueled by a strong motive, such as a strong fear, those positive thoughts are the movement you need to take action.
One Motivational psychologist noted that too much positive thinking could actually be harmful. Once you have your mind believing a task is going to be simple, then the effects of failure will hit you much harder if you don’t succeed; this will bring about anxiety, depression, and the feeling of despair.
Let Fear Pump You Up-A Strong Fear of Failure Leads to Positive Thinking
A strong fear of failure isn’t always going to bring about positive thinking. This is something you have to be mindful of and work at. It is important you understand where your fears are coming from and use those to fuel you.
Let’s say you are 40 pounds overweight and desperately want to start working out to better yourself, but you are extremely afraid of going to a gym and training in front of tons of people, so you don’t go. What are the end results? You don’t lose weight, and you end up becoming more depressed and self-conscious.
Now, let’s look at the same scenario, but this time, let that fear drive you. It is easy to say, “Just go in there with your head held high and stop being afraid.” In reality, it never works like that; you cannot turn off your emotions, including fear, just because your positive inner voice asks you to.
What does help you get to the finish line is by taking one step past the starting line, with fear still standing behind you, pushing you, empowering you. Now, not wanting to fail at losing weight is what got you into the gym and had you 40 pounds lighter in six months.
Perfectionists and Positive Thinkers are Not the Same
Sometimes the fear of failing can lead to unhealthy obsessions, compulsions, and actions, which is completely contrary to positive thinking.
While perfectionists are very much afraid of failure, their fear comes from a different place and will not lead to anything positive, including thoughts.
When you are using your fear to motivate you and encourage you to do your best, you tend to work a little harder, prioritize life a little better, and keep your schedules and work more organized to manage your time wisely and do your best work.
When you are a perfectionist, the fear of failing is not something positive thinking will resolve. Perfectionists tend to have unreachable goals; once one deadline is met, they have to shoot for another, then another. This is an unhealthy state of mind, and no good will come from it until the perfectionist recognizes the problem and accepts failure happens.
How Can You Think Positive When You Have a Strong Fear of Failing?
It can be extremely challenging to find a way to turn something scary, hard, or new into a positive experience, but it is possible and can change the outcome of any situation.
A few good ways to practice positive thinking when you fear failure include:
- Saying a mantra: Repeating a positive phrase about failure being okay is a good way to train your mind to accept it and let it push you in the right direction. “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing” “Learn by doing” or ” My biggest struggles are also my greatest lessons” “)
- Meditation: Sometimes, utilizing meditation when you are scared or stressed can help you take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
- Baby Steps: Taking small steps towards your goals will help you appreciate your smaller accomplishments, allowing you to believe in yourself and let go of that fear of failing.
Allow your strong fear of failing to lead to positive thinking, helping you get to where you are going, whether it happens quickly or takes a little longer than expected.
Final Thoughts on a Strong Fear of Failure Leads to Positive Thinking
Fearing failure is a common emotion for many of us; it is how we handle these feelings and where they lead us that makes the experience different for everyone. Letting those fears guide you to positive thoughts will only set you up for future success.