I once had a client who came to see me after she was given a very poor performance report concerning her inability to meet her third quarter sales target. Prior to that, she had been one of the star performers and always had an excellent review.
Suffice to say after the review, she lost confidence in herself, saw herself a failure and developed low self-esteem, further buoyed by the fact that some months before that, her relationship with her father was strained as a result of some personal decisions she had taken.
At the point we met, she had given up on herself and was about resigning her appointment to start something unplanned for.
We agreed to be meeting twice a month for the next three months and she was going to show commitment by working on objectives cum action plans. We thereafter started the self-discovery session by her defining who she really was and identifying her values. She was able to clarify where she wanted to be within her company, the role she saw herself performing in the next three years and of course, her long term career plan.
During the course of the sessions, we were able to work on her strength, weakness and limitations (fear of rejection, fear of failure, starting out again and or doing it alone) that has developed overtime but brought out to light as a result of the recent happenings around her.
We focused on boosting her confidence and channeling the new energy into her goals for the quarter. Today, she has gained confidence, her self-esteem is high and guess what, she is performing once again and also planning towards actualizing her goal of starting a fashion outfit.
Why then do we allow negative narratives to hold us prisoners to our thoughts? We have different journey and season of lives, season of lives. What some are encountering now may have happened to others some years ago and for others, it is still going to happen to them. Such is the complexity of this world.
From life comes success, joy, pain, delay, disappointment, worries, fear, discouragement and promotion amongst others. When the positive phenomenon happens, we are glad and can easily identify with this. However, if there are sad occurrences, we lose faith in ourselves, our self-esteem drops, we sometimes find it difficult to move forward and start all over again. When this happens, it is only natural to get fearful and sometimes frustrated at the turn of events.
We should not let our thoughts be focused on the negatives, the issues, what got us to the unfavorable place and what bad decision we had taken. We should not give up but ACT and do something about it.
Failing itself is not the problem but the fear of it can hypnotize someone to a conscious state of paralysis. We need to move forward despite failing in life; is it a bad business decision that seemed right but has turned bad, is it a bad relationship choice, is it in the choice of a job or several others.
How then can we work on ourselves so that we eliminate Fear and Failure?
1. Review Your Situation: Think about what has brought you to this state and learn the lessons from the mistakes. What are pitfalls that are likely to happen, what you overlooked, warning signs that could have been picked up and proffer measures that can ameliorate them?
- Redefine Failure: Rick Warren states that failure is not failing to reach a goal but not having a goal; It is not failing to hit your target but not having a target; It is not falling down but refusing to get back up whenever we fall; It is not accomplishing anything but failing to attempt anything. We are never a failure until we give up on the issue.
- Stop Comparing You to Others: The grass is always greener at the other side. We do not know the complete journey of life of the people we are comparing ourselves with. We should not short change ourselves. There is always going to be someone who does something better than us, the same way we are always going to do something better than the other person, such is life.
We have all been created wonderfully by God. He has given us the unique thing that makes us different. Let us find the strength to believe in ourselves and not allow the fear of failure hold supreme in our hearts.
Action Plans: What failures have kept you from pursuing your goals and dreams?
Enjoy your week!
Business & Life Coach