Often one of the greatest barriers to achieving the next level of success is fear of failure. 99% of the things you worry about will never happen. Only 1% of the things you worry about will truly set you back.
In order to move forward towards any goal, you have to be prepared to attempt things you have not done before. You must be able to differentiate the difference between a potential set-back failure and a failure that leads simply to lack of progress (for now). You have to learn to be satisfied with the progress you have made leading up to your current state without being content with your current state. Not every attempt at your next level of performance will be successful. You need to be okay with this. If you are not failing occasionally, you are not pushing yourself hard enough towards your goals.
With any goal worth accomplishing, the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Get uncomfortable. Here are some examples of next-level performance attempts that will not set you back, if they don’t move you forward.
1. A cold call to network with someone who could add value to your project.
- Fail = nothing to lose.
- Win = huge opportunity for constructive input to your project and goals.
2. An athletic attempt to set a new personal best (ie. Run your first marathon, set a personal record squat, high-jump a new height).
- Fail = you can still hit your previous best.
- Win = new personal record and amazing sense of accomplishment leading to setting new goals.
- Exception = injury: know your current best and evaluate reasonable markers to BEST YOURSELF
3. Apply for a job that you really want and is a big leap from where you are now.
- Fail = you still have your current employment situation.
- Win = you take on a new project, grow your skills and move forward in your career.
You get the point. You have to weigh the risk of failure and be rational with your fears. There is a big difference between being satisfied with your current state and being content with your current state. Being satisfied is a personal acknowledgement of how hard you’ve worked to accomplish your current markers and celebrating the work you’ve put in to get where you are. Being content is a statement that you’re accepting your current position without an expectation to improve.
DON’T BE CONTENT
Find satisfaction in your accomplishment and use it as fuel to face your fears. You’ve conquered many challenges and inventoried many successes to get where you are now. What’s the worst that can happen if you stare down your next performance marker and take on the challenge? REALLY?!