Posts tagged: Fear of failure

Why are we afraid of change? How fear of loss holds us back


August 22, 2016

This is part two in our series exploring our fear of change.

Why is it so hard to give up what we have in exchange for something that seems better? It turns out, there’s a lot of research into how people make decisions in the economic arena that can help us understand why it can be difficult to change course, even when we say we want
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Being scared is brave


August 1, 2016
Lauree Ostrofsky

In high school, I was afraid to walk across the cafeteria to throw out my trash. All of those unforgiving teenage eyes watching and judging. I had mastered being anonymous just about anywhere, and then the tumor happened. Even after hair had grown over the scar and I learned to hide my hearing loss and shaky balance, people still saw me for something I’d rather they’d forget, and I felt them seeing me.

And now I was going to stand up in front of all of them to talk about “How My Brain Tumor Will Change Your
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Embarrassment sucks — how to deal


February 24, 2016
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Stuck moment: Oh no, oh no, oh no. I can’t believe my sister thought it was okay to repeat that joke I made about my brother and his fiancée before they started dating. Right in front of her! WHY? We just sat down to eat. How am I supposed to look her in the eye now?

Embarrassment sucks. It really, really does. Everything about it: the blushing, the flushing, the dumb realization that there’s no way to play it cool. It seems like everyone’s staring at you, judging you, and the moment will be burned into their memories forever.

But it’s probably not as bad as you think.

Getting embarrassed is normal human stuff. It happens because we’re self-conscious. We have an idea of how to look good or do things right, and we feel like we’ve fallen short, by way of some mishap or misfortune that catches us off guard.

Something you say
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How to take the fear out of feedback


November 7, 2014
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Eh, feedback. Like death and taxes, other people’s opinions of what we do are a fact of life. Whether on the job or in the thick of wedding planning, people who care for us will sometimes offer hard-to-hear truths about our behavior. And that can trigger a flood of fear and negative emotion that blots out the positive opportunities that the feedback offers. Consider that:

Feedback is a chance to gather perspective other than your own on how you’re doing.

Feedback is a chance to course-correct before it’s too late.

Feedback is a chance to plan to succeed.

It’s not something you want to miss out on, but many of us usually do in one of three
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The perils of perfectionism — and what to do about it


September 18, 2014
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Stuck moment: I’ve painted myself into a corner again! I missed the deadline, kept asking for extensions — which means that there’s zero wiggle room for mistakes. The pressure’s really on now but, if I can’t hit it out of the park, why bother? 

* * *

For the perfectionists of the world, there’s an urge to wear the trait as a badge of honor. We accept no errors, brook no excuses, turn up our noses at anything less than first place — and surely, we believe, this makes us the ideal kind of person to get things done.

And yet, our perfectionist ways all too often become the sword we fall on rather than the flag we proudly hoist. Our unwavering standards of flawlessness (for others and ourselves) can come at a steep cost, taking a toll on our relationships, peace of mind, and our ability to finish what we’ve started — or,
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Unstuck is about going for it in spite of our fears


July 29, 2014
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When something really matters to us, often we’re afraid we’ll mess it up. But what if we don’t know it matters — we just know we’re afraid? Afraid to say hello to him. Afraid to travel abroad. Afraid to sing at the karaoke bar. We probably think we’ll fail. And we don’t want to fail because it matters. And if it matters, then it’s worth
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What do you do when the system stops working?


April 11, 2014
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Stuck moment: You love when things run smoothly — some say you’re a master at it — and right now it’s the opposite of that. As far as you can tell, nothing has changed. Still, you’ve started over…several times. Checked and rechecked. Even referred to the manual. Why. Won’t. This. Work! 

Such is the frustration of Perplexed Planners. So full of determination to make it work that they can only see what is, not what could be. And that’s a major handicap when it comes to solving a problem. 

We’ve all been there from time to time, but not always in the same way. There are at least three shades of Perplexed Planners. To find out your tendency, take our mini-quiz below. We’ll follow up next week with tips for each type of Planner.

MINI-QUIZ:Think of a time when a tactic that’s always served you well stopped working. It might be how you
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We asked, kids answered: What does it mean to fail?


October 24, 2013

Imagine failure without fear — or just a little fear. When we’re kids, we’re learning all the time. It’s our job, really, to figure out how to do things. It’s no big deal if we don’t get it right the first time. We keep trying.

But when the teenage years hit, we get self-conscious, afraid to look unsure or uncool. And that’s when we stop trying as much, become more careful. By the time we’re full-fledged adults, the word “new” can sound as scary as “defeat,” so we play it safe and stick to what we know. There’s too much at stake.

Life gets limited.

Unless…we go back to our former fearless selves. Shake off the excessive worry. Get comfortable with being a beginner. 

Listen to the youngsters in this video — and to the one you used to be.

Next week: Three sentences that saved my lifeLast week: Why and how to have
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How I learned to always have a Plan B


October 21, 2013
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When it comes to resilience, Corynne Corbett has displayed more than most throughout her career in the mixed-up world of magazine publishing. Rather than merely survive, she thrived in an industry under assault — while at the same time devising her exit plans. Here, Corynne tells her story of ups and downs, and shares insights that led to creating and acting on her own Plan B.

During the last decade in my career as an editor in the world of women’s magazines, I lost my job on three different occasions. The first time came abruptly when the company filed for Chapter 11. The next time my position was eliminated. Most recently, I was part of a staff reduction. Working in print publishing is a gamble these days because the industry and its revenue models have undergone some seismic shifts — and, truthfully, each time I had a feeling that something wasn’t
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5 steps to make failure your friend


October 11, 2013
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Failure is not what gets us stuck.

We get stuck when we allow ourselves to believe that failure diminishes us as people, that successful human beings don’t fail. We get stuck when we listen to that inner critic who says, you’re not good enough if we miss the right answer or a desired goal.

But everybody fails. The secret is that the most successful people aren’t afraid of failing because they don’t waste their mistakes. When they mess up like the rest of us, they become failure detectives, taking care to analyze what didn’t go right and to learn from it.

Abraham Lincoln failed in business twice, lost eight elections, and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became the 16th American president.  Walt Disney went bankrupt with his first animation studio, lost money on three of his first five feature films, and, at his lowest point, didn’t make his rent. Similarly, Stephen King’s
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