One word that I encourage many of my clients to look at eliminating is the word “try”. They tell me that they are trying to make a business work, they try to exercise regularly, they try to eat clean. What I explore with them, and with you here, is dropping the need to protect yourself from failure.
I believe people use the word ‘try’ as a protective mechanism. If they go after a big goal and don’t succeed, they can feel better about their effort even when they don’t go ALL IN because they were just trying. They fear failure, so they fail a little ahead of time to soften the blow. They spend so much time thinking it won’t work and often call that in. My hunch is that the fear of failure is overwhelming to many of us, and we fail a little bit ahead of time by “trying”.
Instead, what if you put everything on the line and went ALL IN and 100% with your dreams and your goals? What if you only used declarative language and told everyone important to you that you were going for it?
For many of us, we were raised to avoid failure. Our parents punished us when we got a bad grade on a test or we got embarrassed when we didn’t succeed at a sporting event. Kids in school made fun of us when we lagged behind, and as a result, some of us carry a little trauma of disappointing someone well into adulthood.
What I have come to appreciate is that failure is part of the journey to excellence. When you go beyond what is easy for you to achieve, then you risk that failure. When we fall down and fail, it gives us an opportunity to get feedback so we can evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and what do we want to do differently in the future. If we’re smart about it, we’ll try again with a slight tweak and examine again. The byproduct of all of this effort and evaluation is that it gets us closer to our goals. We gain massive strength and knowledge that we wouldn’t have had access to unless we went for it.
I see many leaders with such great intentions who are giving too much of themselves to the people they lead, almost to a breaking point. They often give way past what feels good to them, and it is at this point they start to feel bitter and exhausted. Instead, I encourage anyone who is in a leadership position to start leading themselves with emotional intelligence.
Fear is the anticipation of pain.
We literally believe that pain is coming so we take it easy and just “try” to relieve some of that fear. What I want you to realize is that even if you fail, you will be okay. You may experience some negative emotion, and maybe even some financial pain along the way, but you will be okay. You will have so much great insight than if you hadn’t gone for it.
If you want to live your most extraordinary life, you are going to have to increase your pain and failure tolerance. Do this by going ALL IN on your dreams and goals. Use those declarative statements and eliminate “trying” from your vocabulary. Spend more time thinking and believing it will work vs. fearing that it won’t. If you fail, evaluate and try again. Most people don’t fail, they quit and thereby guaranteeing that they won’t get the outcome they deeply desire.
Leaders don’t try, they just do it. So can you!
Mind Your Strength,
If you struggle with a fear of failure and can’t seem to launch something that is important to you, I invite you to join me in the Life Lounge for a combination of intensive coaching and goal setting that will help you break through mental blocks and achieve your most cherished goals!
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.