An unhealthy lifestyle throughout my late teens and early twenties took a toll on my physical, mental and emotional health. By the time I finished university, there were times I barely recognized myself; constantly tired, awful skin, severe PMS, headaches and random emotional outbursts. I felt like shit.
So one day I made the decision to change it all. I transformed my health by eating nutrient-dense foods and adopting lifestyle practices that focused on my wellbeing. This led me to enroll at Institute of Holistic Nutrition, so I could continue to learn about the impact of food on health. I didn’t apply to the program with an exact career goal in mind but knew this was the direction to go in. Nutrition was going to play a role in my everyday life, I just didn’t know how.
When I completed the program I still had no idea what to do. The uncertainty of my future made me anxious. Did I make the right career move? Did I have it in me to achieve my goals? What did I even want? Will this plan work? I feared if I poured my energy into an endeavor, risking myself emotionally and financially, I’d come out the other side weaker than when I went in. The active imagination acts up – what if I end up bruised, broken or bankrupt? I focused on obstacles and how my plans could be derailed.
So I sat motionless on the sidelines, watching other people work toward their goals and succeed. It sounds dramatic to me now, but at the time I was so afraid to make the wrong move. Sometimes I felt so overwhelmed, I’d crawl into bed in the middle of the day just to escape the feeling. Little did I realize at the time this was only exacerbating the problem. I continued dreaming of the creative ventures I wanted to pursue; obsessing over food photography and creating colorful plant-based recipes. I’d wake up at night with flavor combination ideas; the internal voice that told me to create never silenced.
Eventually, so much time passed I grew bored of sitting on the sidelines, watching other people crush their goals. My fear of ‘what will happen if I try’ morphed into ‘what will happen if I don’t try’? The desire to achieve my goals was suddenly greater than any fear I had.
Here are six strategies that helped me overcome my fear of failure:
1. Identify the root cause. Often times fear of failure stems from something much deeper. Once you identify the underlying problem, you can work towards eliminating the fear.
2. Shift your perspective. Redefine what failure and success mean to you. For me, success is living to my fullest potential – it’s going after what my heart wants, stepping up to the challenge and learning valuable lessons along the way.
3. Adopt a growth mindset. Believe you can improve with effort and focus on your goals with passion and perseverance.
4. Create a plan and set small, achievable goals that build confidence.
5. Halt negative thinking and embrace positive vibes only.
6. Live in the present. Focusing on the present moment mitigates worries about the future. Meditation helps me be more present in life, even 5-10 minutes positively impacts my day.
When we believe we are meant to accomplish a particular goal, then the fear of not accomplishing it should be greater than the fear of trying. Better we learn from our mistakes then regret not going after something we believed in because if we don’t try, we fail by default. We can always go back home, indulge in self-love, sleep well, eat a nourishing meal and hang out with a loved one before going back out for round two. Because the reality is, our dreams won’t work unless we do.