Overcoming Procrastination Due to Fear of Failure

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Procrastination due to fear of failure can hold you back from accomplishing many things.  From small tasks to big dreams, don’t let lack of self-confidence stop you anymore.  Learn how to work on procrastination with these tips to build self-confidence. 

How to Fight Fear of Failure

We often use words like procrastinator or lazy to explain why we haven’t completed a certain task yet.  We just attribute the fact that we’ve been putting it off to us not having any motivation.  While that may be the case sometimes, other times we’re using those as excuses for the real reason: we lack confidence.

If you have found yourself procrastinating too much and wonder how you can be more productive,  giving yourself a boost of confidence might be the answer.

How Confidence Affects Your Work

For me, baking is the perfect example to explain how confidence affects our work.  Many people hate baking; they think it’s too complicated and they believe they aren’t good at it.

I love baking, but I’ve been baking for years.  In this time I’ve built up the skills necessary to become a confident baker.  I don’t have a lot of doubts when baking something – even something new – because I’ve successfully made a variety of different desserts in the past.  Even if something goes wrong, I’m not worried.  I know it will be edible at least, and if not, I’ll just fix my mistakes and try again.

But for other people who have convinced themselves that they cannot bake, they already have their perceived failure in mind before even cracking an egg!

They will second guess themselves at every turn and wonder if they should just quit in the middle of the recipe because “it’s not going to come out good anyway”.

They know they don’t have the skills necessary to bake it perfectly, and they would rather cut their losses than have their efforts result in failure.

Imagine how much differently the situation could go if they remained positive.  They would know that a failure in baking doesn’t make them a failure as a person. They would also know that any mistakes are learning opportunities to help build up the skill necessary to avoid those mistakes.

The key, is that they were confident enough in themselves to fail.

Work with Success in Mind and Don’t be Afraid to Fail

People who lack confidence may see failure as the inevitable, worst case scenario. Fear of failing can keep them from trying new things, or improving skills that they already have.

The reality is that you can’t improve in something, and you can’t build confidence, unless you’re willing to be terrible at it.

It took me many failures as a baker to get to where I am now.  These failures were a necessary confidence building step.

That’s why thinking positively is such an important step. By thinking positively about the outcome, you can simulate feeling confident in your skills.

If you imagine your future success in your mind and visualize it clearly as the end result, your confidence and work ethic will change.  You will begin to be excited to get work again instead of dreading it and feeling guilty for putting it off for so long.

What You Can Do to be More Self-Confident

Separate failure from self-worth

Remind yourself that failing at your task doesn’t make you a failure as a person. You’re still a great person even if you happen to be bad at a few things.

Remind yourself that failure is a learning experience

If you can’t learn from your failures and mistakes, you’ll never grow. No one likes to experience failure, but being afraid of it is a sure way to remain stagnant. You can gain more from your failures and mistakes by seeing them as a learning experience, rather than a disaster.

Don’t make your mistake a catastrophe

The fact is, a mistake isn’t the end of all things. Some mistakes are worse than others, but the world will keep turning regardless. Keep an accurate perspective of your mistakes. Don’t let them become the worst thing that has ever happened to you, just by virtue of you feeling awful about it.

If you keep making a catastrophe out of every mistake, you’ll be so afraid to make them, that you’ll never try anything new.

Be willing to see the big picture

If you’re trying to pick up a new skill, don’t focus on how you’re doing in the short term. Look at your overall growth. To stay with the baking example: after a few cakes you might still not like the way they taste, but at least they’re no longer the dry, over-baked mess you made the first time.

By tracking your progress and looking towards your future success, you can keep yourself from getting stuck on each individual failure. You’ll be more confident moving forward, because you’ll know you’re getting better and better, and that one day, you will master it.

Stay positive

Successful people have an important quality: perseverance. If you’re feeling like a failure from the outset, how can you expect yourself to succeed? To keep at something, you need to believe that you can achieve your goal.

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How to Work on Procrastination by Allowing Yourself to be Confident

If you’ve been procrastinating on a project for some time, and can’t seem to get to work on it, ask yourself if the real reason is because you’re convinced it will be a failure. Maybe you’ve lost confidence in your work and in yourself, and it’s difficult to remain positive, or maybe you view failure and mistakes with an unhealthy amount of negativity.

Whatever the case, the solution is the same. Build up your confidence. Give yourself credit for the things you have already succeeded at, and the growth you’ve made. Change your perspective on failure and mistakes so that you can learn from them rather than dread them.

By changing your mindset, you can increase your productivity. You won’t procrastinate or avoid your work, because you feel confident in yourself and your ability to succeed.


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