High achievers fear failure.
I know this because I am a high achiever.
The problem with being a high achiever is that we take failures personally. Once we've made a mistake or experienced failure, we feel like we're constantly scrutinized and judged for every action, making it feel like we're not good enough.
A couple of years ago, I started a job. It was an excellent opportunity. But the minute I stepped in, I felt like I was in over my head. I struggled to cope with the demands and felt like no matter how hard I tried, nothing worked, and one negative comment would spiral into self-doubt, anxiety and the feeling that I had failed tremendously in life.
I know it sounds dramatic, but this was what I felt.
What changed for me was when the stress started affecting my health. I knew I had to take a step back and change the way I approached the way I work. One of which was to reframe my thinking about failure.
These were five ways that I explored to help reframe my view of failure:
- Treat failure as feedback to do better.
- Stop associating one failure with everything else in life.
- Realize that you can control your actions and effort but not the outcome. Certain things are just out of your control.
- Like everything in life, failure is not permanent.
- Remember that failure doesn't equal self-worth.
I still struggle to overcome my fear of failure, but reframing my view of failure has helped me cope better with unfavourable outcomes.