Face fears and imagine success

Fear of failure can prevent you from performing your best in many situations including combat, work, relationships, and daily life. Worry can take a bigger hold when you push it aside. For instance, while preparing to give a presentation and thinking, “I can’t be nervous,” you might actually feel more nervous!

As you face your fears, understand that fearing something will happen doesn’t mean that it will happen. Ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • Why do I think I can’t be nervous? If I’m nervous, I’ll give a horrible talk.
  • So if I’m nervous, I’m guaranteed to give a horrible talk? No, I’ve given good talks while nervous before.
  • If nervousness leads to giving an awful talk, what’s the worst thing about that? I’d be embarrassed and people would walk away without having learned important material.
  • What’s worse—embarrassment or people walking away without learning? I’d survive the embarrassment. People need to learn this stuff.
  • Is this their last opportunity to learn? No, I’d take more steps to make sure they got it, despite an initially awful talk.

Once you fully consider the failure scenarios, spend more time imagining a positive outcome and accomplishing smaller goals that lead to success.

Written by Tim Herzog and first published on January 19, 2016, by the Human Performance Resource Center.

2017-09-05T16:20:06+00:00 By |Career, Life, Performance|

About the Author:

Tim holds Masters degrees in both counseling/sport psychology and in clinical psychology, and a Doctorate in counseling psychology. He has worked with high performers at several universities (including the US Naval Academy), an elite sports camp (IMG Academies), and with US Army personnel (Center for Enhanced Performance at Fort Lewis). Tim gives workshops for sport psychology practitioners, coaches, and athletes for many organizations including the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, the Performing Arts Medicine Association, USA Gymnastics, and US Sailing.

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