Fear of failure is one of those things that can leave you feeling paralyzed. It can be the one thing that stops you from going after what you want in life.
There are times when you’re so afraid of failure that you decide not to try at all. Having stronger self-esteem and more confidence can help you overcome that fear. Take control of your self-esteem and confidence, and you can take control of that fear; you can take control of your life.
Building up your self-esteem and confidence doesn’t necessarily meant that that fear will disappear forever.
Most likely, it will not; it will always be there, hidden somewhere deep.
Having that confidence and believing in yourself though, can help you feel that fear and go after your dreams, anyway. It can help you will find the strength to beat that fear, to break through the wall. The strength to say: “I might fail, and that’s okay because if I do, I’ll try again.”
This can be as simple as changing a few of your habits, but “simple” doesn’t always mean easy.
Not if your struggle with your self-esteem and confidence is a life-long battle. Building your self-esteem and confidence is sort of like building a muscle: you have to be willing put it the work and show up, every day. If you happen to “mess up” one day, you make up for it by putting in the work the next day. You have to work for it.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR SELF-ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE
GUARD YOUR SPEECH
If talking down to yourself is something you’ve been doing for years, it will not change overnight. If it’s been a life-long habit you might not even notice how badly you treat yourself. Be mindful of your self-talk and pay attention to those internal monologues. Until you recognize and acknowledge those patterns, you might not even realize that they exist- simply because you’re so used to them. If the “I can’ts” and “I’m not good enoughs” have always been there, making noise, it can be difficult to recognize their existence.
If that’s something you have been telling yourself for a while, maybe it’s time to tell a different story?
Remember that what you think becomes your reality- your beliefs control your actions. If you spend your entire life telling yourself that you’re “not good enough” you eventually believe it and you will allow that belief to stop you from pursuing your dreams and goals. Your mind, it turns, can be a very convincing liar- you shouldn’t believe everything it tells you.
Finding something you’re truly passionate about can be life-changing in terms of your self-esteem and confidence. It requires you to get to know yourself better; you become more self-aware and you learn to embrace failure. When pursuing your passion, you learn how to become “good” at something and the only way to do that is by having to fail at times. You get to see that failure isn’t as scary as it seems; you get to learn that making mistakes is a normal, human thing to do. Sometimes, it’s the only way to learn.
Doing things you love, learning new things will help you overcome your limiting beliefs. For me, creating this blog is what helped me find passion and confidence- it’s a lot more than just a “hobby.” It’s something that helped me change my life; I previously talked about in this post. There is so much confidence that comes with learning new things, with doing things just for yourself. Notice the good things about yourself, like your ability to learn new, interesting skills. As you find passion and pursue it, you begin replacing that negative self-image with self-confidence. The skills and knowledge you acquire when pursuing a passion will help you feel empowered. You don’t ever have to stop growing, you don’t ever have to stop learning.
YOUR SELF-IMAGE AND SELF-ESTEEM
I’ve always felt that a lot of the issues I’ve had with my confidence and self-esteem were connected to my struggle with acne. It’s always been the first thing people noticed about me and if you read any of my acne-related posts, then you know that people are not shy when it comes to commenting on other people’s appearance, regardless of the setting or circumstance.
Having such bad skin, I’ve always felt like in order to compensate for that I had to be absolutely perfect otherwise. Still, whenever I was set to meet some of my husband’s (then boyfriend’s) friends or family for the first time, whenever I started a new class in school or pretty much every time I had to leave the house, all I could think about was my skin. I could never have fun or just let go and enjoy myself, because deep inside all I wanted to do was hide. No one could really get to know me, because I’ve always kept quiet to keep the attention away from myself. Please don’t look at me, please don’t pay me any attention, I’d think to myself.
Things like our physical appearance shouldn’t affect how we feel about ourselves or how confident we are- the reality is though, they sometimes do. If that’s the case, there are two options: you can work on changing things you don’t like, or you can accept them as part of you and love yourself for the amazing person that you are. Once you stop obsessing about the things you don’t like, you get to be present, to have fun, to see that stuff like that shouldn’t have the power of stopping you from living your life and doing the things you’ve always wanted to do.
SET UP SMALL GOALS + CHALLENGES
Once you put yourself out there and do more things that intimidate you, you begin to see that despite feeling uncomfortable, putting yourself out there isn’t as terrifying as it sometimes seems. Set up small goals and challenges for yourself, which will help you build confidence. If there is a something small that you find intimidating, challenge yourself to overcome it. Take small steps.
Remember: small goals facilitate progress. Setting big, ambitious goals is great, but focusing on accomplishing those smaller tasks, will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or disappointed when experiencing a setback. Break down your “big” goals into smaller ones and take baby steps. This will help you build up confidence gradually.
TAKE THAT COMPLIMENT
Don’t respond with denial or self-insult when someone gives you a compliment- don’t divert the attention away from yourself. Learn to embrace it. When someone tells you that you’ve done a good job, chances are they really mean it and want to acknowledge your effort and hard work. The minute you say “ahh, it wasn’t that great, really” (whether you’re talking about a work project or a dinner party you hosted) not only do you downplay your role, but you also somewhat insult the person who decided to pay you a kind compliment.
Us girls, especially, often tend to deflect compliments with a negative response about the very thing someone is complimenting us about. Most of the time we do so without giving it much thought. So please, take that damn compliment. Learn to finally accept someone’s kind words and compliments, and you will also build up your confidence and begin to acknowledge your own potential.
You can’t let things like lack of confidence or self-esteem stop you from putting yourself out in the world and having fun; from accomplishing those goals and bringing your dreams to life, making them a reality.
Don’t be afraid of looking silly or embarrassing yourself. Don’t be afraid of failure. Remember that you do not need anyone’s approval or acceptance- live your life for yourself. The more you put yourself in situations that are a bit (or a lot) out of your comfort zone, where you know you will not have complete control, the braver and more confident you’ll start to feel.