While many of us blame the lack of achieving our real dreams on circumstance, the fact is most of us are simply afraid of failure. You are afraid of your proposal to the board falling apart under the weight of the real world.
And yet, while the fear of failure can be a major driving force, you may be more afraid of fear than you need to be. Though you may be afraid it will crush you, likely you’ll weather failure or embarrassment quite well.
Get Out of Your Head
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that fear related to what we imagine is always worse than what really happens. In a recent study conducted by Dutch researchers, subjects were put into pairs and told to take a series of tests. The higher they scored on the tests, the greater their collective reward.
The goal of the study was to determine how bad individual members of the pair would feel if they scored lower on the tests than their partner. Unsurprisingly, they were terrible at guessing how bad they would feel. Apparently, imagined failure feels way worse than the real thing.
Times of Regret
Interestingly, on the flip side of the coin, research reveals we are also pretty good at underestimating how much we will regret not doing something. While inaction offers an easy “out” in the moment, in the long run it takes a toll on morale.
The findings show that the more time has passed since an event of inaction, the more likely you are to focus on what you didn’t accomplish. It appears lost opportunities may spend more time in our memories.
Even so, as time goes on, the moment fades. No matter what you do, the key thing to remember is eventually, you’ll get over it.
So get out there, take risks, and make magic happen!