Mind Over Mind
Our minds are a complex combination of thoughts, habits and fears. When our fears lead us away from real danger, they are beneficial. But when a fear of failure causes us to avoid decisions and run away from the success we deserve, it can be more hazardous to our careers than the mistakes we are trying to avoid.
Many of us dwell on our failures rather than acknowledge our successes and accomplishments. What we do not recognize often enough is that mistakes are inevitable, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. The thing we can change is how we react to them. We can choose to move forward instead of being held back.
A good way to understand how your fears may be holding you back is to assess how you perceive other people and make decisions. Do you reach out to colleagues and feel you are on equal footing, or do you mistrust them and feel they are either superior or inferior? Do you make decisions with an open and adventurous mind, or are your actions dictated by fear of failure and past misgivings? Once you are aware of how you make decisions, you can choose to venture out and take some more calculated risks.
Keep in mind that most failures do not come from not reaching a goal, but rather from not having a goal to reach. So first of all, set a goal! Then determine the steps needed to reach it, and manage your daily activities to focus on those tasks.
The bigger your goal, the more likely you are to feel like you are not making progress toward it. Don’t worry if your goal seems unreachable or too distant to be motivating. Tackle one task at a time. Every big success is a collection of small successes.
When pursuing your big goals, surround yourself with a support team of people with a “can do” attitude. Make a conscious effort to be a “glass is half full” person and distance yourself from self-defeating thoughts that make you feel insecure.
If you are like me, you were brought up not to be boastful, yet there is a clear difference between bragging and acknowledgement. But how can we expect other people to compliment us for our good deeds when we can’t even pat ourselves on our own shoulder?
Don't be afraid to fail or make mistakes. You will, no matter how hard you try to avoid it! But when mistakes happen, don’t dwell on what you could have / would have / should have done. Just admit it, find the learning opportunity, remember your successes, and move on.