We all feel pressure to succeed in school, at work, or in our social circles at times, but sometimes that fear makes us put off or avoid a task that has the potential for an unsuccessful outcome.
As a student, the fear of failure can come from many different sources:
A fear of failure could stop you from trying new things, create self doubt in your abilities, stall your goal progress—or make you feel like your only option is to cheat using course-sharing or homework help sites.
Use one of these tips the next time you're feeling afraid of failing:
Visualization is a practice of imagining what you want to achieve in the future and helps direct your subconscious to focus on that end goal. You might picture yourself completing a difficult project before the due date, or you might picture yourself having a hard conversation with someone where you both walk away feeling better about an issue. The key here is to find a way to focus on your goal so that you can plan out the deliberate steps needed to get to that final point.
(You'll find a PDF copy of this Vision Board template at the bottom of this webpage!)
Redefining failure is closely related to developing a growth mindset, where failures or setbacks are seen as learning opportunities. This is a daily practice that you build up over time, but it can allow you to become more flexible and resilient when things don't work out as planned.
Next time you're unsure how to start on a project and you're worried about failing, try to break down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks. Watch this video to find out how:
If you’re having difficulties managing stress, adjusting to college, or feeling sad and hopeless, please reach out to the Counselling Services team on Sheridan Central.
Sessions are free and confidential.