The growth mindset demands that you adopt a new attitude toward making mistakes. We have to welcome failure because it’s a key part of the learning process. In fact, you learn more from messing up than from doing things right.
However, this attitude is not second nature for most of us. Here are some ideas on how to overcome your fear of making mistakes so that you can grow and take action.
Who Says You Shouldn’t Make Mistakes?
What keeps many of us from getting over this fear of making mistakes is perceived pressure from outside. Maybe you yourself don’t think it’s such a big deal, but you worry that others will ridicule and judge you.
It could be pressure from outside that makes you unable to take risks. If so, it might help to realize that no one is judging you. In fact, those around you will more likely be impressed to see you taking risks, even if you don’t succeed.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
Many people find it helpful to think about the worst that could happen if they try something and fail. This helps to dispel the fear because you realize the worst-case scenario is not so bad after all. Will you wreck your board interview? How many applications will be rejected? Will they not accept my LinkedIn invitation?
Once you consider the worst that could happen, visualize the best that could happen. Often by comparing these too, we can see that the potential reward far outweighs the risk.
Shut Down Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is the voice inside your head that shoots you down before you even get started. When setting goals, we all want to be realistic. Your inner critic goes far beyond “realistic” and simply prevents you from taking action. When you’re about to take a risk or try something new, this voice stops you by focusing on mistakes you could make.
You can dispel your inner critic by identifying it and calling it out. Learn to recognize when you’re not being realistic but self-defeating on your corporate director journey. Once you know this is happening, you can remember that succeed or fail, you’ll learn something valuable, and ignore it.
Reframe with Positive Language
The language you use is very important in forming how you think about what you do. Learn to frame things using positive phrases rather than negative, and it will change your attitude as well.
For example, you just interviewed for a board position and the interview didn’t go to plan, reframe it to say, “I need to work more on selling how my achievements can add to the board.” You’re focused on how you can improve rather than how you failed.
Welcome Your Mistakes
It may be helpful to realize that you are definitely going to make mistakes and welcome them. This is an essential part of growing and you will learn from it. People who seem brave don’t have any more courage than the rest of us. They are afraid and take action anyway. You can too by making this a habit.
What one thing can you take action on this week?