Fear is a very powerful emotion that can lead to high levels of paralysis and inaction in our personal and professional lives. When naysayers tell a person he or she cannot do something, fear of failing tends to be amplified and false barriers to success are erected. If you look at a group of talented individuals, many times the only difference in their ability to achieve success is how they manage and control their fear of failure. Unsuccessful people allow fear to “own” their action. They make decisions based on the emotion of fear rather than looking at the true risks of failure.
One way to avoid letting fear “own” you, is to separate your emotions from the facts of a particular situation. Ask yourself the question, “what would I do if I knew I could not fail?” Write down all of the things that could happen, positive and negative, if you made a particular decision or took a specific action. Then, without emotion, evaluate the downside risk if things did not go as planned. Although you may reach the same conclusion to not move forward, the key will be that the decision was made without the emotion of fear.