Our fear of failing can be a catalyst for inaction. Writing in the Harvard Business Review Susan Peppercorn, author of Ditch Your Inner Critic at Work, offers these strategies for overcoming self-doubt and recrimination in order to move on:
Redefine failure: “By framing a situation you’re dreading differently before you attempt it, you may be able to avoid some stress and anxiety,” she counsels. If we define failure as anything short of perfection, we are undermining ourselves. This is how perfect becomes the enemy of good. So, consider what would be an acceptable if not perfect outcome.
Set approach goals (not avoidance goals): With approach goals, we are motivated by wanting to achieve a positive outcome; with avoidance goals we just want to avoid an adverse one. Says Peppercorn, “While developing an avoidance goal is a common response to a perceived failure, it’s important to keep in mind the costs of doing so. Research has shown that employees who take on an avoidance focus become twice as mentally fatigued as approach-focused colleagues.” (https://bit.ly/2DgEpym)
Focus on learning: Things don't always work out the way we hope, but if we accept that we extract the most value out of any experience, no matter the outcome, it is the learning that boosts us even when the outcome doesn’t. (Tweet it!)
Has a perceived failure at work ever made you reluctant to step into a similar situation or set new goals? How did you break out of your resistance? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to learn more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our online learning programs.