Fear Of Failure

by Gila

My question is, after working as an academic secretary at a university in Israel I took early retirement at age 55. After 25 years I realized I could no longer sit in front of a computer all day. My hobby is also an exercise instructor, but this is unstable work – so after a few bad experiences I am afraid to go back working in administration. And my age is a factor – I am afraid of failing and either try too hard and don’t know what expectations people have of me.

How can I get my confidence back??

If someone believed in my abilities and encouraged me I could change careers. The most important thing for me is working with people I can trust, who are supportive, and friendly – money is the second issue, and doing something interesting working with people.

I enjoy your website very much.

Comments for Fear Of Failure

Fear Of Failure

by: Anonymous 

Firstly, can I say how much I admire your courage in leaving a job you were stuck in for so long. It can take a lot to face up to the reality that your job is doing you harm, AND to actually act on it too. There are many people who would love to share a bit of your bravery. Let me address some of the issues you raise:

Regaining your confidence
Nobody likes it when things go wrong, but what really matters is how you deal with it. It is important to look objectively at what happened and to assess where the responsibility lies for things not working out. It is easy to feel it is all down to you, but in reality there are many other factors which were outside your control. Don’t carry the blame for these things. Always take time to review what you can learn, rather than dwelling endlessly on what was wrong with the situation.

‘…someone believes in my abilities and encourages me…’
I agree that this is valuable and so find someone who can play that part for you. It may not be a family member or friend – sometimes they are too close. Think of someone who you know and respect and ask them if they would agree to be your mentor. You may agree to support them in return. You can read more about how this would work on the HTCC website. http://bit.ly/nAXUCj

But do not depend on others to validate your achievements. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to list anything you have done that you are pleased with – even if it is just chatting with a neighbour and asking after her family. Learn to assess your own strengths and be proud of what you know you have done well.

doing something interesting working with people
Wanting to do something interesting is common for career changers and it begs the question ‘what do you find interesting?’ Yes, your work is allowed to be interesting, so you should ask yourself what it is that really holds your attention. What activities do you get absorbed in so that time passes you by? You will find some more on interests on the HTCC website. http://bit.ly/u5yfCY

And you want to work with people – who in particular? What are the issues you are working with them on? What relationship do you want to have with them? A sales assistant and a counsellor both work with people, but in a very different way.

I am afraid of failing…’
That’s only natural. Being afraid of failure makes you very human so relax! Start by thinking about what outcome you are afraid of and then you can assess how likely that outcome really is. So often we are afraid of things that are pretty unlikely. Do you stay at home everyday because you might be involved in a car crash if you venture out? No – you keep that fear in perspective. Apply that same logic to other fears in your life.

There are many underlying limiting beliefs that may be holding you back and this is probably where you need to start. Take a look at what I have written about limiting beliefs elsewhere on this website. http://bit.ly/9xElnU

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Amy Thomas

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