I know that I have talked about fear of failure quite often here. However, I don’t think we can talk about this enough, first of all. And second of all, I want to give you a few signs today of how that fear of failure showing up in your life. Hopefully, these signs will resonate with you and create a conversation within you, as you are beautiful and unique.
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Six signs of how the fear of failure is holding you back
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the pointers podcast. My name is Susanne, and I am your host today. So I know that I have talked about fear of failure quite often. However, I don’t think we can talk about this enough, first of all. And second of all, I want to give you a few signs today of how is that fear of failure showing up in your life. And I just saw this post from Kim Perell, of which I was lucky enough and honored to have been part of one of her presentations during the mastermind, fallen in love with her tenacity and conviction. And she’s all about being authentic and showing up the way she wants to be. And I want to share this with you, which are the six signs of how the fear of failure is holding you back. And when I say you, I include myself here because this struggle with fear of failure has been so predominant in my life that it’s still something that I am not fighting against every day. Still, I’m choosing to overcome and use it as true strength and become a superpower.
Okay, so the first sign that fear is holding you back is that we, you, I hesitate to try new things. Now I don’t know if you can relate. But boy, am I a creature of habit. I love to eat the same thing. I love to do the same thing over and over and over again. So here, here’s what I have been doing. And I am challenging myself more and more and more to do is doing different things. Although I created a routine for myself, I challenged myself every day; okay, how can I step out of that routine so I don’t become comfortable. I challenge myself every day to say yes to trying new things. What is something I haven’t done yet, or I didn’t do yesterday, or something out of the norm that I usually do? This is how we push ourselves outside of that comfort zone. This is how we’re teaching our ego that regardless if we’re doing something new or not, we are safe, and we’re not going to die. And that is the whole concept! Fear is so predominant in our life and why it can hold us back from stepping into our higher self and holding us back from success because it is here to keep us alive. But since we’re not being chased by tigers and mammoths anymore, we have enough food and shelter and warmth and know how to look after ourselves for the most part. These innate responses in our body do not apply anymore, but they’re in us. Our DNA is still hardcoded for that. So us trying new things gets us out of this kind of wireframe that we’re in. I don’t know if any of you have ever seen the movie Croods. We’re in my house where huge Pixar, Disney, whatever else is out there, animated movie fans. And when you listen to the Croods, it’s like never, ever NOT be afraid. We don’t try new things. This is precisely what we’ve been through in our evolution. That we’re putting ourselves into situations, trying new things, picking a different menu from another restaurant. Trying a new drink or ice cream, whatever floats your boat. Put that at the forefront of your mind. When you find yourself in fear of failure, and you’re hiding. Start with trying new things that make you a little uncomfortable. Yeah, that’s number one. We’re hesitating to try new things.
Number two, settling for less than we deserve. Oh, gosh, that one hit hard for me because I feel like I have been settling my entire career as a Ballet dancer. And even in the corporate setting, I had been settling for less than I deserve in roles, relationships, money, and payment opportunities. I settled for what I could and thought I could get versa going after, and I am exploring what I deserve? Like, what do I want? When we are afraid of failure, we don’t even ask ourselves that question. Because that is so outside of the comfort zone of familiarity, it is so much safer to settle for what’s right in front of us. We think we can get by asking ourselves, hey, what do I think I’m capable of? What can I do today to raise the bar? How can I show up differently, so don’t settle in any part of your life, not in a relationship; you deserve to be loved. It’s not something you need to earn. It’s something that’s your birthright. So stop settling. And I’m talking right now straight at you, the dancer that maybe is so grateful that landed a job. Finally, after 18 months of sobriety, what are you sacrificing for? Are you being paid a livable wage so that you can eat or look after yourself?
Stop settling for what you think what other people tell you. They believe you should be agreeing to and go for what you know you deserve.
Number three, insisting that you’re not afraid. And I’m not only saying being in denial and trying to push it down and not openly talking about it. But even when you’re confronted with being scared that you’re still deflecting that, that is when we insist that we’re not afraid. Meaning that we don’t want to be; we think that when we open up and say that we’re scared, people look at us as less than or seen as weak, un-capable, and unreliable. I mean, imagine you’re, you’re just about to go on stage or do this big presentation, and somebody asks you, Hey, I think you’re afraid, are you? Are you okay? Are you afraid? And you would say yes. How naked and how exposed would you feel? What would come up for you? I’m going to tell you what came up for me the first time I was asked. Hey, I think you’re afraid I actually could hardly breathe. My body has a powerful reaction to that. And I immediately turned to that person and got angry; it pointed out the obvious because it triggered me so much. That I could not, I wasn’t capable of saying it myself. I insisted that I was not scared of something, that being confronted with the truth without any warning triggered everything in me. So when you find yourself in a situation where somebody points out the obvious that you have been in denial. And you find yourself in a powerful emotional reaction, that is your sign, to go deeper, to ask the question, like what is that doing to me when we’re insisting that we’re not afraid? What kind of a story are we telling ourselves? What is it that we believe that fear is, does it makes us weak? No, we all have fear; we all are afraid. I mean, we wouldn’t be even growing if we wouldn’t be frightened. So noodle on that. That’s number three, insisting that you aren’t afraid.
Number four, falling apart under pressure. Now, that may show up differently because we all have a different level of what we can work through. But what I have to say here is that falling apart under pressure is related to when we are in such a situation that puts us so far out of the comfort zone that it puts immense pressure on us and our nervous system. And our emotional state. And there will be a point where your body where your nervous system wants to protect you because its job is to keep you alive no matter what. So, therefore, it will save you from yourself. Meaning that if you are afraid of failure, if that’s something in your subconscious that has been put in there and is driving you every day, actions, for example, you will fall apart under pressure and slight pressure. So even feedback sometimes can be something that will trigger you that your entire body, soul, and heart cannot handle. So falling apart under pressure, is I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m not putting a label on it sometimes. Where did I not take care of myself the right way, where have I not asked the right questions to release what needed to be removed? So I want you to think about that when you find yourself in a fragile state where you feel vulnerable, or you’re afraid of stepping into the studio, or if somebody gives you a correction and you are falling apart. You’re scared to fail.
Number five, judging other people, let’s be honest, don’t we all at times? I’m going to be raw and vulnerable here. I have probably been one of the most judgmental people out there. My entire career and even in the corporate environment, If only I leaned into what I was doing. When I started my journey and self-development, judging other people was actually what held me back in my career as a professional dancer of really becoming my very best version of myself. And you may ask yourself, why is that? Well, let me tell you why. What we focus on expands when I focus on other people and what they’re doing wrong and how they’re doing it, why they’re doing it and me thinking that I have the right to say yes or no wrong or right to their actions feelings, and beliefs.
Then where am I putting my energy? Am I putting it into myself to make myself stronger? Or am I looking for validation that I am good enough outside of myself? The second one, right. Judging people is something that we fall back on when we don’t see our strength. When we are afraid of past patterns, past behaviors, past things that we experienced. And we, we just put that energy over to somebody else. So we don’t have to experience the pain. And, of course, a place to look at where we’re at and what we’re doing. I have to say that letting go of judging other people. It was not only a journey, but it was hard for me because I deflected all of my fear of holding that mirror up in front of me onto other people. I’d instead told everybody else what they did wrong than going inside and taking responsibility for myself. So when you are finding yourself talking a lot, or even a little about other people, ask yourself, why are you doing that? Where are you putting your energy? Is this going to serve you? Is this going to make you a better person? Or are you doing it so you don’t have to deal with your stuff?
Last but not least, but mainly something that I think most of us can relate to number six, it’s making excuses. Now an excuse coming from I don’t have time to make up a situation, so you don’t have to get out of your comfort zone. Let me give you an example. When you, let’s say, commit to showing up on a podcast, or you say you’re going to go to that class, or you say you’re going to do that Instagram life with somebody else. And about 10 minutes later, you regret that decision for whatever reason. Because your ego is coming in and saying, well, what if you say something wrong but what if you don’t have enough time, but what if you’re tired? Then you retreat and make excuses, so you want to put yourself into that situation. It was a massive journey for me, and I still am on that journey not to make excuses, not to negotiate with myself that if I feel that I may be regretting a decision later on something that I said yes to in the beginning because I wanted to serve somebody or help somebody. I know that I won’t be showing up in a way that is serving them later on. I can say yes. So when we’re making excuses, even that one you say, you can’t get up in the morning. Okay, you know that getting out of bed versus hitting your alarm ten times is a better start to your day. However you choosing to hit that snooze button ten times, you will find yourself making excuses to justify your behavior. So when you’re manipulating when you are sabotaging yourself from success, you are also showing that you are fearful of future success, or future blessings or whatever there is in the future. It is fear creeping in, holding you back, tying you down, and not letting you rise to what you’re capable of and what you perhaps also committed. I have been hands down one of the best excuse-making queens that ever walked the planet.
I will openly admit that even if it was in a studio, I made excuses why I couldn’t put my pointe shoes on or why I couldn’t perform the way I wanted to or why why, why you know, was late, for example. So when you’re making excuses, even when it is something as simple as showing up five minutes late, and you find yourself saying, Oh, my bus was late. And we’re blaming something else outside of us. We’re making excuses for our behaviors and our actions. And when we’re doing that, we’re not only afraid of failure, per se of success, but we’re also afraid of failing somebody else. We’re so scared of failing ourselves and who we are and what we are. So I genuinely hope that you found this helpful. It would mean the world to me if you could share this episode with somebody who needs to hear this. If you have somebody standing beside you or a friend you can think of that may be struggling, but one of these six symptoms of the fear that we are snipping and holding on to and fighting for every day to keep us safe, so we don’t have to experience what it could potentially mean to be even becoming better. Share this episode, share it with them.
Please tell me what you think. Please tag me on Instagram with your biggest takeaway. It would mean the world to me. I am sending you so much love, no more excuses. And I will talk to you next week.
That’s all I have for today.
I’m sending you so much ❤
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About Susanne Puerschel
Susanne, Founder of Pointe To Rise, an Empowerment society for dancers and other artists, Wellness Entrepreneur, podcast host, former international ballerina, and an experienced principal chief executive officer had the privilege to grow up behind the iron curtain in Berlin, Germany.
She’s dedicating her time now, after working in cooperate America and running her own businesses, to building community among dancers and artists, providing mindset and high-performance coaching, and building a media company that will be the springboard to revitalizing the Arts.