18 Feb 2020

Overcoming Fear of Messing Up

Fear of messing up (FOMU) can strike at any time, no matter how experienced we are.  

Wanting to be better and do better is part of our human condition. But fear of failure can freeze us out of taking action. 

What challenges are your facing? It may be pursuing a new career, starting a new business, dealing with redundancy, an unsatisfactory relationship, moving to a new location or seeking a more flexible work arrangement.

If you wait until the conditions are perfect, you will be waiting an awfully long time. Sometimes being true to ourselves means letting go and starting over.

Take that leap into the unknown. Move out of your comfort zone and be open to new possibilities.

It will never be the ‘right time’ so begin it now.

Moving away from the safe and familiar to follow a bold new direction takes courage and commitment. Think back on some challenges you have overcome.    

Running low on air and sharing air with a divemaster in Rarotonga is one I will never forget, but also deeply rewarding as I trusted him.

Let go of the old stories holding you back so you can make way for new ways of being. What you keep telling yourself can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We can change the narrative at any time. It takes practice. Thoughts (like ‘I am less dynamic, not experienced enough, too young, too old’) will come and go. They are not who you are.

With awareness, we can make conscious choices instead of letting habitual thoughts and patterns rule us.

Be bolder. Take on situations that challenge you (a speaking engagement or a stretch physical challenge) and see how empowering it is to succeed.  

Dare to dream big. Big wins start with small achievements. Celebrate those small milestones along the way. 

Focus on how far you've come instead of how far you still have to go.

Surround yourself with inspiration. Who inspires you?

So many people inspire me - Jane Goodall, David Attenborough, Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Sir Edmund Hillary, JK Rowling, Richard Branson, special friends and more.  

Develop healthy relationships with social media. It’s easy to adopt an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Dip your toes in the water but avoid getting swept up in the current.

Avoid comparing yourself with others. Their reality may be quite different.  Follow your own unique path and be true to yourself.

Meet with real people for real conversations. Have a support team behind you for when the going gets rough.

Perceived failures and mistakes can be a precious gift, offering real insights that help us move forward.

Be kind to yourself when you are not at peak performance. Creativity and productivity ebb and flow, just like a river as seasons change. 

Enjoy the roller coaster ride!


Mary Somervell

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