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Overcoming Fear of Failure, Part 1 (Get Things Done! #17)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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Proverbs 12:24 says: "The hand of the diligent [the faithful worker] shall bear rule: but the slothful [lazy worker] shall be under tribute."

Our quote for today is from Napoleon Bonaparte. He said: "He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat."

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are beginning with Part 1 of a new series titled, "Overcoming Fear of Failure". 

Is there any one emotion that, more than any other, causes procrastination?

Yes. Fear in its various guises is at the bottom of much of our procrastination. It figures especially in our putting off really important things, as distinguished from simply bothersome chores like cutting the grass or washing the car.

What kinds of fear preclude action?

Fear of failure, fear of self-disclosure, fear of ridicule, fear of the unknown, fear of falling short of perfection, fear of confrontation, fear of pain, fear of risk, even fear of success, to name just a few.

And the most common of these is fear of failure. The realization that what you want to do may not work out, and that you will then have to admit to yourself and possibly to others that you didn't succeed. Many people are immobilized by such thoughts.

But that's understandable, isn't it? You can't blame people for being afraid to stick their necks out when there's a chance they may lose them.

True, but one's neck is seldom at stake, although we often act as if it were. Failure doesn't mean annihilation or disgrace or an end of opportunity. It usually means a temporary setback and nothing more. Thinking of it that way can preserve your morale, your optimism, your zest. In short, it can change your life.

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