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Overcoming Fear of Failure, Part 6 (Get Things Done! #22)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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Proverbs 6:10-11 says: "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."

Our quote for today is from George Edward Woodberry. He said: "Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are continuing with Part 6 of our series titled, “Overcoming Fear of Failure”.

In our last episode, we talked about using imaging -- mentally envisioning ourselves doing that which we need to do -- as a way to overcome the fear of failure and get things done. Today, we are going to talk about another way to overcome the fear of failure.

Instead of imagining yourself succeeding at the task, imagine everything going wrong, in the worst possible way. By exaggerating your fears you make them look ridiculous, and your sense of humor usually restores your perspective. Either that or you will realize that even the worst possible scenario isn't so terrible after all.

Bertrand Russell was an advocate of this ploy. He urged considering "seriously and deliberately" the worst that could happen in any frightening situation. Then, he said, "having looked this possible misfortune in the face, give yourself sound reasons for thinking that after all it would be no such very terrible disaster. Such reasons always exist, since at the worst nothing that happens to oneself has any cosmic importance. When you have looked for some time steadily at the worst possibility and have said to yourself with real conviction, 'Well, after all, that would not matter very much,' you will find that your worry diminishes to a quite extraordinary extent."

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