Failure is our friend
The fear of failure is one of the most common reasons most of us don't get anywhere we want to be in life or do the things we want to do. We are comfortable in our routines, although we would rather change it, and we fear that we will fall flat on our faces.
Failure should not be feared. Failure is our friend. We need failure in order to succeed.
One of the most famous and over-used quotes to demonstrate this is from Michael Jordan. He said "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
This failure is what gives you the valuable, real-life experience. It is a tool that helps you learn from the mistakes you've made. I've experienced this first-hand. The drain pipe for my washing machine was not allowing the water to properly drain. Water was all over the floor numerous times. First, I tried to elongate the overflow pipe. that didn't work. I tried to raise the pipe higher so it would take the water longer to get to the actual drain. This actually prevented the water from pumpng out of the washing machine. I tried a few different things, and most of them ended up with water going everywhere. I finally came up with a solution that involves a large plastic water storage barrel that is big enough to hold the amount of water that pumps out of the washing machine and slowly lets it flow into the drain pipe without flooding the entire washroom. I "failed" a good 10 times, but I never gave up. Each of those failures made me realize that I needed to change my direction, and it helped me come up with a new idea that I hadn't thought of the time before. It carved a path for me. It was a rocky path, I bounced off the walls and received some "scrapes and bruises" but I eventually came out exactly where I wanted to be.
There's also another overused quote that says Edison failed after X number of attempts at an invention, but when questioned, he said that he didn't fail. Not even once. He just found that many ways that didn't work. He learned from his mistakes and he moved on.
Realizing that the failure that you fear is not as bad as it seems like it is going to be is a key step in overcoming the fear. You expect the worst, and when it happens, you get frustrated, but it doesn't kill you. You might experience a little bit of shame, but for the most part, nothing happens. If you want to ask someone out on a date, but they say no, that's all. They might try to embarrass you, but they are more thank likely not going to harm you or actually ruin your life. They are just going to say no, you'll feel a little embarrassed, but you'll get over it and move on. You might even learn why that didn't work, so next time you'll be closer to trying something that will work. If you don't get the job you've been wanting, that's all that will happen. You'll move on to the next one and keep applying for others until you get one. So relax, it's not so bad to fail.
Failure is how you grow. Bodybuilders will lift weights until their muscles can't lift anymore. This failure stimulates the muscles to grow so that they are able to lift more weight next time. The same can be applied to almost every failure you'll ever experience. Learn to grow from it.
Many of us are afaid to give 100% because we feel that if we give it our all and fail, there is nothing more we can do to succeed. This makes us feel like complete and total failures. But, since we only tried 90-95%, we have an excuse and a way out of feeling like a complete failure. The problem with this is that if you don't give 100%, you will likely fail in one way or another. You'll also learn a lot less from that failure if you don't give it your all. Remember that just because you gave 100% one time and failed, doesn't mean that you can't give 100% each and every time, again and again.
Don't let the fear of failure cripple you. Make it your B****. Dominate it and use it to your benefit. Get out there and live your life to its full potential. Get some experience. Get some bumps and bruises. Never give up.