Embracing Fear of Failure through Incremental Curiosity

Michael Zaldúa

Hatched by Michael Zaldúa

Jul 02, 2024

3 min read


Embracing Fear of Failure through Incremental Curiosity

Fear of failure can often hold us back from pursuing our goals and dreams. Whether it's public speaking, starting a blog, launching a product, or any other endeavor, the fear of failure can be paralyzing. However, by adopting an approach of deliberate experimentation, we can turn this fear into increments of curiosity and personal growth.

The first step in this approach is to identify the specific fear that is holding us back. Take a moment to write it down and acknowledge its existence. By acknowledging our fears, we can begin to address them head-on.

Once the fear is identified, the next step is to design a small experiment that allows us to explore this fear in a practical and actionable way. This experiment should be simple enough to complete in just a few hours and should push us slightly out of our comfort zone. For example, if the fear is public speaking, an experiment could be to apply to a few meetups and give a talk. If it's starting a blog, an experiment could be to write an article as a Google Doc and share it with a few friends.

The key to the experiment is to not overthink it or plan extensively. Just do it. Take action without getting caught up in perfectionism or analysis paralysis. By taking immediate action, we can bypass our fears and gain valuable insights.

After completing the experiment, take some time to reflect on what happened. Did any negative reactions occur? How did you feel during the process? What did you learn from the experience? Writing down these thoughts and emotions is a great way to practice metacognition and gain self-awareness.

Once you have reflected on the experiment, rinse and repeat. Keep defining incremental steps that push you slightly out of your comfort zone while avoiding overwhelming fear. The goal is to continue experimenting and learning, gradually building up confidence and resilience.

By embracing this approach of deliberate experimentation, we can transform our fear of failure into increments of curiosity. We begin to see failure not as a final outcome, but as an opportunity for growth and learning. Each small experiment becomes a stepping stone towards personal development.

Here are three actionable pieces of advice to incorporate into your journey of turning fear into curiosity:

  • 1. Embrace imperfection: Accept that you will make mistakes along the way. Embracing imperfection allows you to let go of the fear of failure and focus on the process of learning and growth.
  • 2. Surround yourself with support: Find a community or group of like-minded individuals who can provide encouragement and guidance. Having a support system can make the journey less daunting and provide valuable insights from others who have faced similar fears.
  • 3. Celebrate small wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Each step forward is a victory and deserves recognition. By celebrating small wins, you reinforce a positive mindset and build momentum towards overcoming your fears.

In conclusion, the fear of failure can be a powerful force that holds us back from reaching our full potential. However, by approaching this fear with deliberate experimentation and curiosity, we can transform it into an opportunity for growth and personal development. Remember to embrace imperfection, surround yourself with support, and celebrate small wins along the way. Embrace the unknown and let curiosity guide you towards a future filled with possibilities.

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