We recently shared a blog (here) about the duality of Needing Achievement and Avoiding Failure as two forms of motivation. The need for achievement is mostly the more constructive of the two, but we haven't forgotten about our fearful fellows!
Below are some ways of fighting the fear of failure, or the tendency to avoid potentially successful situations.
1. Learn what you can control.
If you're mid grapple, about to compete, or just rolling with that guy/girl that always seems to have your number, the only things worth your time and energy should be what you an directly control.
Factors out of your control are not going to change in congruence with your increased anxiety and worry, so effort there is misguided.
White can't change the size of Blue, so why try?
This mental effort could be much better used elsewhere.
2. You're not special.
And that's great! How liberating is it knowing that not every little thing you do or don't get right doesn't really matter to anyone remotely as much as it means to you?
You might be special in a number of ways, but the mat is the great equaliser and if you're not teaching seminars or competing around the world it's okay to not live up to misguided expectations you set for yourself.
3. Understand failure.
Recognise that there's always another roll. Show me someone who has the willingness to try and try again after so called failure and I'll show you someone motivated by the need for achievement.
Some things in sports psychology can be convoluted and flowery for the sake of being so, but if there's one thing I know about failure, it is that you only fail when you stop showing up.
- Jake Anderson