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A Sample Chapter of Stop Playing Safe by Margie Warrell

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Fear of failure

Fear of failure (and losing face) is one of the most fundamental fears we face in life. It keeps us in our comfort zone, where it’s a pretty sure bet we won’t mess up or fall short.Adapting to change requires being willing to let go of your hold on guaranteed success and trying something you may never have done before. It means stepping out of your comfort zone and into the possibility that you may not have what it takes, that you may make a mistake, or worse, that you may fall flat on your face in front of the people you most want to impress.As Seth Godin wrote in his book Tribes, often fear of failure isn’t actually a fear of failure at all, but rather a fear of criticism or looking foolish and losing face in front of those whose approval and admiration we value.That is, we’re more afraid of being judged for our failure than of the failure itself.

Allowing what other people may think, or say — or what you think they may think or say—to run your life is a powerless way to live. In other words, letting your fear of criticism keep you from proactively making changes that you believe would be in your best interest is essentially handing over the reins for running your life to other people.

Fear of success

The concept of being afraid of success will seem like an anathema to some people, and odd to most. I recall the first time I read about ‘fear of success’: I thought it was a typo. I mean, who could be afraid of succeeding? However, over the years I’ve realised that fear of success isn’t really that we’re afraid of success, but that we’re afraid of how that success will impact our life.

We have assumptions (often wrong) about what successful people are like.We fear that we may become like them: materialistic, workaholic, egotistical, shallow and lonely. We fear our ability to maintain the routines we enjoy. We fear the pressures and expectations of success.That people will want something different, or more from us than what we’re able to deliver.That we won’t be able to live up to their expectations.That we’ll be uncovered as

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