7 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure

October 11, 2007

I only keep one quote taped to my monitor, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Who do you think said that?

If I told you he invented the light bulb, would that help?

It was Thomas Edison. I keep that quote ‘in my face’ at all times as a constant reminder that the easiest way to fail is to quit! That may not seem so profound. But if you think about it, that means failure is often caused by a lack of perseverance rather than the lack of progress. Mistakes are inevitable. It’s how we learn from and use our mistakes that ultimately guides us through to success!

John Wesley over at Pick the Brain wrote this great article about 7 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure. Here’s an excerpt:

Burn the boats - When ancient Greek armies traveled across the sea to do battle, the first thing they would do after landing was to burn the boats, leaving them stranded. With no way to make it home besides victory, the resolve of the soldiers was strengthened. When success and failure are the only options, you have no choice but to follow through.


If you have a goal, but are afraid to commit, force yourself into action by burning the boats. Register for an exam in advance if you want to go back to school. Set a deadline to move to a new city without signing a lease. Fear of failure disappears when you realize it can’t save you.

Want Lobes of Steel?

August 28, 2007

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A recent study suggests exercise can boost brain power

I just read this New York Times article about how exercise can boost brain power, and thought you might find it interesting. I know from my own experience, that when I’m in the regular routine of doing cardio-vascular exercise: I sleep better, have more energy, and seem more alert (at least that’s what my friends tell me).

My complete layman’s opinion is that:

More cardio = Stronger blood flow = More oxygen

Which I always figured was better than less oxygen :) Check out the article here or sign up for Nate’s Productivity Tips Here!

What it Takes to be Great

August 22, 2007

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I recently came across this extremely enlightening article that references some scientific research into the subject of “greatness.”

The lesson I gleamed from it, is that it’s just too easy to see “greatness” and think, “Well, that could never be me because (fill in the blank with whatever lame excuse happens to be convenient ). Sure there may be lots of reasons why one shouldn’t succeed (too: poor, uneducated, short, tall, ugly, handsome, unintelligent, etc.) but it’s not until one allows these “reasons” to become “excuses” that one fails.

Of course like all nature vs. nurture debates, there are valid points on both sides of the argument. But this article seems to be hinting that true success is exhibited by individuals who have learned to use whatever they’ve got to the absolute fullest. That’s the moral of this lesson - learn to do whatever it is you do, exceptionally well!

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Scientific experts are producing remarkably consistent findings across a wide array of fields. Understand that talent doesn’t mean intelligence, motivation or personality traits. It’s an innate ability to do some specific activity especially well. British-based researchers Michael J. Howe, Jane W. Davidson and John A. Sluboda conclude in an extensive study, “The evidence we have surveyed … does not support the [notion that] excelling is a consequence of possessing innate gifts.”

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8 Moves to Make When the Chips Are Down

August 17, 2007

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The Buddha was definitely on to something when he taught that to be human is to suffer/struggle. Anyone’s that’s been on this planet for any length of time can certainly attest to that!

But the real key to moving beyond “striving” to “thriving” , is learning what actions to take when things get though.

John Wesley, over at Pick The Brain, wrote this interesting article about actions to take when things just aren’t going your way, check it out.

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Habit List

August 2, 2007

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Download habit-list.pdf

A few weeks ago I came across this article about a clever way to track progress when trying to build new habits. The basic idea is to create and use a “Habit List”. I think it’s really interesting, and useful idea. I think it still makes sense to have a rotating task item or calendar entry to point you to using the list (as opposed to simply leaving it out as a reminder, but that’s a personal choice) Check it out here

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