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A Foolproof Formula for Eliminating Your Fear of Failure in the College Admission Process

Psychologists call it atychiphobia, but you may know it better as fear of failure. Whatever you call it, those misgivings can hold you back in high school and in choosing a college, as well as, in your career options and personal life. You may miss out on promising opportunities or unintentionally sabotage yourself to prove that your gloomy outlook is correct.

What stops you from living up to your potential and going after what you really want?

Try this foolproof formula that will help you to understand and overcome your self-doubts.

Learn from Experience:

  1. Welcome growth. Victories and setbacks both can make you stronger depending on how you respond to them. When things don’t turn out the way you planned, figure out what you need to do differently next time.

  2. Develop an alternative or contingency plan. You’ll feel more confident taking risks if you analyze the possible outcomes in advance. That way, you can be prepared to switch your approach if needed.

  3. Start off small. If you’re paralyzed by doubts, break your projects down into more manageable steps. Ease into writing that college admission essay that you have been dreading… brainstorm…outline…. rough copy… polish your essay 3x … final polished essay.

  4. Hold yourself accountable. Acknowledging your mistakes is the first step in being able to learn from them. Did you miss a deadline? Waited till it was too late to submit the application for that scholarship? Take responsibility for your actions and choices. Name and Claim it is the only way to move on.

  5. Identify factors within your control. You may not be able to do much about your past high school academic record, but you can change how you will proceed from this moment on.

  6. Think positive. Remind yourself of what you have to gain. Perhaps it is the Dream School that you would never apply to because you are afraid of not getting accepted. Give yourself credit for stepping out beyond your comfort zone.

  7. Change your self-talk. Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. Are you reinforcing your doubts or are you giving yourself encouraging and affirmative messages? Choose words that inspire and reassure you.

  8. Reach out to others. Put yourself out there. Ask for Letter of Recommendation from people that you worked within the community, at school, at church, or at work. Let others know that you welcome feedback. Thank them for their help and time.

Other Tips:

  1. Explore root causes. It may help to know where your fear of failure came from so you can spot your triggers. Maybe you became reluctant to try new things after your parents or an elementary school teacher criticized you harshly. Maybe your latest project was not as successful as you had wanted. You had expected an A and got a D.

  2. Act promptly. Procrastination is one common symptom of fear of failure. If you put things off because you feel anxious, start writing out timelines that will help you buckle down and stay on track. effort to achieve them. Compete with yourself instead of trying to meet someone else’s goals. You are a Unique person. There is no one else like you!

  3. Visualize success. Picture your life attending your Dream College and pursing your Dream Career. The images you bring to mind may help you to clarify your priorities and understand where to place your efforts.

  4. Lighten up. Your mistakes may be a great source of entertainment if you can love and accept yourself as you are. Humor helps to put fears in perspective.

Enjoy more happiness and success by coming to terms with your fear of failure. When you commit yourself to learning from experience, you may still feel unsure of yourself sometimes. However, you will stop letting your doubts get in the way of pursuing your goals.

“Shoot for the moon, Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Keep Working Towards Your Goals,

Tom and Maria Geffers

Tom & Maria of Career and College Counselors can help you choose the Right Career, the Right Major, the Right College and Graduate in 4 years with the least amount of money out of pocket. We are “COUNSELORS AT YOUR KITCHEN TABLE.”

We can help your college application RISE TO THE TOP!


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