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How will body language help my fear of failure?

Women, in general, are risk averse - as pointed out by Amy Cuddy. How would body language help us take more risks and pursue our dreams.

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  • Oct 14 2012: Fear of failure I think is really fear of not being adequate. If you realize that your value is intrinsic, due to being a precious creation of God, then you realize you can never be inadequate.

    Using this body language technique can help you get in touch with your intrinsic preciousness. For example, if you sit and stand in positions or movements associated with being completely adequate and "enough", your brain and outlook will follow.

    Also, consider re-framing situations or outcomes you now consider to be failing or failures. See them instead as learning opportunities. We will all experience undesired outcomes, they are just unavoidable. So when they happen, evaluate the causes leading or contributing to the outcome and seek to devise corrective action plans to minimize their recurrence. Becoming good at something has a lot to do with learning how to not be bad at that something.

    The phenomenon of Fear in and of itself is very destructive. It can be seen as an ever present parasitic force ravenously seeking something to feed on. In reality, the things we fear are not actually threats to our well being, it is the fear itself that is destructive. Other than what we create in our imaginations, there is no real link between what we fear and the fear. This is proven by the fact the we out grow fears, like fear of the dark. Once we see there is not real link between what we fear and the fear itself, the imaginary power behind the fear is invalidated and the fear goes into remission. Working through this thought process when the next fear trigger occurs can make the fear go away very quickly.

    I hope this is helpful. Best wishes!
  • Oct 6 2012: My fear of failure was resolved by seeing that my fear came from having already failed in the past. This embedded an automatic emotional fear response in me at the mere prospect of failing in future. I hated the idea of feeling diminished. Though by subordinating myself to this fear I was again failing. Indeed I, as an identity, was being dominated by these, my own emotions. I then had an epiphany, I realised I was both master and slave.

    So I decided that I needed to find a situation in which I was likely to fail in to unhook myself from this ailment. I had to hold my breath and go into the fear just for the sake of it. The situation I chose was to apologise to a good friend following a mutual falling out. I gathered all my courage and contacted my friend and bowed my head in apology for seeing him as the 'selfish one' instead of myself. Yes, like Amy, I felt a little fraudulent in using this situation to overcome my fear. I explained to my friend that I was trying to make myself a better man. He forgave me. Our friendship was immediately restored. Once this was past, my fear of failure, of being diminished, turned around. I have not seen 'failure' the same way since. That was seven years ago.

    So now I see that to win the fight over enduring problems, sometimes we must choose to first go down, in order to go up.
  • Oct 22 2012: thisis fascinating , about how mind effected , such as when you go to the gymeveryday it s gives more testesteron and powerful posture too , same thing is nt it ? in office who s looking mor epoerful who goes to gym ! ..
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    Oct 6 2012: Body language will help you take more risks and pursue you dreams in a very simple way, "You are what you pretend to be." Assuming the 'pose' or 'poise' of fearlessness, power and success changes how you think. Surprisingly the human brain and mind influence each other as if they were separate and observing each other. When one takes on the 'poise' the other follows. It is the strangest revelation that this century's research is proving. Things the human race has been doing all along, but now we have observed and researched data. You really are what you think. How you behave is really what you think. So strike the pose, pretend to be what you want to be, and in the future you will be surprised that you are what you pretended to be. The caveat of course is to choose wisely.
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    Oct 6 2012: It will not. In meetings and especially during interviews if I read only body language very few peiople would be employed. I stand with my hands on my hips (typical Air Force), my minister sits with his arms crossed and legs crossed, signals can be misleading. Please do not feel as though the ultimate solution rests in body language. When I talk to someone I try to put them at ease, look into their eyes, and give feedback that says I am interested in what you have to say. After a few minutes we get past all the BS and begin to communicate.

    You have no bio so I cannot give any specifics .... In many countries women are at a distinct disadvantage, however, I am of the opinion that the cream will rise to the top. I try to hire the best qualified not on racial quotas, union demands, sex balances, etc ... those things tick me off.

    If all it took was body language ... hookers would rule the world.

    Have faith in who you are and your talents.

    All the best. Bob.
    • Oct 6 2012: Qualitized the conversation. It is not the whole that makes this conversation, it is the parts that are Experientially learned that bring about confidence. Faith with no action is stagnant. Correct awareness, attitude, effort brings about understanding. To the learn the actions that bring about the right results will always overcome faith in false beliefs
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    Oct 6 2012: It won't. What will is to focus on what you want to accomplish.

    If you just can't get over this I suggest something that I used to use with my workers. They often would be too worried about ruining material and as a consequence would ruin material.

    The idea is DON'T THINK ABOUT FAILING THE TEST. So what is your attention on? That's right failing the test and of course you will get what ever your attention is on, right?

    So here is the drill: Whatever you are worried about I want you to mock up or create a situation that resembles what you are worried about and purposely FAIL MISERABLY at it over and over until you don't have your attention on that anymore.

    You will know when you have done this because when you are done with this drill you will not have fear but instead have your attention on sucess. Don't think about this just DO IT.

    Let us know how you are doing.
  • Nov 2 2012: self confidence can erase the fear.
  • Nov 2 2012: body language is a hidden treasure of our character. it will communicate our inherent culture and habits involuntarily to others.
  • Oct 22 2012: fear i snot , it s much more about thinging and controling situation of enviromental effects , how you behave is relate you and env. as Dr. Lewin says .
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    Oct 19 2012: Quinn, if you are succeeding in improving people's writing, you are not a failure. You are making a valuable contribution to those people.
    If anyone loves you and if you treat others with love, you are not a failure.
    If you cannot follow instructions, can you get some help with that?
  • Oct 19 2012: Yes, it WILL help your fear of failure; I found the responses here saying "It will not" to have missed the point of the talk. This practice is NOT about influencing other people, though that may be a good side affect. It is about influencing your own system.

    if you adopt her recommendation, then whether or not you consciously inhabit your body shape (the people in her study typically did not, I bet), you will benefit from the results. Unnoticed by you, your brain will become more tolerant of risks, more present, and more calm. All of these things will put you in a better place during the actual situations that inspire your fear. For some people, this alone may be enough to experience the improvements you seek; for others, some other strategies will have to be added.

    Yes, there may still be some actual failure, and the changes may take a while for you to notice. The advice here is good on how you can manage and overcome your fears. The point of this exercise is to give you a head start, when you go into difficult situations, by preparing your body and mind to maximize the chance of a good outcome.

    Good luck, I'm betting you'll be successful, based simply on your having asked the question!

    John
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    Oct 19 2012: It will not. Fear of failure is born of thoughts that makes us feel powerless and helpless against our circumstances. We can overcome these by changing our thoughts and accepting empowering thoughts.
    If we really care to look around there are numerous references of people in circumstances similar to ours or even worse, who have succeeded against the odds.
    The pursuit of a dream takes courage; and the choice to be courageous is an individual choice.
  • Oct 19 2012: We get what we concentrate on. Quite often we concentrate on what we don't want when all we need to do is take that thought and turn it into "what is it I want". The more you talk about the fear of failure the more you will convince yourself that is what or who you are. Start to assess what you do well and take those feelings (and posture) forward into other areas of your life. See everything as a learning opportunity and a practice run and there can be no such thing as failure.
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      Oct 19 2012: Steven, I think you have an excellent point. I would only like to add that there are some other threads underway that touch on how those with a vested interest in our behaviors may talk us into feelings of inadequacy or weakness. It is important to repel those strategies.
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    Oct 19 2012: I fail at most things all the time (sketchy professional employment, inability to follow instruction etc). Maybe it's not the fear of failure but the fear of success. What would I do if people actually listened to what I have to say, what if I earned a real decent living wage (I'm an adjunct writing instructor), what if I really could pay down my credit card. That world is so alien to me. Failure is all I've known. People close to me have called me a failure, my high school called me a failure. I've never known success, and thus I fear it. I fear a great many others occupy this same space.
  • Oct 16 2012: Thank you everyone for your insight and feedback.
  • Oct 6 2012: To be able to "fake" it one has to really put your mind into your body language. Models, royal people, successful politicians like Obama have the brilliant "power" expressions, talk, pose , walk and style. All of them have "controlled" body movements, so much so that the mind administers the trained "royal" wave, the celebrities who pose on the red carpet as they walk, the handshake, smile and so on.

    The problem here is that, when the mind is preoccupied with "Faking it" it might affect the efficacy of conversation. Amy rightfully pointed out to get those two minutes in the restroom and do your power pose and "FEEL" that way to not keep consciously faking it.

    Culture and upbringing influences our body language a lot. For example, in India, one must not sit with our legs crossed in front of elders. In some cultures, men don't like to be bossed around by women, especially the older men. I believe power dressing, being physically fit and having quality work influences the reputation and makes it better.

    During one of my internships, my boss was a mother of two and a senior manager. She dressed well but her work, punctuality, social life spoke more about her. Ppl knew her coz she was a snr manager. Another lady from another department would often come down to meet some of my colleagues. I had no connection with her department so had little idea of what business she had but she seemed like someone in a high position in the office. She seemed too young to be a manager and I soon learned she was a recent graduate and working there for abt a year. But the way she dressed, walked and merely smiled without really speaking at everyone, made her seem like someone very important.

    For women it is also important to maintain some distance from your colleagues . Especially subordinates. It may work for men to be a passive,paternal leader but for women, to be more respected it is important to seem like a powerful woman
    • Oct 6 2012: It's all in the details. How the body language is interpreted is the predefined quality. The difference is between personality and knowledge. One can use the knowledge of body language to fake the appearance or to communicate a function that you may not be fully comfortable with in the context of personality. All your contexts are based on social standards which may not point to the true cause and effect of existence. To exist is to experience oneself without the slug that society places on you and correctly function within yourself. Experiencing yourself and apply cause and effect modality to achieve the dreams and desires you have for your life.
  • Oct 6 2012: Social ideology confuses the connection between mind and body. External observations undermine the ability for people to place themselves in there own experience.Prototypes for self actualization is what body talk is used for not just social criticism or shallow forms of awareness. Fake it until you make it is the beginnings of Protypes that lead to self-awareness of what works for themselves. There is also natural fibre communication that a person can use to allow the energys of the body to flow. Live the experience in the moment like you are already there. Correct awareness, attitude, effort, understanding can all be programmed into the body muscle memory, through focus and education
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    Oct 6 2012: Students learn better who lean in toward the desk, toward their peers with whom they are engaing about content, and toward the blackboard or screen. If you are in a classroom and afraid of the content, you may tend without realizing it to lean back.
    Try instead sitting up and lean forward.
    Whatever your task is that frightens you, try leaning forward into it. It just might help you forget your inclination to run away.
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    Oct 6 2012: Fear of failure comes mainly from the brain. While changing your body language in this way will not completely solve your fear of failure, it is a starting point for you to change your thoughts and perceptions.

    I think Amy's talk is interesting because it shows simple ways in which can change your brain chemistry. As she said, fake it till' you make it. Think positive, and be aware of your body language. While you're not going to always be standing doing these poses, it's about realizing how you are feeling mentally, and how you are displaying it physically. Think positively, and display it positively! The more confident you become in yourself, the more you'll be willing to take risks, and pursue your dreams.

    That's my 2 cents.
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    Oct 5 2012: Do exactly what Amy says,push it down to the pit of your stomach and breathe it out,fake it,never let anyone see you as "Oh she's a (whatever race)" "One of them" that sets off a system of ritual behaviors that they have become accustomed to as well as you from being born and raised in the system unwittingly follows.