I have a dear, younger relative who seems to be suffering from a fear of failure. He is old enough that he needs to be making some decisions on his own, but seems to be hesitant. He doesn’t even want to move out of the house of his parents — and they are actually pretty ready for him to go. When I talk to his mom, or my mom, I keep hearing, he just needs to do it, or something similar, but no one seems to be working with him to figure out how. Well, I do think his parents are working with him to the extent that he is in counseling. But does that counseling actually get practical about how to face a fear of failure?
I actually do have an idea to offer. One of the things that paralyzes so many is that they are overwhelmed by the hugeness of their goals. If you can’t see past this big thing in your way, how can you know what to do next? So my solution comes directly from the whole idea of project planning and GTD. Don’t think about the ultimate goal as one big thing. Instead, sit down and break it down into many small steps. And then do just that One Next Action. Small successes can build into big successes, but you have to know what the next step is.
Once you know what your next action is, then just do it is an answer. But until then, it is useless advice.