Here are suggestions from Rocky Mountain News columnist Susan Valaskovic about how to conquer your fear of failure.

Most of my clients have at least one thing they'd like to do but are afraid to try. Last week I overheard a friend, a successful TV show host, encouraging an employee to try public speaking. Barbara, his employee, refused to speak up in groups. My friend encouraged her to change her definition of failure from not doing it right to not trying at all.He explained that he was born with a high-pitched voice, totally wrong for TV. But he set a clear goal. He joined the debating society in college and was the last person picked for any team. He was chosen when everyone else had laryngitis or was bored to tears.

But he saw those moments as opportunities. He also took all the public speaking courses he could and usually got lousy grades. That didn't stop him. People laughed at him and he knew it, but he kept on trying. His desire to succeed was stronger than his fear of failure.

Most people change a behavior only when the status quo becomes so painful they are forced to do something else. But successful people change because they see personal improvement as a way of life. The Japanese call this philosophy of continual improvement Zaizen.

Think what your life would be like if you adopted Zaizen as your mantra.

You'd look at being overweight not as a permanent condition but as an opportunity to create greater success. You'd see fears the same way. If a squeaky voice were holding you back, you'd work to change it.

Pick an area in your life you'd like to change and begin to make it happen. - Scripps Howard News Service.

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