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Embracing Fear of Failure: Frank Lampard's Journey to Success

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

I am so driven personally that my biggest fear is myself.-Frank Lampard
Picture illustration of Frank Lampard and his illustrious career and his "Fear of Failure"
Picture of Frank Lampard: @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) London, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
 

Table of Contents

Understanding Fear of Failure: A Football Star's Perspective.


Understanding the Fear of Failure: A Dichotomy of Overthinking and Positivity.

Imposter Syndrome and Spotlight Effect: Facets of Fear of Failure.

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone: Overcoming Fear of Failure.

Addressing Fear of Failure: Dynamics of Bar Raisers, Maintainers, and Bar Lowers in Team Management.

Social Media: Amplifying Fear of Failure.

Conquering Fear of Failure: Key Lessons from Frank Lampard.

Embrace Fear, Foster Growth: Final Thoughts on Overcoming Fear of Failure.

 

Understanding Fear of Failure: A Football Star's Perspective

As a fervent football fan, I've long admired the dedication and tenacity of players, especially as they push through challenging matches and overcome their fears on the pitch. One player who particularly stands out is Frank Lampard, whose experiences and personal insight offer us a profound understanding of the 'Fear of Failure'.

Picture illustration of Frank Lampard and his illustrious career map
Picture of Frank's Illustrious Career: Александр Мысякин, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

This universally relevant concept not only applies to professional football but extends to the everyday battles we face in our personal and professional lives. In this article, we delve into Lampard's insights, aligning them with our goal of personal and professional growth, as part of our vision at


Understanding the Fear of Failure: A Dichotomy of Overthinking and Positivity

Overthinking things may be a cost, and I think maybe a positive too.-Frank Lampard
The fear of failure can result in overthinking and a relentless pursuit of perfection. 

In an intimate conversation on "The Diary of a CEO" podcast, Lampard opened up about the dual nature of the fear of failure - a stimulus that helped shape him as a player but also held the potential to backfire in his managerial role. The fear of failure can result in overthinking and a relentless pursuit of perfection. It creates a delicate balance - on one hand, it gives you humility, helps understand weaknesses, and promotes a drive to be the best version of yourself in controllable aspects like training and mentality.

Infographics of Overthinking Vs Positivity

For me, my journey resonates strongly with Lampard's experiences. As an over-thinker and perfectionist, I've seen how these traits have influenced my blog writing and content creation. They push me to work harder, research more, and give more than 100% of my efforts. Yet, they also instill an overwhelming 'Fear of Failure' that sometimes hampers my decision-making and productivity.

There have been instances when my fear of failure negatively impacted significant decisions in my professional life. For example, a few years back, I declined an enticing offer from a competitor due to overthinking and fear of failure. This experience brought home the debilitating side of this fear. On the other hand, my embrace of Lampard's philosophy of 'Simplification' - breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable goals - has helped me maintain a healthy balance and improve my productivity.


Imposter Syndrome and Spotlight Effect: Facets of Fear of Failure

When you come to, you have to be yourself, because you get found out.-Frank Lampard
Imposter syndrome - a psychological pattern where individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as a 'fraud'.

A critical part of overcoming the fear of failure is acknowledging and tackling imposter syndrome - a psychological pattern where individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as a 'fraud'. Lampard candidly discussed how this syndrome had its claws in him when he took up the managerial role at Derby FC. Trying to fill the shoes of his mentors and successful managers, Lampard realized he was molding himself into a persona that wasn't truly him. It is this recognition that helped him break free from the paralyzing grip of imposter syndrome.

Illustration of Imposters syndrome vs fear of failure

Spotlight Effect' – our tendency to overestimate how much others notice about us – can significantly fuel our fear of failure. 

In my own journey, I've wrestled with imposter syndrome. When I took on the role of my reporting manager, I started emulating him in hopes of replicating his success. But soon, I realized that each of us has unique strengths and weaknesses. Instead of impersonating someone else, it's more effective to harness my abilities. This shift in perspective has been incredibly liberating and has enhanced my performance.

Alongside imposter syndrome, the 'Spotlight Effect' – our tendency to overestimate how much others notice about us – can significantly fuel our fear of failure. Whether we interpret these observations as optimistic or pessimistic, it's important to ground our perspective in realism to overcome this effect.


Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone: Overcoming Fear of Failure

Jump, and the net will appear.-Frank Lampard
"Growth is beyond comfort zone"

One of the most pivotal insights shared by Lampard is the notion that "Growth is beyond comfort zone". This implies challenging ourselves, accepting risks, and stepping into uncharted territory. The decision to embrace the managerial role at Derby FC despite his fears represents Lampard's personal stride beyond his comfort zone.

Illustration of growth beyond comfort zone.

My personal anecdote aligns with Lampard's experience. A few years ago, I took a leap of faith, leaving an established career to move to a new city. This significant step outside of my comfort zone opened up opportunities I had never anticipated, reaffirming that growth indeed lies in challenging ourselves.


Addressing Fear of Failure: Dynamics of Bar Raisers, Maintainers, and Bar Lowers in Team Management

I love to coach younger players as they are like sponges. -Frank Lampard
i) Bar Raisers, who continually push the boundaries
ii) Maintainers, who maintain the status quo.
iii) Bar Lowers, who tend to pull the team down.

When assuming a leadership position, it is crucial to recognize the types of people in your team, as Lampard learned during his tenure as a manager. The Bar Raisers, who continually push the boundaries, the Maintainers, who maintain the status quo, and the Bar Lowers, who tend to pull the team down.

Infographics of Team Dynamics with Bar Raisers Vs Maintainers Vs Bar Lowers

In my experience, it's important to nurture Bar Raisers and Maintainers while minimizing the detrimental influence of Bar Lowers. One standout example is Mikel Arteta, manager of Arsenal FC. He managed to revitalize the performance of Granit Xhaka, a misunderstood yet talented player, and effectively dealt with a Bar Lower, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was then club captain. This strategic decision helped transform the team's dynamics.


Social Media: Amplifying Fear of Failure

Modern world of social media is very unforgiving-Frank Lampard

In this digital age, the fear of failure is further magnified by social media. The constant comparison and scrutiny can exacerbate feelings of insecurity and fear, leading us to shy away from potential growth opportunities.

illustration of  social media peril

However, as Lampard suggests, fear of failure can also be appeased with evolving times. It's essential to navigate social media and other digital platforms in a way that fosters growth, learning, and resilience.


Conquering Fear of Failure: Key Lessons from Frank Lampard

Graphic illustration of 7 Key take aways from the article on Frank's "Fear of Failure"
  1. Overthinking and perfectionism, often linked to a fear of failure, can both inhibit and motivate us.

  2. Simplifying complex tasks into manageable chunks can help overcome fear of failure.

  3. Imposter Syndrome can be a significant hurdle, but it can be overcome by staying true to oneself and not trying to be someone else.

  4. The Spotlight Effect may lead to an overestimation of the impact of our failures. In reality, our errors may not be as catastrophic as they appear in our minds.

  5. Growth often occurs outside our comfort zone. Taking on new challenges, even if they incite fear, can lead to personal and professional development.

  6. Effective team management is critical for success. Identifying the Bar Raisers, Maintainers, and Bar Lowers in your team can optimize performance and mitigate potential setbacks.

  7. Social media can exacerbate fear of failure. However, it can also be a tool for growth if used appropriately.

Embrace Fear, Foster Growth: Final Thoughts on Overcoming Fear of Failure

Simplification, authenticity, and effective team management are some of the strategies that can be employed to turn this fear into a motivator.
Picture illustrating the growth when we conquer our Fears.

Fear of failure, while a daunting concept, is an inherent part of our lives. From Frank Lampard's experiences on the football field to navigating the challenges in our everyday lives, we've learned that this fear can be both a hurdle and a catalyst for growth.

While we may not be able to completely eradicate this fear, we can certainly learn to manage it better. Simplification, authenticity, and effective team management are some of the strategies that can be employed to turn this fear into a motivator.

As we conclude this exploration into the concept of fear of failure, it's crucial to remember that everyone has their own journey and pace. Our fear should not hinder us but should spur us on to grow, learn, and become the best versions of ourselves.

Let's embrace our fear of failure, challenge our comfort zones, and unlock our true potential. After all, every stumble is a step towards success.

 

Reference List

  1. Bartlett, S. (n.d.). The Diary of a CEO Podcast. Retrieved from https://stevenbartlett.com/the-diary-of-a-ceo-podcast/

  2. SD Zen Zone

  3. Wikipedia Main Page

  4. Arsenal Official Website

  5. Derby FC Official Website

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