Are you looking for ways to overcome the fear of failure that’s stopping you from living your best life?
Do you constantly find yourself unable to take on important projects because you are afraid of failing?
How many times have you given up on your goals and aspirations because you doubt your ability to achieve them?
No one likes to fail either in business or life generally.
That’s probably one of the reasons why the fear of failure exists in the first place.
However, it’s how you react to this feeling(fear of failure) that makes a difference in your life.
If you allow your fear of failure to overcome you by stopping you from taking action, then achieving success would be quite difficult for you.
On the other hand, if you learn to overcome your fear of failure by using failure as a learning opportunity, then you can enjoy success in every area of life.
In this blog post, you’ll discover;
- Things to know about fear
- some of the causes of fear
- how the fear of failure affects you
- how to overcome the fear of failure.
Read on so you can discover how to live above the fear of failure that’s stopping you from living up to your fullest potential.
How To Overcome The Fear Of Failure
Before we move on to discuss how to overcome the fear of failure, let’s try to understand some things about fear generally and the fear of failure.
Things To Know About Fear
The first thing you need to know about fear is that fear is a very powerful emotion.
Hence, the reason it greatly impacts our lives.
Another important thing you need to know about fear is that there are two sides to fear.
There’s the good and the bad fear.
Fear is that emotion that is triggered by a feeling of threat, danger, pain, or unpleasant circumstances.
Based on this definition, it can be said that the fear that makes you stay away from things that can cause harm or threaten your life/health is a good type of fear.
So, what makes the bad fear?
Any fear such as the fear of failure, fear of taking risks, fear of stepping out of your comfort zone among others falls under this category.
This is because this kind of fear stops you from taking action that moves you forward to achieve success.
Hence, the need for you to overcome this kind of fear of failure if you want to achieve success in any area of life.
Reasons Why People Are Afraid OF Failing
These are some of the underlying reasons why most people experience fear of failure and are unable to overcome it.
1. The Consequences Of Failing
Most times people are afraid of failing not because they fear failure but because they are afraid of the results/consequences of failing.
They are afraid of the shame, reproach, and rejection that accompanies failing.
They are afraid of what people would say or how people would react to them if they failed.
Hence, they refuse to take action on certain things to avoid the consequences of failing.
2. Childhood Background
This is another reason why most people experience fear of failure and find it difficult to overcome it.
Having a childhood background with unsupportive parents, family members and teachers can lead to fear of failure.
For example, children with parents, family members, or teachers who criticized them for every mistake they made, would grow up with the fear of making mistakes.
This fear of making mistakes is what translates to the fear of failure that affects their lives even in adulthood.
3. Past Traumatic/ Unpleasant Experiences
Another reason why most people struggle with the fear of failure and the inability to overcome it is because of their past experiences.
Most people go through life hanging on to past experiences where they failed.
It could be an experience where they let someone’s trust in them down or where they failed at achieving a particular goal.
As a result of these past experiences, they no longer feel confident in their abilities and fear that if they take on more projects they’ll mess it all up.
Thus making them develop the fear of failure.
4. The Perfectionist Syndrome
Most people are scared of failing because they are heavy perfectionists.
They are so obsessed with getting things right that they prefer not to try at all instead of trying and failing.
Perfectionists prefer to remain in their comfort zone where they feel they know how to handle things than step into unfamiliar waters and risks failing.
Thus leading to the fear of failure.
Overall, there are other reasons why people fear failure, such as personal, psychological, socio-economic reasons among others.
Whatever the reasons might be, the good thing is you can learn to rise above those reasons, overcome your fears and make something good out of your life.
How Fear Of Failure Affects You
Here’s a highlight of how the fear of failure affects you and stops you from living your best life.
- The fear of failure stops you from taking action; it makes you remain in your comfort zone.
- It stops you from making plans and working on your goals.
- The fear of failure makes you develop self-sabotaging habits such as procrastination, complaining, indecisiveness among others.
- It ruins your self-confidence.
- The fear of failure makes you pessimistic (having a negative mindset)
- It makes you miss out on opportunities for growth and success.
- The fear of failure dampens your creative and innovative abilities.
- Overall, the fear of failure makes you a low achiever because you’ll never live up to your full potential if you allow the fear of failure to rule your life.
Hence, the need for you to learn how to overcome your fear of failure.
5 Ways You Can Learn How To Overcome The Fear Of Failure
As said earlier on no one likes to fail but the bitter truth is that you can’t always win.
As we go through life, we are bound to encounter challenging situations where we’ll fail.
The important thing is how you react to these situations would determine if you succeed or not.
Most successful people you know and admire today have encountered failure in one way or the other.
Instead of seeing himself as a failure and let that feeling continue to hunt him for the rest of his life, he turned it around for good.
He turned it into a motivating force to do better.
In Buffet’s words “it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.”
So, here’s how like Buffet, you can learn to overcome your fear of failure, get over ugly experiences, and work towards achieving success.
1Identify The Source(s) Of Fear And Deal With It
The first step you would want to take to overcome your fear of failure is to identify where the fear is coming from.
Like we examined before, many reasons could be responsible for the fear of failure you’re struggling with.
So, what you’ll want to do is to identify what these reasons are.
To do this, you’ll need to do some deep soul searching.
Ask yourself why are you afraid of failing and be sincere about honestly answering this question.
If you’re able to find enough reasons why you fear failure, then you’ll get to the root cause of the fear of failure you’re struggling with.
Thus helping you know the next course of action to take to overcome your fear of failure.
2Set Smarter Goals
Another tip on how to overcome the fear of failure is; smart goal setting.
Smart goal setting involves setting goals that are realistic and achievable.
One of the reasons why people develop the fear of failure is as a result of too many experiences of failing at something.
They’ve failed so many times at achieving a particular goal that they become skeptical about achieving other goals.
More so, this skepticism results in fear of failure and their unwillingness to try harder to achieve success.
Most times people try hard but fail to achieve their goals because their goals are unrealistic and impossible to achieve.
In other words, they don’t set S.M.A.R.T goals.
Not setting smart goals would only make you fail at achieving your goals and make you lose confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Thus, making you develop the fear of failure.
So to overcome the fear of failure you need to set S.M.A.R.T goals.
This means that your goals should be;
- S– Specific (clearly defined)
- M– Measurable (you should be able to tell whether you’ve achieved your goals or not).
- A– Achievable/Attainable (your goals should not be impossible to achieve)
- R– Realistic (The chances of achieving your goals should be high after considering important factors)
- T– Time-Bound ( There should be a time-frame/deadline for the goals you want to achieve)
By learning to set smarter goals, you’ll enhance your chances of achieving success.
Thereby, helping you build self-confidence and overcoming your fear of failure.
3Develop A Positive Perspective To Failure
Another way you can learn to overcome your fear of failure is to develop a positive mindset.
This means having a mindset that sees failure as a learning curve instead of a definition of your capabilities.
Furthermore, a positive mindset is one that lets you counter negative thoughts and the negative words people tell you with more positive thoughts.
As earlier said, people fail, even successful people.
However, what makes a difference in how things turn out for you is how you react to the failure.
Successful people with a positive mindset don’t give up on their dreams just because they failed.
Famous inventor, Thomas Edison was kicked out of school because he failed so many times and his teachers concluded that he was unteachable.
He even tried at inventing the light bulb 10,000 times.
However, that didn’t stop him from believing in himself, learning from his past failures, and working hard till he achieved his goal.
Hence, to overcome your fear of failure, you need to develop a positive mindset.
How do you do this?
- You need to see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- Stop negative thoughts and negative self-talk.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive words.
- Practice gratitude.
When people tell you can never achieve success because you’ve failed at one point or the other in your life, with a positive mindset;
Change the “No you can’t” into a “Yes I can”.
Thus helping you develop a positive mindset that helps you overcome your fear of failure.
4Analyze The Situations, Determine The Risks Involved And The Potential Outcomes
This is another unique strategy that can help you overcome your fear of failure.
Either in business or life generally, uncertainty/fear of the unknown can stop you from taking action at all.
To get over this feeling of uncertainty that’s causing fear of failure, analyze the situation or decision you’re about to make.
This means that you’ll need to analyze and visualize how your life would be if you decide to take action or not take action at all.
Weigh the risks and short and long term consequences of not taking action as a result of your fear of the unknown.
Visualize the best and worst-case scenarios.
Having a mental picture of how bad or good your life could turn out to be as a result of the decision you make would help you get unstuck.
Thus helping you overcome your fear of failure.
5Make Contingency Plans And Face Your Fears
The truth about life is that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Understanding this fact would help you go through life making contingency plans for when you lose.
So, instead of not taking action because you fear failure, prepare yourself to face your fears by having contingency plans.
A contingency plan is more like a plan B that you have if things don’t turn out the way you expected.
More so, it is a risk and outcome management plan.
You’ll feel more confident to take action if you know that you already have a plan for the next step to take should things turn sideways.
What if your worst fears do become realities?
What can you do to prevent this?
In the event that the fear does come to pass, how can you manage this?
Is there anything you can do to lessen the impact?
So, instead of letting your fear of failure ruin your chances of achieving success by stopping you from taking action.
Make your plans and prepare to face your fears.
This will help you overcome your fear of failure.
Some Quotes About Failure To Further Inspire You To Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”. – Michael Jordan
“Failure is a success if we learn from it”. – Malcolm Forbes
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” – Eloise Ristad
“You have to be able to accept failure to get better”. – Lebron James
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”. – Elbert Hubbard.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”. – Winston Churchill
Final Thoughts On How To Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
Overall, failing can be a painful experience.
This is why most people struggle with the fear of failure.
Hence, they decide not to take action on their goals and aspirations to avoid the hurt, shame, and reproach that comes with failing.
However, here’s something that can change your mindset and your whole life around.
Don’t see failure as failing; see failure as feedback.
By so doing, you’ll be able to improve yourself and your abilities.
This kind of mindset would make you comfortable with trying out new things and stepping out of your comfort zone which are the vital keys to success in any area of life.
Hence, instead of being afraid of failing; be afraid of how your fear of failure can affect your life negatively.
Be afraid of all the great opportunities you’ll miss out on if you let your fear of failure keep you stuck in your comfort zone.
More so, be afraid of how you’ll live a life of not fully utilizing your potential if you let your fear of failure stop you from taking action.
Food for thought: In many years from now, would you look at your life and be happy with all the things you refused to do as a result of your fear of failure?
If yes, then good for you; but if no then you need to take action now.
Use these tips to overcome your fear of failure that’s stopping you from achieving success either in business or life generally.
In what ways has the fear of failure affected your life?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.