How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

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The experience of failure at a task, whatever it is, is hardly ever a pleasant one. Some people have had such traumatizing experiences with failure that they develop what is called a Fear of Failure. So much so that they would prefer not to even try at a task than risk an unsuccessful attempt. Sadly, for those people, life can become a boring, monotonous ride along the seashore, never experiencing the thrills of success. In our post today, we will argue that this fear of failure keeps many away from outstanding success. We will discuss what it is, how it limits people and how to overcome the fear of failure. By the end of this post, we hope you will be empowered to face and overcome your fear of failure.

It was Sir Winston Churchill, the great British Statesman that said:

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

We believe this to be as true today as it was during World War II. The fact that failure is not final and that it can be recovered from is crucial to know today. Most especially with the economic challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. So many businesses have failed or gone bankrupt as a result. However, regardless, we are here today to tell you that that failure is not final, and you can recover.

On that note, here are some related posts we’ve written that you might find equally inspiring:

  1. How to Deal With and Overcome Failure
  2. How to Start Over after Failure
  3. Five Keys to Learning from Failure
  4. How to Break Through Self Imposed Limits
  5. Five Tips on How to be a more Optimistic Person
  6. Top Twenty-One Oprah Winfrey Quotes to Inspire You
  7. Twenty-five Inspiring Quotes on Persistence to Keep you Going

Also, if you’re finding this post inspiring, we would like to encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list. Your free subscription allows us to send you inspiring posts like this via email. To subscribe, simply enter your name and email below:

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In the following section, we will briefly discuss what the fear of failure is. We will then go on to discuss how it limits people and how to overcome this fear.

What is the Fear of Failure?

The fear of failure is an extreme reluctance to attempt a new task because of doubt about its outcome. This fear is a learnt trait and is usually associated with the self-depreciating beliefs about one’s capabilities, true or not.

The main consequence of this fear is that it stops people from trying new things or taking calculated risks. Here are some additional signs of such fear:

  1. Frequent protracted procrastination on important tasks and assignments.
  2. Continuous fatigue or lack of energy
  3. Persistent worry that something will go wrong
  4. Feelings of hopelessness about the future
  5. Concerns about what others will think about you when you fail
How the Fear of Failure limits

The truth is that failure means different things to different people because of their beliefs, upbringings, and experiences. And while the natural inclination for some may be to persist after failure, for others it is avoidance. They will do everything they can to avoid future failure or outcomes that don’t have a guarantee of success.

However, at some point in life, everyone experiences failure. Like Winston Churchill said in our earlier quote though, how one chooses to deal with it is what’s important. And just to be clear, the right response is persistence and courage.

Here are some ways the fear of failure limits people:

  1. It makes one miss out on valuable experiences and important opportunities.
  2. The fear of failure results in a loss of creativity.
  3. It results in inaction and stagnancy because one keeps thinking about what will go wrong instead of taking steps forward.
  4. It results in an inability for one to take calculated risks.
  5. The fear of failure ultimately leads one to become resistant to change.

So how does one deal with and overcome the fear of failure? We will discuss that in the next section.

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure
  1. Figure out what is Responsible for your Fears: The first step to overcoming the fear of failure is understanding what is responsible for those fears. Take some time to think back and find out when the fear started. Did it start after you experienced a failure in your life or business? Understanding how the fear started is crucial to figuring out how to overcome it.
  2. Accept that it is Okay to Fail: Another key to overcoming failure is understanding that it is okay to fail sometimes. For example, whenever the fear of failure comes up, tell yourself that it is okay and not fatal. It is not the end of the world.
  3. Learn to be Optimistic: Another way to overcome fear of failure is to learn to be optimistic about the future. Anytime you are afraid that things might not work out, tell yourself that regardless, you will try anyway. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from going for whatever you want in life.
  4. Set Goals and make careful Plans to Achieve them: Plans and preparations are another way to deal with the fear of failure. When the fear of failure comes up, redirect that energy towards planning and preparing for the task. By having actionable goals and plans, you can help calm those overwhelming feelings that can lead to fear. Also make sure those goals are broken down into SMART goals to encourage and motivate you towards achieving them.
  5. Turn Setbacks into Learning Experiences: Once you understand that failure is inevitable, it will help you treat it as a minor setback and learning experience. Learning from one’s failure is important and key towards making improvements and avoiding similar mistakes in the future. The key to success isn’t just persistence but also learning from one’s failures.
  6. Read about People Who Overcame their Failures: Our last tip on how to overcome fear of failure is to read biographies of people who overcame great failure. Doing this will inspire you to continue to strive and aspire for success regardless of setbacks you face. We have several such posts on our website about people like Steve Jobs, Milton Hershey, Oprah Winfrey, and Nick Vujicic. Such stories make overcoming failure more relatable as these are real life examples to follow.

How have you dealt and overcome the fear of failure in your life? What other effects have you noticed that the fear of failure can have on people? Let us know by leaving a comment at the end of this post. As usual, we would love to hear from you.

Today’s Funny Quote

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. Theodore Roosevelt

Our funny quote today is by President Theodore Roosevelt of the United States of America. He said:

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.

What do you think about this quote? Do you agree with it? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments at the end of this post.

Did you know that this post is brought to you by Innovate Design Studios Ltd, a web design and graphics company? We provide graphics, branding, web design and website maintenance services. If you’re interested in these services, contact us today to get a free quote and 10% off your next project.

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Have a great weekend, stay safe and we will see you again next week with more inspiring posts.

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