Fear of failure

If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”. Thomas Edison.

Do you live paralyzed by the fear of failure? Failure is not the problem; we all have failed many times. The problem is the FEAR. A failure simply means that something could have been done differently, it is only a feedback, not your destiny!. This means that if you fail there is room for improvement. If something you try doesn’t work out the way you wanted or planned, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. The problem then is not failure, it’s the fear itself. It’s the anticipation of failure that is holding you back from having, doing, and being what you want.

I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” Benjamin Franklin.

Fear of failure usually comes from low self-esteem. And most of the time this fear of failure manifests as a more particular fear, such as: fear of looking stupid, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassing yourself, fear of being judged by others, etc.

The crucial step to overcome your fear is to take action–action that, right now, you are afraid of taking. Consider your situation a challenge. What is the best way to take action to overcome fear of failure?.

  • First, identify your fear. Ask yourself: What do I fear?. Stop for a minute and think about it. Do you fear rejection? Do you fear the unknown?.
  • Second, what is the worst thing that could happen?. Answer this question and write down your answer and read it over. Suddenly it doesn’t look so bad, does it?.
  • Third, think about the best possible outcome your action could bring about. Think about what you are missing out on if you don’t take this action.

Expect that you will sometimes fail. In fact, you will often fail. But if you fail a thousand times and yet, through persistence, you ultimately achieve your goal, then you have not really failed. If you are running in a race and you fall down ten times but still win the race because you keep getting back up and running on, who cares if you fell down ten times?

Don’t take failure personally. If you lack self-esteem you may exaggerate your failures and conclude that you are less competent than others.

Realize that successful people fail, and it’s almost guaranteed that they failed many times over to get where they are.

If you fail, learn from the experience. Don’t let failure stop you, try again.

Express your fear to a trusted friend that may help you gain the confidence you’re looking for.
To get over your fear, you must first confront it. Take everything step by step to keep from overreacting to fearful situations. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. As soon as you take that very first step your fear will start to melt away. Keep walking forward into the darkness and soon enough the sun will rise.

If you are experiencing problem with this fear you can check the following resources:

Fear of Failure download will help you be more forgiving towards yourself, help you develop a boundless curiosity and enjoyment of new challenges, and help you change the way you approach success to make it more fun and much less daunting.