How to Overcome Fear of Failure

Fear of Failure

Is there anything in life that you badly wanted to start like writing, singing, music, dancing, etc. but you didn’t started just because you were afraid of failure ? Have you ever thought of how to overcome fear of failure ?

Just Imagine, if you would have started working on your dreams successfully, today you might be at a different stage in life . Isn’t it ?

Now let’s try to understand the reason of this big WHY. The Fear is a human emotion. But the Fear of failure can hold us back in achieving Success. So in order to take control over your fear we need to work on its root. Find out the reasons of this Fear.

Find the Reason

How to overcome Fear of Failure
How to overcome fear of Failure – Find the root Cause of the Fear

There could be many factors that could create this fear in our mind. It could be external or internals. Let us discuss some of the possible reasons.

Childhood Learnings

Right from our childhood our mindsets are restricted with a set of rules. This however grows along later and to a stage where we often seek permission and reassurances. We are dependent on certain validations. This kind of mind set creates self-doubts when we are supposed to take up a decisive action in life and when validations are not met or reassurances are not provided we lose confidence and fear of failure is raised in our mind.

Trying to be Perfectionist

Many of us are Perfectionist. A perfectionist wants everything to be done in exact way how it should be done, matching its high standards. If you have a feeling like it will not be as perfect as we thought, we end up having a fear of Failure and wont work further on our goals.

Traumatic Experiences

Our mind generally analyses the situations good or bad based on our previous experiences. This could also hold us back from achieving our goals as we might have heard or experienced some similar situations which resulted in Failure. If we find possibilities of similar instances we might just assume the outcomes based on those traumatic experiences and could not gather the courage to work on our goals.

Bruising Egos

The Fear of our EGO being hurt stops us from trying something new. Here we consider other’s perception about us and thus we shy away taking up something new for our life. Be it following our passion, or starting a new business. We keep thinking about our reputation and have a doubt on its success or failure.

Failure is part of Success

How Fear of Failure affect us

No one likes failure, so do we. In order to avoid this failure we might give up the things that we started to in order to achieve our goals. In fact we might not even take a single step. This creates self-doubts, doubts on our capabilities and achievements, we start losing confidence in life and we feel the lack of creativity. Due to such mindset we might miss out some important opportunities that life brings to us.

How to Overcome this Fear of Failure ?

Till now we have discussed about how this fear is caused in our mind and how it effects us. Now let’s try to understand how to overcome fear of Failure.

Identify the Cause: Ask yourself, from where does this fear initiated. Try to find out answer based on the reasons mentioned above. Which one resonates you ? If you get this, try to find where it comes from as an outsider. Perhaps, it is mostly stemmed in our childhood memories, or a deep-seated insecurities. Having Identified the root cause we can work to uproot it. Also, When you know the Source, it loses some of its power.

Redefine your Goals: We often want what we wish for as a whole or nothing. This often leads to failure before success. Be clear in your vision but along with a wish to accomplish the goals you also should include a wish to learn something new. Because, with each new learning you will gain experience. Even if you fail you might gain something new. With this new learning we can make our further planning on what things can be improved and what to be cut-off in our journey towards the goal. This could help us to get up and get going again.

Adapt Positive Thinking: For Human being, generally we are, what we think. In many cases, you believe what you tell yourself, this reflects your actions. So in order to avoid the fear, keep your thought process positive. You will receive the criticism and feedbacks, positive and negative both, but you should not let the negative comments have an effect on your thoughts. It’s up to you how you process the feedbacks. Replace your negative thoughts with positives by focusing on your abilities and achievements. This will also boost your confidence. You can learn how to develop a positive thinking in our article Practicing Positivity.

Identify the Outcomes: We often fear the unexpected outcomes. What if this is already known and well planned to avoid ? Try to visualize and find out the all the possible outcomes of our actions. This can give you confidence and you will feel better if you have a chance to prepare mentally for what could be the possible outcome. Fear of failure might stop you taking up the new opportunities. calculating appropriate risks, pros and cons about the situation can help you in taking such huge life-changing decisions. Moreover, being aware about he possible outcomes can help you to be prepared and get out of it soon.

What could be the Worst Case Scenario: Identify up to what extent things could go wrong, How badly is it going to affect to our life. Is it the matter of life or death ? In most of the cases, it is only an odd situation, which is not going to be permanent. We often give more power to the situations which are ultimately going to change at some point, it is not going to be permanent. Know what could be the extreme situation if at all things won’t work. If you could handle that outcome, take up the action, else prepare to avoid that worst case scenario.

Take up the failure as a challenge, accept it and take up the task to accomplish the challenge. 
Take the Failure as an opportunity of improvement instead of Failure.

Have a backup Plan: Having an option as a backup is always good. In case you are in worst case scenario you can take up the back up plan as an alternative. It’s always beneficial and boost your confidence in achieving your goals. If you don’t have any backup plan, your fear of failure can hold you back at some point.

Keep Learning: Things may not always go as we plan, there might be obstacles or uncertain changes on the way, do not worry, each new uncertainty brings new experience and new learning, this situation doesn’t mean you have failed, in every situation, be it good or bad, on your way to achieve your goal it can give you and opportunity to change and grow.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn."

Take up the failure as a challenge, accept it and take up the task to accomplish the challenge. Take the Failure as an opportunity of improvement instead of Failure. Practice this basic essentials to over come the fear of failure and achieve your goals in life.

I hope this Article “How to overcome the Fear of failure” bring some positivity to your life and give you strength to Face the Fear. Here are some of the suggestions of books that you should read to learn how to overcome the fear of failure.


Keep up the good work!

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