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Overcoming the Fear of Failure


Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Sep 15, 2015

failure fear tips

If there’s no risk involved in something, there’s probably no reward. Failure is something that everyone faces, though maybe not in the same way. Having a fear of failure is completely natural and is a way, somewhat helpful. Just like how a memory of being burned helps remind us why it’s bad to touch a hot stove, a fear of failure can keep us from making reckless decisions. But you still cook on the stove even though you know getting burned is a possibility because you need to feed yourself. Similarly, you have to take chances in life knowing that failing is a possibility. But if you’re petrified of failure, you won’t be able to move forward.

            Being afraid of failing is a universal feeling that everyone has experienced at least once. But there are ways to overcome this fear and learn how to grow. Let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to get your fear of failure under control.

Embrace the possibility of failure. You probably have heard the phrase “failure is not an option.” Well, that’s not exactly true. Failure might not be an option because you don’t want to choose to fail, but failure is certainly always a possibility. Once you accept that you may fail, the fear of failing loses its control over you. Learning from your mistakes is how you ensure that your chances of succeeding are even greater the next time around.

Remind yourself that failure is always temporary. If you don’t succeed the first time around, you’ll get a second shot. Success is usually more difficult to achieve than failing at something for a reason. But success lasts longer than failure--it is what helps propel you to your next success. Failure is just a learning experience to help you find out how to succeed next time. Remember that each failure simple marks an attempt at success. You’ll never reach your goal unless you try.

Examine why you’re afraid of failing. Most people aren’t afraid of experiencing failure itself--that would be somewhat irrational. Instead, people are afraid about what failing says about them. People afraid of failing to pass the bar exam on the first try aren’t really scared of looking at a failing score, they are afraid that failing means they aren’t smart enough to become a lawyer, or that their career goals are out of reach. But these are just defeatist stories they might tell themselves. Instead, they should focus on their career goal and set out to learn what it takes to pass the exam the second time around if they happen to fail the first time around.

Consider your goals. If you’re feeling like you’re always afraid of failing, maybe your goals are just too broad. Instead, break down your goals into smaller, more achievable goals so your chances of success are much higher. Focusing on smaller goals helps you learn more as you go and helps build the foundation of success for the overall goal as you move along.