Fear of Failure – How to overcome and learn from it


Let’s face it nobody likes to fail at anything, but it’s literally impossible to get through life without failing over and over again.  From the second we are born we constantly try to get better at things.  The main difference is that as an infant we didn’t worry or care if we failed.  We would just try again and again, until we succeeded.  From the age of approximately 8 years old we start to care about what others think and feel.  As we get older we start to associate failure with discomfort.  This can lead to a fear of failure, which will ultimately stop you from achieving your goals and dreams.  

Ways to overcome your fear of failure:

1.   Have a clear goal.  If you don’t know what you want, you will never get what you want.  Break the goal into small steps so it doesn’t seem so much of a big deal.  The success of achieving one of the small steps will increase your confidence as well as giving you the motivation to continue.

2.  Create a burning desire to succeed.  Write down a list of what you want to achieve and recognise which ones get you excited.  Picture yourself achieving your goal in as much detail as you can.  It’s important to understand that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

3.  Learn to accept setbacks/failure.  It’s easy to give up if things don’t go your way, however remember that you can’t control or predict everything and unexpected things may present themselves.  Learn from your failure by asking yourself questions such “why did I fail” or “what would I do differently?

4.  Accept that it’s okay to fail, but more importantly never ever give up.  Keep trying and keep failing until you succeed.  Above all, make sure you have realistic expectations of yourself; nobody is good at everything and it takes time to become good at something.  Your goal will feel far more satisfying when you achieve it. 

5.  Don’t worry about what others think.  It’s your journey of discovery therefore you don’t need approval from anybody.  Most people probably don’t care as much as you think they do.  Worrying about what others think is wasted energy and those who love you, will support you. 

Micheal Jordan is a prime example of someone who overcame failure.  He was cut from the high school basketball team because his coach didn’t think he was good enough.  Imagine if he had given up on his dream to play basketball!  

In the legends own words……

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 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”.

Finally, remember failure is temporary and it can be overcome with determination.  As you gradually overcome your fear of failure your confidence will grow and you will enjoy a life full of meaning, passion and purpose.

Make the Change


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