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  • Writer's pictureMichele Andorfer

Overcoming Fear of Failure: Tips for Taking Risks and Embracing Opportunities

Is the fear of failing paralyzing you? A small amount of fear of failure can be a good thing, but if it stops you from taking action and embracing new opportunities, something needs to be changed.


Failure is a fact of life. It will happen to all of us at some point. However, for some people, it can prevent them from achieving their goals and taking advantage of opportunities that come their way.


The only way to achieve a truly fulfilling life is to break out of your comfort zone and take the risks you need to take to get to the other side of success. For that to happen, you have to overcome that debilitating fear of failure.


What is a Fear of Failure?

Some people are so afraid of failure that it prevents them from even trying. The problem is that a good amount of fear is okay. It’s what keeps us safe. But being so afraid of failure that you refuse to move is never good.


If you suffer from indecisiveness, feel powerless or helpless, actively avoid new things, or often feel out of control, chances are that you are experiencing a fear of failure.


Being afraid of failure can immobilize you and lead to self-sabotage. It also wreaks havoc on your self-esteem and confidence. You can get so wrapped up in the idea of perfectionism that you talk yourself out of taking risks. You convince yourself: “I’m going to fail anyway, so why try?”


Where Does the Fear of Failure Come From?

The fear of failure comes from experience but not necessarily the experience of failure itself. It comes from how you respond to failure when it happens to you.


If you look at failure as if it’s the end of the world, you will develop an immobilizing fear of it happening again. However, if you look at failure as a learning experience, you’ll learn how to accept failure as a reality of life and look for the opportunity to grow from it.


It can also stem from growing up in an unsupportive or critical environment or experiencing severe trauma. Sometimes, it’s genetic. People who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders often experience a fear of failure.


How Do You Overcome Failure?

There’s only one way to overcome this debilitating fear. You have to do the work. While talk therapy and medications can help, especially if your fear stems from an anxiety disorder, there are also other things you can do on your own to help: 


  • Consider all the possible outcomes before getting wrapped up in what happens if you fail. What happens if you don’t? What happens if taking that action actually leads to doors opening for you?


  • Anxiety and fear often come from focusing on things that we can’t control. To ease those feelings of distress, focus your energy more on the things you can control. We often draw into our lives the energy we are sending out.  If you are feeling stress or fear, you will often draw into your life more things to be stressed and fearful about.  If you focus on the positive end results, you are more likely to draw in more positive things.

  • Planning ahead, coming up with a Plan B, and redefining what failure means can also help you overcome the fear that keeps you stagnant. 


  • Finally, listen to how you talk to yourself. If your self-talk is negative, chances are your outcome will be, too. But if you use positive thinking and self-talk, you can increase your confidence levels and create an environment where you can thrive.

Overcoming Your Fears of Failure Will Lead to a Happy and Successful Life

Overcoming your fear of failure is necessary for building the life you want. But it’s not always easy!


If you need help redefining your idea of failure and inspiring yourself to push forward, remember my door is always open. My one-on-one coaching opportunity could be exactly what you need to overcome what’s holding you back. Reach out for more information today!

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