Dealing with Fear Of Failure

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The Fear of Failure

One of the variables that can eliminate your chance of success is fear of failure. Just think about it, if you must try many times in order to succeed and if you can’t try because you are afraid to fail then what do you think the outcome will be?

It doesn’t need someone with a high IQ to answer that question. The result will be complete failure. Not only will fear of failure prevent you from success but it will keep you living in your comfort zone while everyone around you will be making achievements. As a result you will find yourself in the rear lines because everyone else has advanced.

If you are serious about success and if you are serious about achieving your goals then you should start now to deal with your fear of failure.

What causes Fear of Failure?

Why do some people fear to take risks? And why do others have the gut to try and even to fail?

Fear of failure is like any other type of fear, it’s an emotion generated by your subconscious mind in order to protect you from problems.

Because some people have got much less tolerance to failure they always experience fear of failure while others don’t. The reason behind this intolerance in usually one of the following factors:

  • Lack of understanding of the success mechanism: Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he succeeded in inventing the lamp. John creasy got rejected more than 300 times before he published 500 books. Bill gates' idea of creating an operating system based on graphics was rejected before he established Microsoft. There are hundreds of these examples everywhere and all of them contain the same message, if you want to succeed then you must fail few times at the beginning. If you are not convinced yet then See this article for more information on that topic
  • Being unable to tolerate the underlying emotions : some people are afraid to fail not because they cant handle failure but because they cant tolerate the emotions associated with failure. These emotions could be shame, guilt or any emotion that they experience after they fail. If you want to deal with fear of failure then make sure you explore the nature of such emotions and educate yourself about dealing with them, if you did so, your fear of failure may disappear.
  • Fear Of making mistakes: some people fear making mistakes to the extent that they quit trying just not to make a mistake in front of others. If this is your case then your fear of failure may be caused by lack of self confidence. By learning how to accept mistakes and by learning how to build your self confidence your fear of failure will no longer exist
  • Other Factors : from the previous two points we can conclude that some factors play a big role in changing your tolerance to failure. People who are emotionally sensitive , who fear rejection and those who lack self confidence are more likely to be afraid of failure than others. But don’t worry, in 2knowmyself you will find all what you need in order to deal with these issues, just follow the highlighted links if a subtopic caught your attention.

Dealing with Fear Of failure

The following are few very effective methods that can help you in overcoming fear of failure:

  • Reframing:reframing is an NLP technique that can help you to see the situation from a different point of view that is more positive than your current view. One way to positively look at failure is to consider it a feedback. If you failed to open a door with the red key then this doesn't mean that the door can't be opened but it might mean that you have to try using the yellow key instead of crying beside the door. Failure is just a message telling you that you have to try doing the same thing in a different way and nothing more. see this article for more information on this topic.
  • Take calculated risks: some people take risks without making calculations and when everything collapses they end up being afraid to try again. By taking calculated risks you will make sure that you are ready to face the worst and so your fear of failure will be minimal. (See this article for more information on taking calculated risks)
  • Change your beliefs about failure: every successful person around you have failed many times before he reached that place. Ask any successful person how he succeeded and you will find that the only difference between those who succeed and those who didn't is that the first group kept going on even if they were failing.
  • Build Your self Confidence : I really got bored of typing the same words again in every article because for every problem I write about I find that self confidence can either improve it or make it worse. Building self confidence can dramatically reduce your fear of failure

Final words on fear of failure

The bottom line is, if you care about success then you must face your fear of failure while if you just want to stay where you are then you don’t have to bother yourself by facing your fear of failure.

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