How to Tackle Your Fear of Failure

Have you ever wondered, “How am I holding myself back?” More times than not, a fear of failure is one of the main culprits. Check out how we recommend tackling this fear below.

Start with small goals.

Jumping right into the very types of situations that scare you might be a longshot. If it was that easy, you wouldn’t be here — right? Instead, start by tackling smaller goals. For example, how about creating a challenge where you try one small thing that scares you each week? Eventually, you can work your way up to tackling even bigger challenges, and more frequently.

 

Practice positive thinking.

Adopting a more positive mindset is a practice that takes time, but it’s worth seeing this one through! After all, fearing failure often stems from worst-case-scenario thinking. To get started, how about starting a gratitude journal? This means listing off a few things you’re grateful for each day. It’s a practice that essentially forces you to start looking at the bright side.

 

 

Change your perspective on failure.

Failing brings about some pretty ugly feelings — defeat, stress, and even embarrassment. It’s no wonder so many people are crippled by this fear!

But did you know Oprah was fired from her first TV job?

Or, that Stephen King’s book “Carrie” was rejected 30 times?

And let’s also mention, Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball team.

Long story short, the lessons failure brings about only make you stronger. As Elbert Hubbard once said, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

 

Weigh all potential outcomes. 

We mentioned before that fearing failure stems from worst-case-scenario thinking. Start making it a habit to weigh all potential outcomes, rather than just the worst. When you realize everything that can go right, you might realize that the negative outcome you were anticipating is more far-fetched than you thought!

 

Find motivation. 

Sometimes you just need a quick kick in the right direction. We’re always inspired by the success stories of those that bounced back after failure (like the few we mentioned above). Another great motivator? Reading through some inspirational quotes.

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  1. Sam says:

    Here’s an issue with tackling a fear of failure: what if you’ve been taught and raised that failure is absolutely bad and must be avoided at all costs? I had teachers in elementary and middle school that made every failure nearly unbearable. So I became afraid of failing because I was terrified of what the teachers would do to me if I did. Now over ten years later, I still dread the chance of screwing up and will often be unable to make choices when there is a chance of failure in any option.
    I was never able to learn from failure because of the trauma the teachers inflicted upon us. I know this all sounds ridiculous to believe but its true and I still have to see a therapist for mental health treatment over ten years since.

  2. Sally says:

    To Sam, I’m so glad that you are in counseling and can share your experience, these 2 things alone are positive progress, yea you 🎉! I am also in counseling and have a tendency to think negatively, one of the tricks I was taught was to stop and start giving myself a pep talk, listing all the positives that I have accomplished. I hope this helps you too.

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