Fear of Failure

Fear of Failure


Ugh, it’s such a horrible feeling. The response fear brings to your body… the tightening chest, the dry mouth, your throat closing, your voice shaking, you can feel your confidence waning, sweaty palms, maybe even chest pains, stomach cramps or even a headache. Fear can seriously fuck with your body in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. I’ve had fear put me in the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack… turns out it was anxiety.

Have you ever white-knuckle, clung to a relationship because you were afraid of failing and having to start over again? You tried to push the differences aside, perhaps hoping they’d go away on their own or you attended the counselling sessions to try and work through your differences. You spent night after night trying to talk things through only to have it end, night after night, in the same exact manner – arguing over stupid shit that most likely isn’t all that important to begin with. Have you ever put your own happiness and feelings aside so that you wouldn’t have to face the reality of the fact that this was, yet again, another failed attempt at love.


Have you ever been so scared of failing that you just opt out of it altogether. Fuck it, better luck next time. You miss the opportunity for something that could be AMAZING, simply because you were too scared to take that first step.

How about being so afraid of rejection that you avoided saying something to the man / woman you’ve been IN LOVE with for ages and now you spend your nights wondering, what if?!  How would things have been different had you just stepped up and said something. What’s the worse that could have happened anyways? Rejection? No? Who knows now.

These thoughts can plague us for eternity. The depth within the fear of the unknown is vast and magnificent. It’s deep, dark and ominous. What if? What if? What if? Chances are you will never actually know and you’ll spend the rest of your life in wonder until you finally give yourself permission to let it go and move on.

The thought of it is scary. It can be downright terrifying at times. 

Truth is, failure is part of life. We need to fail. Failure is how we learn, how we grow, how we adapt and how we become better. Failure is how we hone our craft and become the best at what we do. Nobody walks into a relationship, a career, a sport, being the best at it, it takes work. Lots of work. Being the best requires numerous attempts and numerous fails. 

You know that Japenese Proverb quote, 

“Fall down 7 times, stand up 8”

It’s actually quite legit. If you don’t develop a thick skin or if you are overly sensitive, life will crush you. Whether it is failing in relationships, lovers, family, parents, careers, new business ventures, bullies, etc. There will ALWAYS be someone or something there to orchestrate and celebrate a fall. The only thing that matters is the grace you have as you get back up, dust yourself off and most importantly, keep. moving. forward. Failing and falling is inevitable and builds character and strength. It’s vital to your success in life. Embrace the failures as it helped show you a way in which you don’t want to do things. Discovering ways things shouldn’t be done is a learning opportunity and should be treated and celebrated as such.

In network marketing they say that every now gets you closer to your next yes. Same can be said for life in general.

When you really take the time to think about it, you’ll realize and understand that the fear you are harboring is actually holding you back from achieving really great, wonderful and amazing things in your life. 

Some questions to ask yourself

Why is the fear of failure holding you back?
What is the first memory of failure? Who did you let down or disappoint? How did it make you feel? 

Who are you afraid of letting down?
Was it your Mom or Dad that first instilled the fear into you? 

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
If failure wasn’t an option and you knew you would succeed at anything and everything you set your sights on, what would you do?

Aside from fear, what’s stopping you from attempting these things? 
If it’s not fear that’s holding you back, what IS holding you back? 

3 Tips to help overcome your fear of failure

1. Realize that failure and rejection are all part of life. It happens every day to everyone and it’s really not all that big of a deal. When we OWN our mistakes and understand they are part of life and appreciate that they are a learning opportunity, failing doesn’t seem so devastating. If you’re failing over and over at the same things, I think you need to take a step back and try to gain a better understanding of what it is you are trying to accomplish and see if there are other avenues to attain it.

2. “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour and it can never be used against you.” 
Can I get a HELL YESSSS!!!! I am who I am. I am aware of my strengths and I am aware of my weaknesses, they can never be used against me because I OWN THEM. They are me and I am them and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you are not particularly good at certain aspects of life or adulting, that’s fine! Admit it, own it, and learn from it. Be up front and honest with people about your short falls, stand in your truth and there will be no fear of failure or judgement attached to the outcome.

3. Re-write your story. Why are yo so afraid of failing? You may have uncovered this earlier in the article when you asked yourself who you were afraid of disappointing. Uncover the WHY’s and re-write the story behind it.
Example: You didn’t meet a goal or deadline.
You’re inner voice (aka critic) says, “I knew I wouldn’t make that goal. My Dad was right. I am a failure and I will never succeed at anything in my life.”
How can you re-write this statement to create something you can learn and grow from?
How about something like this,
“I didn’t make that goal. I need to sit down and re-evaluate my goals to make sure I am not putting unrealistic expectations on myself to achieve this.”
If you are unfamiliar with SMART goals. I suggest you do a quick google search and take a look and re-evaluate your goal setting strategies.
This has been a lengthy post and if you made it this far, I send high fives *
I will end with a quote I heard from Tony Robbins this morning in an interview with Marie Forleo. Tony is a HUGE motivating factor for me and I get so much awareness and ah-ha moments from his words. If you are struggling through any traumas or difficulties in your life, you may find peace in his teachings as I have.

“How many times are you going to allow your child to try and walk before you cut them off and say, ‘ alright, I guess you’re not a walker.’ You’re not.”
~ Tony Robbins

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