failure, fear, fear of failure

What’s Holding You Back? Could it be Your Fear of Failure? Or Something Else? 

You have a dream, a goal that you’ve mulled over and you’ve decided to go for it. A few weeks have now gone by. What have you done? If all you can say is, “Not a lot so far,” then what is holding you back?

Maybe you have doubts or concerns. Maybe you are a bit worried or anxious about taking the first, or the next steps to achieve your goals. Are you procrastinating or hesitating just not taking action to get what you dream for?

You know, more often than not it’s due to one thing – FEAR. There is a thought, feeling, belief, or possible outcome that makes you uncomfortable and you avoid thinking about it and therefore you don’t take action.

Your fears, can control your life and prevent you from reaching your full potential. Your fears can stop you from creating a better life for you and your family.

Rational fears that help keep you safe from harm such as fear of poisonous snakes or bushfires or violent situations are not the fears I mean here. The Fears I mean are the irrational fears in your mind, much like the monster under the bed when you were a small child. These are the fears that prevent you from creating the life you want to live.

fear, monster under bed, the fear of failure

Before discussing the Fears that are holding you back, let’s make sure that what you want, that dream, your goal, (or even your B.H.A.G. – Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is what you REALLY want for YOURSELF. If you want something because of someone else then maybe you’re not taking action because you don’t REALLY want it at all.

What do you want? Do you want it because your manager wants it? Or your parents? Or your partner? Or your peers? Or your children?

Or do you want it because it’s what ‘everyone is supposed to want for themselves?’

What do YOU want for yourself? You are, after all, the most important person in your life.

If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to take care of anyone else. As they say when you’re on a plane and they are conducting the safety demonstrations, put on YOUR oxygen mask first before helping others.

If you have now decided that your dream, the goal is really your goal, let’s now discuss what might be holding you back from achieving it.

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Fear Number One:

The Fear of Failure

This may seem obvious to you because it’s so common however it certainly will keep you from reaching your goals. The Fear of Failing will prevent you from taking Action.

You won’t speak with your boss about that overdue raise or you won’t apply for that new job that sounds so perfect for you or offer to take on additional responsibility because you might fail.

You tell yourself that it’s not a good time right now or the time will be right when ‘something’ else happens first. And that ‘something’ else may never happen.

Remember: There is no such thing as failure – only feedback

If things don’t go the way you hope the first time, are you going to give up?

Learn from it, reassess the situation. What could you have done better? What could you have done differently to achieve a different outcome?

If things don’t go the way you hope what would be the worst-case scenario? Plan to overcome what you would consider to be a disaster.

Once you have a plan for the worst possible thing that can happen, go for it! You are prepared. If you are well prepared, you will learn, and when it is time, you will succeed.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov said,

One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let us know what works for you to overcome the Fear of Failure.

The other fears that may be holding you back:

Fear Number Two: The Fear of Rejection
Fear Number Three: The Fear of Success
Fear Number Four: The Fear of Not Being Good Enough

Fear Number Five: The Fear of Being Alone

2 Responses

  1. Four years ago last June , I took my GCSE English Language, after a break of thirty seven years.
    One thing my teacher told all of us mature students, was that life experiences will give us an advantage.
    That advice has stayed with me and helps carry me along.
    I was surprised and delighted by how well i did.

    1. That is such a wonderful thing to hear Nigel! It just goes to show that we are never too old and it’s never too late to reach our goals. Congratulations on doing so well in your exam!

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