Success Psychology

How to Crush Your Fear of Failure & Be Successful in Life

crush fear of failure

Success seems to be on the tip of everyone’s lips these days. But in the shadows of success lies a monster that hinders the chances of many, a monster named failure. To overcome a fear of failure means facing something that feels impossible to beat…

But impossible it is not.

We’re living in an age of entrepreneurship.

A time where people are waking up and realising that they can do more and be more. They can be happier if they just do something that they love.

But even that is a bit wishy washy.

Sometimes it’s not about following a passion, it’s about the desire to make something of ourselves and sometimes this comes after years of graft doing something that we don’t love.

Yet, we’ll do it because we know it will get us where we need to go.

Like the writer who wants to be a best-selling non-fiction writing. She may start out writing articles like these first. It get’s her foot in the door. It builds a name for herself and it helps her become a better writer.

And after all, she can’t live off thin air.

But to become a success at anything in life we now know very well that extensive failure is the compromise to get there.

The possibility of failure is present in everything we do.

Successful athlete Michael Jordan, Bestselling Author JK Rowling, Amazon titan Jeff Bezos… we all know their stories. The failures they endured before finally capitalizing on success.

So, before success comes failure. And if we have a fear of failure, well, that’s a problem.

Let’s try and sort that out, shall we?

What is Fear of Failure?

You can’t hope to overcome what you don’t understand. So, let’s start with the basics before getting to the meaty heart of this article.

If you want to get technical, fear of failure in the world of psychology is known as atychiphobia.

Everyone lives by different standards and everyone has different expectations both of themselves and of others. There are external and internal forces at play that combine to build this resistance, this fear of failure.

If you experience a fear of failure, you are normal. Fear of failure is an incredibly common fear.

graph indicating percentage of entrepreneurs across various countries that suffer from fear of failure
Almost half of the entrepreneurs in Australia suffer from fear of failure!

Let’s get that straight. This is a problem experienced by the masses! Especially during these times where we feel as though there is pressure to have success (despite the definition of success being way off the mark for many… more on that in a hot tick!)

When we’re asking what is a fear of failure, the answer is quite simple…

Fear of failure is when the fear of making mistakes, not achieving our goals, hitting setbacks, lack of belief, and lack of self-confidence all combine to make the chance of taking action almost impossible.

It can be incredibly damaging to a person’s mental health to be caught between wanting to be bold and too afraid to do so.

We all dislike failure. We want to win.

Yet someone who suffers from a fear of failure may find that they simply cannot bring themselves to take action just in case they suffer from the potential negative consequences of not reaching their goals.

This person may be desperate to try and build that business, learn that instrument, or ask out the hottie at the bar but they simply cannot make themselves do it.

Fear of rejection, humiliation, judgement, and criticism feel too painful to bear.

And so, fear of failure stops them from being bold and brave in the things that they know would make them happy in life. It stops them from reaching their full potential.

What Causes Fear of Failure?

There is a multitude of causes that can trigger a fear of failure and this will vary from person to person.

Two common causes include the following:

High parental expectations –

Anyone living with strict parents out there? Does anyone parents act as though exams, grades, and top marks are literally the be-all and end-all? I hear you. Whilst this often comes from a place of love, as mine did, high parental expectations removes the idea that it is safe to fail. You can believe that if this exam is not aced then something catastrophic will happen and you’ll be destined to work in the corner shop for all eternity. Also, this intense pressure is enough to make someone’s head pop! It feels all-consuming and is at the forefront of the mind every single moment of the waking day. 

Traumatic/humiliating experiences

Previous experiences might be stuck in that head of yours that feels impossible to shake off. Past experiences of failure tend to linger because, quite frankly, they suck. But if you’ve had a particularly bad experience where you were ridiculed, humiliated, yelled at, or punished for failing or making mistakes then understandably you might feel it in your best interest to try and avoid that happening again.

Rejection

But more than rejection, rejection during a time where you believed you had done everything that was needed to succeed. You were flying high, on cloud nine and oozing with confidence that this couldn’t possibly fail until someone stands in your way. Rejection from a partner, a boss, a loved one, a friend, a colleague, or anyone else is really tough to swallow. And this is why some would rather live without love… because putting yourself out there and failing is bloody painful.

Fear of failure can be caused by something seemingly small and harmless but it can grow into an almighty fear.

While it’s possible for many to trace back the reason behind their fear of failure, the important thing to know is this…

You are normal. This is normal. And, it can be beaten.

Why Is Failure Necessary For Success?

I’m so glad you asked.

This one needs repeating. I know that if you’ve found this article that you’ve probably read more than ten-thousand times already how ‘Failure is the pathway to success’.

But you know what? 

The reason that we STILL see health and wellness sites telling us to eat healthily, exercise more, meditate etc, is because we need to be told over and over again.

We humans are stubborn.

We ignore what’s in front of us, we think we know best, we think we can beat the odds, and we moan at hearing the same old regurgitated advice!

The truth is, so many of us know and understand what it feels like to fail. We’ve had these negative experiences and lived through those bad days.

So many of us know what it’s like to get so close only for it to all fall apart.

But, even more, saddening than this, is that so many of us haven’t experienced those feelings because we’re too afraid to risk experiencing them. We’re too afraid to try.

But we do want to succeed. More than anything we want to succeed.

We’ve got heart and soul in abundance. We can say that there isn’t a person out there who wants this more than we do… But we’re too afraid to fail.

So I will regurgitate the words that have been spoken by the greats, the entrepreneurial juggernaughts, the small business owners, the authors, the artists, and the solopreneurs who have finally reached success – failure is the pathway to success.

You have to fail to succeed. Period.

Doing it right the first time is something that happens to ALMOST NO-ONE. 

Tony Robbins rightly mentions that the difference between you and the mega successes you see online is that they have failed 1000 more times than you.

You have to fail to know what to fix, to know how to course-correct, to know what doesn’t work, and to know what WILL work. 

Failure isn’t what stops you from succeeding, your response to failure is. 

The possibility of failure is in everything we do because this is real life. In the real world world we must look into the face of failure and tell it that we’re ready!

Fear of Failure Can Be Beaten When You Understand What Failure Really Says About You!

I think this might be another great opportunity to reiterate that if you suffer from a fear of failure then you are normal.

There might be some other reasons why you’re particularly strange, weird, or slightly out there but your fear of failure is not one of them.

Alright, below are four really important points that I want to make about what failure says about you. If you can absorb these new understandings of what failure says about a person that you can build a solid foundation for the rest of the work.

Understand that failure is always, ALWAYS, spun in a very negative light when you don’t live with a growth mindset. 

diagram showing the difference between a growthmindset and fixed mindset. To overcome fear of failure we must have a growth mindset
metrifit.com

A person with a growth mindset can adapt their way of thinking and it’s really important that you do this now.

Read the four points below and don’t poo-poo them as some self-help nonsense, ok?

Listen a fear of failure is the biggest thing holding you back from living an entirely different life so it’s important to understand that this isn’t fluff or nonsense… It’s your happiness that we’re talking about.

I want you to be happy.

So read these four points with an open mind, believe what I’m saying to you and then move on to the next section with positive intentions.

Fear of failure means…

1. You’re Willing To Struggle

YES! This is absolutely a good thing.

Nothing in life worth its salt comes without struggle and pain. It’s all about being willing to fight through the difficulties, challenges and setbacks to achieve that which holds high importance to you.

Even a lack of talent means very little if you have the determination to make something work.

A willingness to struggle speaks volumes as to how much these wants and desires actually mean to you and this is incredibly powerful.

To be able to hit an obstacle and keep working to find a way around it, through it or over it before hitting another and another and another and STILL keep going? THAT struggle is necessary and needed to get you where you want to be.

Failure is painful even when we can see it for what it really is, a stepping stone to our eventual success.

But to be willing to persist through these failures, through the struggle, tell you that this is something that you WANT. This is IMPORTANT.

Mentally strong people understand the necessity for the pain and discomfort of failure. They will step out of their comfort zone. Likewise, you can build this mental strength by experiencing failure MORE OFTEN.

2. You are persistent in pursuit of your goals

Even I used to hate being told to ‘Keep going’ and ‘Your hard work will pay off eventually.

Annoyingly, there is a whole lot of truth to this. The truth is, if we take business, for example, a lot of people ‘fail’ because they gave up to soon. They didn’t understand that in a lot of areas in life PERSISTENCE is the key to longevity and success.

We live in a world of instant gratification. We want everything NOW and for very little energy or input.

Those of us that think that way are not designed to endure failure because trying more than a handful of times breaks their rule of instant gratification.

Those of us who are willing to fail understand that to reach almost any dream will take your time, effort, energy and persistence.

Eventually, you will gather the evidence that proves that you are capable of achieving any goal and your self-confidence will soar.

When you can learn to fail and keep going with the understanding that there are no instant gratifications, you will understand that failure is part of the process and that persistence is the key to marching forward with hope and gusto.

Failing shows that you are persistent and this is an excellent quality to brag about, my friend.

3. Those Who Never Fail, Never Tried In The First Place

Understand, and please believe me when I say, that you are already successful just by the simple act of trying in the first place.

There are thousands upon thousands of people who have ideas, dreams or goals that will never ever act upon them. They will remain a dream for them forever.

And what a sad realization that is.

You will fail. Perhaps you already have failed and the likelihood is that you will fail again.

GOOD. It says a lot about a person who will take action and try knowing that the chance they will fail is high. But that only means that you are one step closer to your dreams and your goals than all of those thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of people who never even tried in the first place.

Those who don’t take risks in a bid to avoid failure are at risk of wasting their lives. But that’s not you!

You should take comfort and pride in this. It is no small achievement, it’s pretty darn impressive.

4. To Fail is COURAGEOUS

Understand that it takes courage and balls to go after something where there is a high risk of failure.

And to be honest, it’s one of the main reasons a lot of us don’t even try. ‘It’s better to never even try than to try and fail’.

This is the worst thing anyone could be told.

There is no shame in failing because it implies that there are so many amazing qualities that you possess that allowed you to get to this point.

Courage, bravery, determination, persistence, belief…

Failure in itself does not encompass WHO YOU ARE. Failing at something does not make YOU a failure, it makes you someone who had the courage to try.

(In need of some courage? Grab the e-book and let’s start moving forward, shall we?)

It makes you that person who has the stamina and grit to take the hit and keep going.

Understand that there are many people in life whose skins are not thick enough to deal with the knockbacks.

Being one of the many who are determined to be successful and therefore willing to fail makes you a glorious minority my friend. Take pride in that.

Two Types of Fear of Failure

fear of failure can present itself in over-striving or procrastinating. This is a diagram demonstrating this
Semanticscholar.org

It’s really important to understand how your fear of failure presents itself. 

Because, something that we don’t often realize is that we disguise this fear of failure form ourselves. But, if we know how it effects us then we can catch it in the act and tell it to, ‘Jog on! I’m busing trying to build an empire here.’

So the question is this… Do you over-strive or do you procrastinate?

Whilst fear of failure is far more complex than this, these are the two most popular ways in which fear of failure presents itself.

Myself, I was (and perhaps continue to be) and over-striver. My partner on the other hand is undoubtedly a procrastinator.

Take a look at the main differences below and see if you can identify how your fear of failure presents itself…

1. Over-striver

Perfectionism is an incredibly debilitating cognitive distortion that is typically associated with the over-striver. This person must execute everything, you guessed it, to perfection to try and guarantee success.

Everything the over-striver does is to mitigate the chance of failure. 

They work longer and harder than they need to. Nothing ever feels finished or ready for this person, they can always do more.

Sometimes this actually stops them from finishing altogether on the premise that ‘It wasn’t ready’ or ‘It wasn’t good enough’ or ‘I didn’t feel prepared enough.

For this person, nothing feels like a victory because something could have always been better. They strive for perfection and in doing so, they never attain it.

2. Procrastinator

Oh yes, you know if this is you!

I can see you now thinking, ‘Oop yeah, that’s me. Don’t need to think too hard about that one’

Procrastination usually comes hand in hand with low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. This person doesn’t believe that they can achieve their goals so they self-sabotage.

They run to any and every distraction, come up with reasons to do it ‘later’, make excuses for unfinished effort and AVOID doing the stuff that will actually help them make progress.

And why do they do this?

Because when they fail, as they suspect they will, they can blame it on not trying hard enough. Imposter syndrome and negative thoughts tell the procrastinator that they can’t achieve anything and so it’s easier to place blame elsewhere.

It’s far easier for this person to say;

‘Well, I didn’t put much effort in’

‘I got easily distracted’

‘I didn’t get round to it’

‘I didn’t make it in time’

Than to say;

‘I gave it my all and it didn’t work’

Procrastination is a force to be reckoned with that many people suffer with. If you’re a procrastinator, this is a cycle of avoidance that it would greatly benefit you to break!

Knowing The Reasons Why You Fail Will Help Conquer Your Fear of Failure

Failure is necessary and GOOD for us when it comes off the back of good intentions, determination and grit.

Likewise, to fail is something of value when we see it just so. However, when we allow it to infest our minds with negativity it only ever feels detrimental. Understanding the reasons why you fail all the time is crucial in breaking free of the sticky loop of constant failure and begin making progress.

So, here’s a few points as to why you might be failing over and over again.

Some involve internal insecurities that need to be addressed as they are working to sabotage your chances. 

Others are lessons that need to be learned…

You Fail Because You Don’t Believe You Deserve It

It always comes down to self esteem and self-worth doesn’t it?

It’s a hefty form of self sabotage i’ll give you that but for a LOT of us what really stands in our way is that ultimately, we don’t believe that we deserve success.

Any number of life events can cripple our self-esteem and self-worth and it spills over into every aspect of our daily lives.

Suddenly you find the artist who is capable of rivaling Michalangelo, compiles all the masterpieces in the attic and hides them from the world because they don’t believe they are worthy of recognition.

The person who has a mind for problem solving finds a solution for curing diabetes but doesn’t approach those businesses who can help get the product to market because he doesn’t feel worthy of swimming with the big fishes.

With a fundamental lack of self-esteem we cannot possibly expect to achieve success because we are allowing that record in our head to play which regurgitates the absolute nonsense that ‘we are not good enough’.

Without the conviction that you DESERVE everything in this world that you are willing to fight and work hard for then you are setting yourself up to fail for all of the wrong reasons.

You Fail Because You Don’t Believe You Can Do It

Belief in yourself will get you everywhere.

The person of average intellect who believes they will ace the exam will do better than the genius who doubts his own abilities. The person who believes that they only need 2 hours a night of sleep to function properly can indeed function highly on only 2 hours where others need a full 8.

The mediocre actor who believes they are perfect for the role of Romeo in The Globe’s production of Romeo and Juliet has a 10X better chance of getting the part over the actor who cannot hide his nerves and insecurities despite being a perfect match for the role.

BELIEF in yourself can propel you to heights that you never imagined.

We’ve all heard of ‘the power of the mind’. Well it’s a cliche for a reason everybody. These affirmations that are plastered all over our screens and social media feeds CAN WORK if you want them too.

To fail because you don’t believe you can do it is common. But, where self-belief is lacking, we must simply have the courage to take action anyway.

You Fail Because You Don’t Actually Care Enough

Listen, as we’ve discovered, failure is painful.

Fighting for what you consider to be important, what you maybe consider to be your true purpose in life is HARD WORK. It takes graft, commitment, dedication, pain and suffering.

That is what it takes to get to the top and that is what it means to fail.

To fail means to fight for something that matters to you. To keep walking the path and endure the struggle and sacrifice because it is WHAT YOU WANT.

Sometimes, failure is a sign that you don’t necessarily want what you thought you wanted.

You can’t make it work because actually, you simply don’t care enough about it to try harder. You aren’t willing to suffer how you would be for that something special.

To fail because you don’t care enough is the wrong way to fail. You should be failing because you care so much that you’re constantly trying and trying; adjusting and learning from mistakes until you finally find what works.

If you come to the realization that your heart just isn’t in it then save yourself time and effort and look at trying to find your true purpose so that you can live a life of meaning and fulfillment.

You Fail Because The Idea Of Being Successful Scares You

It’s quite overwhelming, I find, to imagine a future where I reach my goal and finally live a life according to my wants and needs.

It’s quite a heavy burden to place upon your dreams and this can form a sort of mental block for a lot of us.

We might think about what would happen if it didn’t end up being everything we’d hoped it would be. What if I become successful but I still feel unfulfilled? What if I still feel unhappy and my relationship is still rocky?

Or, on a slightly different note – What would I do with myself then? What comes next?

The lives some of us dream of are so far removed from our own that the idea of achieving them can actually scare us into a stand still.

Life, dreams, goals, achievements, choices – it is all one big process and nothing is permanent. Everything is temporary. So no matter what happens, if you do reach all time success you must be prepared for your life to change and to find some new goals and dreams beyond that.

To fail because the idea of being successful scares you is more common than you might think. But, the reality is that you should fail trying to become successful not because you fear it.

This is a mental block that might need addressing if your fear of failure actually stems from a fear of success.

You Fail Because You Don’t Take The Advice You’re Given

There are different ways to approach almost anything which is why we can fail at almost anything. But there are people out there who have been there and done it and they aren’t always squeezed of every drop of goodness how they should be.

I’m getting ready to rub some of you up the wrong way now but just know, I used to be this way inclined. 

Failure is a learning experience.

And stubbornness is a quality that us humans possess that can be so extremely detrimental if it stands in the way of us making improvements.

We like to think we know the answers, that we don’t need help or advice and that we can do it on our own but the truth is that when you fail and then refuse to take the advice you’re given you restrict your vision.

I am not saying to take every single persons advice who has something to say because a lot of people who haven’t got a CLUE what they are talking about are always there willing to offer some crappy pearls of wisdom.

Be selective by all means but by not being open to help and advice you don’t allow yourself the fresh perspective of an outsider.

It’s even more tough when you’re dealing with someone who is intelligent because they are the ones that can eloquently debate and rationalize why they don’t need assistance.

Convincing themselves that they can do it alone.

We have to learn from our mistakes and failures, adapt and adjust accordingly.

What’s that phrase? ‘Only fool tries the same thing twice and expects different outcomes

Learn from your mistakes and accept the advice of others if only for a fresh perspective. We can easily become blind to the obstacles in front of us when we’ve been staring at them for so long.

So use other people who are willing to help.

To fail because you refuse to take someone else’s advice is foolish and counter intuitive.

You Fail Because You’re Easily Distracted

I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Social media, Netflix, the internet, video games, apps, online shopping and all of the rest are constant distractions and an easy way to procrastinate.

If you take a step back you might find that you could have been spending a lot more time focusing on your goals each day if you limited the amount of time you allowed yourself in these ‘indulgences’.

Persistence, dedication and commitment is key to achieving great things so wasting your time scrolling through endless (irrelevant content) is only taking time away from working toward getting one step closer to your goal.

If this is a top priority for you then you need to acknowledge that you cannot give your time away to distraction like the ones mentioned above.

To fail because you are giving away your time to things that do not benefit you is typical of the procrastinator and this is a bad habit that must be broken.

How To Overcome Fear of Failure

Alright, so we now have an understanding of what fear of failure is, what can cause it, how it might present itself, and the reasons we might be failing over and over again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it does take a great deal of failures to finally nail that last attempt but it’s worth looking at why we might be failing if it is after constant effort. 

Are we self-sabotaging because of our fears or are we being too stubborn to try something a little different?

Regardless, it’s time to get on to the good stuff.

I’ve outlined below the eight mindset shifts to help you overcome your fear of failure.

They might feel relatively simplistic but rest assured, overcoming a fear of failure is no easy task and so it’s important to do what works. And the below tips, they work.

How do I know? I used to be crippled by fear of failure and now failure has taken on a whole new meaning. My life has changed because of this one mindset shift and many entrepreneurs will say the same.

So, let’s begin the process of overcoming your fear of failure.

1. Appreciating failure for what it is

Only once you can accept and acknowledge that failing is a necessary part of your success story can you truly overcome it.

You can fight against it, push back, try to beat it, and try to avoid it but only a handful of outcomes are possible with this approach…

You get it right first time! – This literally almost never happens ever. If you’re holding out to be that one person in a million who gets it right first time around, you might also be the first pensioner to do so.

Appreciating failure means not beating yourself up when things go wrong.

It means finding the lessons that can be learned from mistakes and understanding that they help you make the next move.

Once you appreciate failure you don’t need to pre-empt it or fear it. If it pops up you simply say, ‘Oh hey, guess I did something wrong here. Thanks for letting me know’

Is it easy, no?

Is it necessary to overcome your fear of failure? Absolutely.

Appreciate it for what it is and what it says about you (remember that previous section. Failure has a lot of positive associations that you need to start appreciating)

2. Redefining failure

I like the phrase, ‘Heads, I win. Tails, I don’t lose’

The reason being that it has redefined what failure means in a coin toss. It redefines what failure means in sports and it can help us redefine what failure means in our lives.

Mistakes are commonly labelled as failures but they are not, they are learning opportunities.

Losses are commonly labelled as failures but they are not, they are learning opportunities.

From now on I don’t want you to even utter the words ‘I failed’ unless you have executed a plan from very beginning to the very end. Until you can say, ‘I did it. It’s done’ Whatever it may be.

Only then, if you have not achieved the success you hoped for, should you say that you failed.

And the reason for this is because if we mislabel the smaller mishaps and hurdles along the way as failures then we’ve got less chance of seeing them as learning opportunities.

Heads, you win. Tails, you learn.

When you actually have a ‘massive’ failure you can say, ‘Shit, that was a massive fail. Okay what learning opportunities did I miss along the way and how can I do things differently the next time.’

Heads, you win. Tails, you learn.

3. Redefining Success

As you might have guessed, here the opposite is true.

You’re no longer going to wait until you’re at the very end, ready to hit the big and final goal before screaming to everyone, ‘Success!’

When we look at the final goal and only the final goal, it can skewe our view of progress. If we only feel as though we’ve done well once we’ve achieved that ultimate prize, then we’re likely to get disheartened along the way.

You must celebrate every small achievement as a success.

Every small victory that takes you one step closer to the final goal, they are also successes that deserve your attention.

Because, hey, there’s going to be mistakes and setbacks along the way. It’s unavoidable. So you will need to balance this with moments where you can pat yourself on the back and say, ‘One step closer. Well done’

4. Replace Fear of Failure With Fear of Staying The Same

I want you to consider something for a moment…

Fear of failure can be really debilitating and no one understands this more than I do. But what about fear of staying the same?

Tony Robbins explains that ultimately fear of staying the same will motivate any person, no matter how strong their resistance may be, to take the leap to make big change in their life.

And why is this?

Imagine your life in ten years time. Now, in twenty and in thirty years time…

Would you be content with your life being exactly the same as it is right now? Knowing that you have dreams, desires and passions and knowing that you want to have a different life, would you be content if nothing ever changed?

This is where the flip switched for me.

The feeling in the pit of my stomach that I felt on the day that a realised how nothing might ever change is one that will never leave me.

It beats fear of failure hands down.

And you might be wondering, ‘Why would I want to replace one fear with another?’

Don’t consider it as another fear but something to think about. What if things stayed the same and never changed, would I be OK with that?

Is potential failure, potential embarrassment, potential rejection, and potential risk worth it in a bid to not live like this for the rest of your life?

I’m sure you’ll find it is.

This can be an incredibly powerful tool to help you overcome fear of failure if you can use it.

5. Practice Wilful Tolerance

What is wilful tolerance?

Wilful tolerance is putting yourself in uncomfortable, anxiety provoking, and fearful environments willingly. And why would you do that, you ask?

Because only by getting your first, second, ninth, and twelfth failure under your belt will you become accustomed to the feeling and be less affected by it.

You must wilfully tolerate the discomfort you feel knowing that you’re trying something that might not pay off.

You must wilfully tolerate the uncertainty that comes with chasing a dream or goal.

And when you fail, you must wilfully tolerate the failure in order to learn from it and see it for what it really it.

The only way to really overcome fear of failure is through the wilful tolerance of failure.

And, we can only develop this by – that’s right – actually failing. The worst case scenario? Nothing changes and you try again.

6. You Absolutely Cannot Hope To Achieve Any Success if You Aren’t Prepared To Fail

I’ve said this already and I’ll say it again because it needs reiterating over and over and over again…

If you have the burning desire within you to achieve something in life then this must be at the forefront of your mind. Failure is a risk that you must be willing to take.

When we listen to the success stories of successful people it always begins with years of hard work, slog and failures first. But all we see initially is the shiny cars, the helipads and gold flashing around… we only get half the story.

But these people have been put through hell and back for the most part.

And the reason they were willing to do this is because they wanted what they wanted more than they cared about the consequences of failing.

To overcome a fear of failure you have to consider whether what you want is worth it. Do you really want it enough if you aren’t willing to fight for it?

7. Forget Thinking Positive, Think Logical

Isn’t it the worst piece of advice to receive? THINK POSITIVE.

These people mean well and they aren’t entirely wrong. After all, if we wallow after every knockback, crumble at every obstacle, and cry after every rejection then we’re in for a tough ride!

But there’s something far more beneficial than positive thinking and that is logical thinking.

That’s right, let’s side-step some of those emotions just for a moment and take a look at the critical mind.

The reason we feel so emotional after a mistake or failure is that we feel it reflects poorly on us, so it’s personal, and we’re usually going after something we really care about. So, thinking positive isn’t always the easiest of options.

Whilst I want you to always try to think positive, so you can move on from this setback with positive intentions, thinking logically can help us on our way.

Thinking logically will allow us to step back and think:

What went wrong?

What could I change?

What was successful?

Who can help me?

What should my next step be?

When is it best to try this again?

These are logical questions that temporarily remove any emotions from the equations so you can look back with a clear mind.

You want to be able to reflect in a way that benefits you. Positive thinking alone is tricky to muster when you’re raging over the latest failure so think about it logically.

Likewise, if you’ve yet to have your first failure then this should reassure you that no, thinking positive is not the best piece of advice here! Think about things logically and you will see the benefits and learning opportunities in the situation.

Overcome Your Fear of Failure By Taking Action

I encourage you to act now.

That’s right, you heard me.

Whatever that next step is that you’ve been putting off, go ahead and do it. Write up some plans right now, whilst you’re sitting reading this, and prepare to execute them.

When you’re wanting to know how to overcome your fear of failure, you’ll often be met with the one thing you don’t want to be told… take action.

Take action whether you’re afraid or not.

Take action even if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Take the next step.

Make the next call.

Make the next decision.

You need to start failing. Only by experiencing failure can you become desensitised to the fear of it.

Use the information above to help you think differently about what failure means and why it’s important and necessary.

Join the rest of the Resilient Humans community of people who are facing their fears head on and changing their lives by learning to love risk.

About Emma Loveday

Hi there! My name is Emma, founder and writer of 'Resilient Humans'. Lover of slippers, 13% vol red wine, online courses (I don't care, you don't know me!) and queso, obviously. I'm currently in the process of writing my new book, 'Bold, Brave & Brilliant: 12 life lessons to cultivate mental strength and emotional resilience'. Check out @resilientemma on Instagram for the latest updates and all of the juicy goodness. Any questions? Just drop me a DM at hello@resilienthumans.co.uk or jump in the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you. No, truly I would.
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