Combat the Fear of Failure in 5 Easy Steps

by Nick on May 29, 2018

Combat the Fear of Failure in 5 Easy Steps (1)Society has always viewed failure as a negative thing. However, if you never fail, you probably never take risks either. You probably never take risks because you fear failure. It’s a closed loop and you are the only one who can break this cycle. Never taking risks and always playing it safe severely limits your potential in life. It also tends to make life rather dull.

People thought I was crazy to leave the practice of law to build a ghostwriting business. Maybe I was. But let me tell you, I was definitely scared. I feared failure and success! More on that later on the blog.

At the start of any endeavor, most people think about what they will achieve if they succeed. But many also think about the risks, or what will happen and what they will lose if they fail. You may lose money or respect. You might get embarrassed. You may lose the love of the person you love most in the world. You may even risk death if you fail in some situations.

It is essential that you put your fear of failure into perspective. That will allow you to overcome your concerns and move forward towards potential success with the understanding that failure usually does not mean the end of the world. Here are five ways you can combat the fear of failure.

1. Realize you are not alone in your fear of failure.

Most people have this fear, and everyone has a limit regarding what they are willing to risk. For example, you may not be willing to try anything that puts your life in jeopardy.

You may not want to do anything that puts your relationships with loved ones on the line either. You may only be willing to risk a certain amount of money.

The first step to putting the prospect of failure into perspective is to have a reasonably clear understanding of how much you are willing to risk. What is your limit?

2. Focus on the endeavor you are about to embark upon.

What are the potential risks if you fail? Try to be as specific as possible. Write down the potential dangers. Also, write down the fallout of those risks. For example, if the risk is the loss of all your savings, the result may be that you cannot afford to retire or to send your children to college. What are the risks, and how do those risks affect your life now and in the future?

3. Are any of the risks you have identified beyond the limit you established in step one?

That is where you determine whether the potential risks are worth it if you fail as compared to the potential reward if you succeed. Does the risk involve something you are not willing to lose? Does the possible failure affect people other than you?

4. Identify your fear.

Do you fear the loss of something, such as money or some other asset, or do you fear failure?

Failure may depress you or cause you to feel embarrassed. Feelings such as these are the basis for fearing failure, but these feelings can be overcome rather quickly if you do fail.

5. Move forward with the risks worth taking.

After taking the first four steps, you’ll have a much better idea of what risks are worth taking and how any failure will affect you and others. If you feel that the chances are worth the potential award, the only thing left to do is to move forward with your endeavor. If you identify risks not worth taking, you can go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. You can also decide your fear of failure was appropriate and move onto something else entirely.

How do you combat a fear of failure?

The most important thing you can do to combat your fear of failure is to address it head-on. Fully identify the potential failure and it will affect you or someone else.

What is the absolute worst thing that could happen? Are you willing to face it?

After your assessments, you will know whether you are eager to move forward or not.

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