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Is the Fear of Failure Holding You Back?

  • May 3, 2022
  • Written by Community Futures Meridian


Fear of failure is often a barrier to starting a new business or project, changing career or facing a promotion. However, one should ask oneself – how will I feel if I don’t take that step?

Many people are risk-averse, avoiding taking any risk whether it might lead to success or failure. But, almost any successful entrepreneur will tell you that they failed many times on their way to success. Walt Disney, for instance, filed for bankruptcy in the 1920s, and before him, even Abraham Lincoln had a business failure.

A healthy relationship with failure means not fearing or feeling shame when you fail but instead learning from it and moving on.

Here are some questions which may help you overcome the fear of failure.

  1. What would it look like if you didn’t make the change in your career or start a new business? What does failure look like? What is the price of inaction? Remember, regrets can be worse than failures. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that real failure is not trying something.
  2. What do you fear? How is that fear preventing you from achieving some great business or life goals? If you think about it, you are probably most worried about the fear of change or the fear of the unknown. Or, perhaps, the idea of failing in the eyes of others becomes too great – a fear of shame. Acknowledge your fears and overcome avoidance, and you will be able to take the first steps toward your dream.
  3. Are you prepared to succeed? What does success look like? What steps do you need to take to move towards it? Shift your thinking away from dwelling on your fear to focusing on being successful. Do your research, create a solid plan, look at all possibilities, and focus on the steps you need to take to achieve growth.
  4. What are you going to do to keep focused on the goal? How do you keep your “eyes on the prize?” Keeping your written mission statement or vision close at hand can help keep them front and centre – make them inspirational. The key is to make it a habit to focus on your dream.
  5. Who can help you? Accountability and sharing your vision with others are excellent ways to keep on track. Others have travelled the same journey, so do not be afraid to ask for assistance, advice and support. Finding a coach or mentor is a great way to get an outside perspective.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”  – Jack Canfield, Author

Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching

More in this category: « A 10-Step Goal-Reaching Guide

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