Mind and Body

Overcoming the fear of failure

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Have you ever wanted to do something that seemed important to you, but you didn’t go ahead because you were gripped by the fear of failure?

If so, you are not alone. Just like dealing with negativity, the fear of failure is a crippling force that affects almost every single human being.


In an article in Forbes, Vanessa Loder wrote “When we go outside of our comfort zone, we feel scared.” She hit the nail on the head by using the word “scared”. That is the reason why the fear of failure grips so many of us when we wish to take giant leaps in our personal or professional lives.

Now, if you are expecting an article that will tell you to “Think positive” or “Believe that you can do anything you want”, then please be warned that this article won’t tell you to do that.

Instead, this article will give you one simple tip on how to overpower the fear of failure. As simple as it sounds, the simple tip is this: tell yourself profusely that failure, in most cases, is better than inaction.

That’s it.

Let me tell you a true story

Three years ago, my best friend from high school and I started an anti-bullying charity called Beat Bullying With Confidence Foundation  Initially, we were very concerned about how it will work out and if we will be able to make an impact on people who are being victimised through bullying, especially kids in schools.

We thought about it, we made a plan with projections and we both put thousands of dollars from our own pockets into the charity. Fast forward three years, and is our anti-bullying campaign the mega success that we would’ve liked it to be? No, it isn’t!

There are other anti-bullying charities that have more reach than us, more funding than us, and more media coverage than us. Did we work hard in the last three years? You bet we did!

To date, we have not received any government or corporate funding, we have not had any major media coverage and we surely haven’t gone national or international. There were times when we thought about throwing the towel and walking away. But we didn’t.

The point that I am driving home is this – even though we haven’t become hugely popular and haven’t been on national or international speaking tours, our work is making an impact.

When we get emails from parents, saying “We love your anti-bullying app that our daughter downloaded. The exercises in the app are helping her regain her self respect”, we know that we did the right thing by starting this charity and releasing an anti-bullying app.

If you are to overpower the fear of failure, please remind yourself that failure, in most cases, is far better than inaction. When I was a Life Coach, one of the biggest challenges that my clients, be it corporate executives or university students, faced was procrastination.

Inaction, in my opinion, compliments the fear of failure. If you are gripped by the fear of failure, inaction will be like a very good friend to you.

The simplest way to kill inaction and conquer the fear of failure is to do something!

Once again, remind yourself that you are better off by giving it a go, than by being gripped by the fear of failure, and embracing inaction in the process.

Ask yourself

Make a list of why you should give it a go. Your list could look like this:

  • What will I learn through this experience if I decided to go ahead and take action?
  • What will I learn about myself?
  • How will I develop and grow?
  • How can I get others to support me in this?
  • What is the opportunity cost?

Just by reminding yourself that failure, in most cases, is far better than inaction, you will be more empowered, encouraged, and excited to take action.

Think about this for a moment – if people didn’t overpower the fear of failure, what would life be like for you and me right now? How many inventions would have never taken place? Mediocrity would have a higher presence in society today.

Quote: “Failure is another stepping stone to greatness”. Oprah Winfrey

Please think of the fear of failure as a boom gate on your road to achievement. Just because the boom gate is down, it doesn’t mean that you will be stuck in that spot for ever. Once the boom gate goes up, you have full liberty to move right ahead without worry.

Acknowledge the fear of failure, and then overpower it by reminding yourself that failure is generally far better than inaction. Then, inaction will be replaced by positive action.

I hope I have given you a simple insight into how you can overpower the fear of failure, and become proactive in achieving what you were put on earth to do.

Inspiring you towards your excellence,


To read more of Ron’s posts, click here

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Ron Prasad is an author, speaker, life coach, and an anti-bullying campaigner. He is passionate about empowering his clients in their personal development. Visit him at: www.impetussuccess.com.au