How Your Fear Of Failure Is Holding You Back

How Your Fear Of Failure Is Holding You Back ©iStock/teksomolika

In a perfect world, failure wouldn’t exist. We’d all succeed at anything we attempted, and we’d never have to worry about things not working out. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, but that shouldn’t prevent you from trying. As they say, “When one door closes, another one opens,” so you never know how many amazing things could come out of a single failure. You just have to be willing to let it happen and not let your fear of failure take over.

  1. You never take any risks. It’s inevitable that some risks will end in failure, but if you’re careful to take calculated risks instead of just any old risk that crosses your mind, they’ll probably end up paying off once in awhile. And eventually, the times you do succeed will make up for all the times you don’t
  2. You never put yourself out there. If you never go out, how will you ever meet anyone new? If you never apply anywhere, how will you ever get a job? Most of the things you want out of life aren’t going to just fall in your lap. You have to go out there and chase them.
  3. You think failure is always a bad thing. Sure, it doesn’t feel great to fail at something. But a failure can teach you a lot about yourself and your goals. It might even inspire you to either work even harder for what you want or re-assess what that is.
  4. You don’t know how to get over a setback. Everyone needs to learn how to bounce back from a failure. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
  5. You probably think you’re failure-proof. If you’ve never failed you might start thinking you’re invincible. We all know everyone makes mistakes sometimes. It’s how you recover from those mistakes that makes you who you are.
  6. You stick to what you know works. You know your patented way of doing things always leads to success so you never take the scenic route. Therefor you’re probably missing out on plenty of unexpected learning experiences along the way. Detours aren’t always a bad thing, but you’ll never know if you aren’t open to them.
  7. You can’t make a decision. Your anxiety over making the wrong choice will cause you to procrastinate until you no longer have a choice. Even when you do choose something, you’re never confident in that choice, and you tend to back out on things given the opportunity. You’d rather be called flaky than a failure.
  8. You sabotage yourself. You’re so afraid of doing everything right and still failing, that you’ll often do little things (like procrastinate) that will hurt your chances in the end. You think you’ll feel better if you know there was something you probably could have done differently, but in reality you’re making it less likely you’ll succeed too.
  9. You’re too hard on yourself. You’ve become such a perfectionist that you can’t even handle a slight set back. It’s a lot more productive to give yourself credit for any advance you do make, because not every move you make it going to be some monumental success. Success isn’t black and white — there’s a lot of grey in between, it just depends on how you look at it.
  10. You’re way too stubborn. You’re so set on a particular outcome that you fail to see the positive in the unexpected. So everything didn’t go exactly how you planned it. That doesn’t mean it was a total waste, because there’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo