How to overcome your fear of failure

How to overcome your fear of failure!

The fear of failure is the fear of failing in situations where you have to perform and may be judged by others. The fear of failure mainly occurs when you have to perform or when someone is expecting something from you. The fear of failure is the fear of not being able to meet or live up to certain expectations.

It is also possible that you can feel a constant fear, because you already assume that whatever you will do will fail. In these moments, the fear of failure can prevent you from performing well, even though this is a performance that you would normally be able to do without experiencing too many nerves.

Some people suffer from the fear of failure in many situations, others only in specific situations or around certain people.

For example, the fear of failure can occur whilst giving a presentation, you can experience a black-out whilst taking an exam or you could feel hesitant or fear to ask questions during a meeting.

You may also find it difficult to have a chat with someone you don’t know on a birthday or in situations where you would like to introduce yourself to a group. The fear of failure often this manifests in feeling nervous and afraid to say something stupid or do something wrong.

Due to the increased pressure to want to perform well or to be able to do something perfect, preferably the first time right, you can end up freezing completely, feeling stuck, procrastinating or working extra hard to avoid any possible failure. You can also experience all kinds of unhelpful thoughts, emotions and physical anxiety symptoms that get in your way.

The fear of failure seems to become stronger when you are asked to do something for someone else, who looks, listens and judges with his or her opinion.

Often people do not suffer from the fear of failure when they are alone or are doing something for themselves. They can then only judge themselves in these situations.

Fear of failure is therefore closely related to the fear of criticism and rejection. You may be afraid about how to respond in situations should you be criticized by others.

The fear of criticism or a possible rejection can become so big in your mind, that you can come up with all kinds of possible horror scenarios in order to be “prepared” “for the worst possible outcome. This way, at least things may not look too bad afterwards. The need for control and certainty that something will go well is great but at the same time, this is unfortunately also an illusion because you will never know exactly how a situation will turn out.

The fear of failure consists of both positive and negative fear of failure behaviour.

Everyone experiences the emotion fear and is also sometimes afraid of failing. Experiencing these thoughts are not bad, in fact, they can even be a motivating factor to achieve a better performance. If you experience healthy tension or stress, this is also called “positive fear of failure”.

For example, feeling a little tension before taking an exam. These healthy nerves usually ensure that you perform better, because this helps you to focus and concentrate better on the task, knowing that something depends on it; this is a healthy form of fear.

However, if the tension builds up too much and changes into irrational fear, this is also called “negative fear of failure”.

Negative fear of failure is also related to experiencing regular negative thoughts about yourself and your own performance or ability to perform. “I can never do this”, “The last time, it also went wrong, I’m sure it will happen again”, “Everyone can do this much better than me”.

These unhelpful thoughts can get in the way of your concentration, and cause you to be less focused on a task. Like a self fulfilling prophecy, these negative thoughts can then increase your chances of making more mistakes.

You may perform less than you normally would do, when feeling relaxed. When this happens, you’re unhelpful or negative thinking can be confirmed.

The disadvantage of negative fear of failure is that you often procrastinare, or keep working on a task until a task or assignment is perfect, or you can start to avoid situations or people. At least, then you cannot make any mistakes or feel embarrassed or ashamed.

Negative fear of failure you leave you in vicious circle, which can be hard to get out of. You can find yourself in a spiral of unrealistic fear, constant worry, sleepless nights and unhelpful thoughts that lower your self-image and leave you feeling insecure. You are no longer able to assess your own abilities and lose faith to rely on yourself. Fear of failure is closely related to unhelpful thoughts, low self-esteem and less self-confidence.

The fear of failure not only has a major impact on your self-image and self-confidence, but also on the quality of your relationships, your performance at work and enjoying life in general. It’s a shame because you limit yourself to be able to be yourself, to grow and expand in your work and to enjoy all the beautiful moments in life. Luckily, you don’t have to keep walking around with this feeling, you can take action and do something about it!

Are you ready to discover what you can do to overcome your fear of failure? Download the 3 free tips to reduce your fear of failure below!