Ten Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is not at all unusual, especially when you first encounter an unknown. Some fear is necessary for survival as we know. The flight or fight kicks in when our hormones respond. We know that fear can act as a catalyst to move you to action, but the fear that debilitates and leaves you in a condition of inaction, is the fear that must be overcome.

The best advice I ever received from about fear of failure was to first imagine the worst-case scenario. What is the worst that could possibly happen if I embarked on the path under consideration? Taking a good look at the possible outcomes of the situation and my response was empowering and allowed me to get past that fear and find courage.

As we view the situation in its wholeness we obtain an objective perspective, and fear subsides because we’re removed some of the unknown elements. After looking at the best and worst scenarios, we can break down the problem further by asking another question.

Is following this course worth the risk of failure? Does this direction or course of action make good sense, and are the benefits such that it will make it worthwhile if I proceed? When decisions involve our passions in life, and what we believe to be important, we have a better sense of whether we want to proceed or not. When decisions are made with options, we can eliminate the fear.

If you’ve decided to go ahead, your next question might be, “how do I proceed?”

Let’s say you have a big test coming up, or an important meeting. What do you do to get ready for it? You gather materials and learn more about it. When you walk into a meeting or take a test that you’ve prepared for, you take the fear of the unknown out of the equation.

Preparation and getting prepared physically and mentally is the key to getting started on a course of adventure. When mountain climbers get ready to climb a mountain, they prepare by making sure they have the proper equipment, deciding on the trail, and building up endurance. Depending on the height and size of the mountain, they climb sections at a time until they reach the top.

Following a new course of action requires similar preparation, direction, and endurance.

* Look at the worst outcome
* Look at the best outcome
* Plan a course of action
* Is it worth the risk? (Are the rewards great enough)
* How do I get started?

*Take an inventory of your assets to find your starting place.

We have many of the skills and abilities that will take us to where we want to go. The next step is to assess your skills and abilities. What do you do that produces results?

*Ask for feedback

If you’re not entirely convinced of your assets, ask a friend or a close circle of friends to give you feedback on what they perceive as your strengths. You might be surprised at the good things that others see in you that you don’t see. If you’re really brave at this point, ask about your weaknesses.

*Ask for guidance.

If you’re a person of faith and prayer, ask for guidance. many people are empowered by the strength found in meditation and prayer.

*Find a mentor

People who have mentors often are able to embark on a new course more quickly than one tries to go it alone relying on his own knowledge. Take advantage of the knowledge that is available and accept help from people who’ve been in your situation and come out on the other side successfully. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

*Take the first step.

It’s OK to look back to see how far you’ve come in your journey to conquer fear and claim your prize, but always return your eyes to the prize.

*Don’t give up

Success may be at the next door, the next phone call, or in the next handshake. Discouragement happens, but if you’ve done your homework and believe in what you’re doing – it will be worth it when you reach your goals.

There is a story of a man who was thirsting for water. After many miles of weariness, he saw a hill before him, but he gave up. Over the hill was all the water he would ever need for the rest of his life, but he didn’t reach it because he gave up.

Don’t give up.