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31 Days to a Positive Inner Voice: Fear of Failure

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Everyone makes mistakes, when we make mistakes or fail we can experience a multitude of emotions. These emotions like, disappointment, fear, frustration, sadness, regret and confusion can become something we never want to experience again. We can feel shame for not succeeding. This shame and other negative emotions are truly what we begin to fear. It’s not truly the failure we avoid but the feelings failure brings, not feeling good enough, unworthy, unmotivated, shame.

Fear of Failure

How do we know if we have a fear of failure?

  • You worry about what people think about you, your success or failure
  • You worry about the future you want
  • You feel unmotivated and incapable
  • You constantly go over every move that lead you to fail
  • You tend to procrastinate
  • You tend to lower others expectations

Often times fear of failure is a symptom of low self esteem and negative self talk and criticism. When we fight ourselves, bring ourselves down, beat up ourselves over irrational beliefs that we are incapable. This negative self talk can lead to loss of motivation for even trying. When we are sure we will fail and we fear what would happen if we do so, we avoid the situation altogether. Often times keeping us from pursuing our dreams, reaching our goals, even simply trying to meet new friends.

How do we overcome a fear of failure?

Analyze the possible outcomes

As our minds begin to race we tend to find irrational beliefs and fears. We see extreme consequences for our actions. For instance, “if I fail at rocking a presentation at work, I will be fired, I will lose my home, my kids will be put in foster care and my family will be completely broken.” Now think about the logical outcomes. How important is the presentation? Is it possible you’ll lose your job? No? Great then do the best you can and remember that even if they don’t like this one you won’t be fired. If you are fired will you find a new job? If you don’t can you save your home? Can you move in with someone? Etc.

As you work your way through the possible outcomes you can remind yourself that, although the situations may not be ideal, there are almost always positive outcomes that do not mean the end of the world

Have a contingency plan

What would you do if any of the above situations happened? If you lost your job what would you do? If you were kicked out of your home what would you do? Make a plan if any of those situations occurred and remember as you grow anxious that it is possible to manage even the worst case scenario.

Think positively

Simply trying to remember not to dwell on negative outcomes can help you gain motivation and confidence that will help.


Do you have a fear of failure? Have you overcome it? If so, how?


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  1. I try to speak a positive thought for every negative thing that randomly pops in my head until I get over a rut or a hesitation to do something. It helps!

  2. Starting my day being grateful and taking the time to pray in the morning allows me to stay positive and focus on priorities -less dwelling!

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