How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

fear of failure
Don’t despair, failure is just success in disguise

Ken, a chef, was only four years old when he realized that one must fail in order to learn and to strive for more. However, such philosophizing was not known to him then as he was still too young. He only began to know it as such when faced with failure in his personal life and career.

His realization came vaguely as his memories of such a young age were faded by time. What he can remember though, is that he was always trying hard to learn how to bike. His parents bought him a bike too big for his age and so he had difficulty in using the pedals.

Ken practiced his biking skills daily, sometimes falling because he could not even reach the ground. While his bicycle had a handbrake, he could remember using his own feet to stop his bike whenever he feels like it. Finally, his disappointment has borne fruit because after weeks of daily practice, he has learned to wander around the neighborhood with his bike.

Such a straightforward lesson from a child but every adult can learn so much from it. Our society has placed so much importance on success that failure has become a filthy and much-avoided word.

Others depend on positive thinking to keep failure at bay. While it helps, it also fools a person into believing that nothing can go wrong, thus creating a false sense of security.

Failure may be a bitter pill to swallow but everyone ought to fail at one time in their lives. However, as Ken’s experience has taught us, it is not the fact that you have failed that is important but the manner in which you have accepted and risen from such failure.

A person can either allow himself to be thwarted by failure, or he can apply such failure to build up his determination to climb more mountains. What is vital is that the experience of failing was not for naught, because the person who failed learned something from that experience.

Those who fear failure should know that most victorious people have failed one or more times in their lives.

But what made the difference is how they learned from the failure and how they used failure to succeed in life. The real failures are those who fail once and then decline to try anything ever again for fear that they might fail again.

The fear of failure creates worry due to the fear of not knowing and not being convinced of what will happen next. Most often, this results in a little problem being blown out of proportion. The more a person thinks about the possibility of failing, the more he will jump to conclusions on the possible events. Unknowingly, his fear of failure has made a small problem bigger and more complicated.

A person who fears failure can become too aggressive. It forces him to treat every person and every opportunity as a threat. This takes the joy out of doing something that should have been uncomplicated and without pressure. Such a person becomes nervous and anxious. The feeling of being pressured to do more and to go beyond what is normal forces a person to be erratic and weary.

Fear of failure is normal.

How you deal with it can make the difference. The best thing to do when confronted with fear of failure is to take inspiration from the reliable bamboo tree which bends when confronted with a strong wind, to keep itself from breaking, and to rise again when the wind has stopped.

First, a person must accept that he is not a perfect being, in fact nobody is. A person has a right to slip up and to fail so you have to give yourself another chance and another day to fight your battle.

Always have a support group to lean on when the going gets rough so that you will not feel by yourself and rejected. Most successful people rely on their family and friends when they are at their lowest point in their life. Others rely on their dreams of making it to the top.

Whatever you do, do not keep the feeling of bitterness inside you because it will just build up and devastate you. Talk about your fear and your frustration because it is the only way to get it out of your system.

Whoever said that failure is success turned inside out must have experienced failure at one or more times in his life. Or else, how would he have known that failure is just success in disguise?

This is part five of 15 (yes, fifteen!) posts about The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Self-Confidence, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking this link to receive free updates (not to mention a FREE E-Book!).

Part I: The Shocking Truth About Self-Confidence
Part II: 5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Confidence
Part III: 5 Surprising Characteristics of Someone Who Fears Rejection
Part IV: How to Cope With the Fear of Losing Your Loved One

To our success in all areas of life,
Argel Tiburcio
I’m on Facebook

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When he is not busy watching "The Office", lounging at the beach, or playing 1st person shooting games, Argel consistently invests in the stock market, both local and global. He loves learning through books, training, seminars, and workshops. He also helps Pinoys create, manage, grow, and protect their wealth as a globally-certified Professional Financial Advisor. Get in touch with him by sending an email to contact[at]

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