Nobody wants to fail in life, and when it happens, it can leave you feeling anxious and somewhat hopeless.
When I first struggled with failure, I started questioning my abilities. Was I good enough, or maybe this path wasn’t meant for me? So, much to my regret, I stopped trying.
What if you aren’t living a fulfilling life because you’re scared of mistakes? What if you’re so scared of mistakes that you can’t feel happy, or you find it difficult to make good decisions?
You might not even be aware of 8 things you’re missing out on in life because you have a fear of failure.
This stops today.
Let’s start by breaking down what you need to look for to make lasting and positive changes.
1) Reaching your true potential
A fear of failure stops you from pursuing new things, and it’s understandable. We don’t pursue something and expect to fail, so when it happens, we feel bad.
One thing I can tell you from experience is that making a mistake in your job is not pleasant! The day I mixed up a report for my presentation, I stood before a group of board members, and I was mortified.
It’s a situation I wanted to avoid at all costs, and I ended up not taking initiative and stagnating in my position.
Fear stops you from trying. If you aren’t open to trying, you become stuck in life.
Why do we do this?
We do this because our confidence takes a knock when we fail. It creates anxiety, and we resist change.
Ever heard the phrase “fear of the unknown?”
Well, it applies right here. When you can’t determine what the outcome will be, you become too scared to take calculated risks or seek opportunities.
It becomes impossible to progress personally or in your career if you can’t accept change, and this prevents you from reaching your true potential.
When I think about success, I see someone who’s always motivated to get things done.
But when you fear failure, you feel immense pressure when things like an assignment at work are due, or you delay tasks till the last moment because facing it just creates anxiety.
I’m sure you know the feeling.
Delaying the inevitable isn’t the answer, and it’s not a healthy way to deal with fear. The pressure that you place on yourself is counterproductive and actually increases the possibility of making mistakes.
If you want to be successful in life, then you need to be productive, and that means working through the fear.
Think about what it is that you’re so afraid of and why it’s stopping you from feeling motivated to reach your goals.
3) Professional growth
You can’t grow if you aren’t willing to make hard decisions and take risks. This applies to your professional growth too.
For anyone to achieve professional success, they must be willing to try something new.
This means pursuing things to help you reach those goals.
For example, you could complete a course to improve your skills or apply for that promotion that you’ve had your eye on for so long. If your boss wants someone in the office to take on an assignment, you should volunteer!
But it’s safer to stay in your comfort zone.
You can pay the bills, and you have job stability, so why bother?
What if you had to push beyond the fear? You could be much further along in your career and achieve what you’ve always dreamed of.
Maybe you’re scared of success, and you’re overwhelmed by the idea of additional responsibilities, a higher pay grade, and letting people down if you can’t deliver.
4) Building authentic relationships
Are there times when you worry about what other people think of you? There’s nothing wrong with wondering if you made the right impression or if the person you started dating actually likes you.
The problem is when you become preoccupied with someone’s opinion of you. It becomes hard to say no or set healthy boundaries because you’re worried that they won’t like you.
You may end up taking on so much that it leads to mental and physical exhaustion.
Your fear of disappointing others by saying no stems from a fear of failure. You don’t want to let anyone down, but in doing so, you self-sacrifice.
Look for the signs.
If you constantly try to avoid disappointing others, it will stop you from building true relationships based on mutual trust and respect. You’ll feel like you’re getting taken advantage of and become resentful of friends, relatives, and colleagues.
We all make mistakes, and it’s impossible to say yes to everything that other people expect of us. If you want people to like you, be open and honest.
Work on your confidence and understand that it’s a good thing to establish boundaries and know when to say no.
5) Love and romance
Have you stayed in a toxic relationship because you thought that leaving would make you a failure? Perhaps you fear the pain of separating and hope that things will improve if you stay.
This fear becomes so great that you would rather be miserable in an unhealthy relationship than accept that it’s not working.
If you’re single, you don’t put the time and effort into putting yourself out there because you’re scared you’ll be rejected or that it won’t work out.
You play the “what if” game.
“What if I never find someone again?” “What if I’m too flawed for someone to love me?”
These fears justify your decision to stay in a partnership where you aren’t valued. When you’re single, you avoid finding healthy and stable relationships.
If you can relate to this, please don’t sacrifice your self-worth and happiness because of a fear of failure. You’re missing out on finding the right partner who absolutely values and adores you.
6) Feeling confident and secure
The biggest trap that we fall into when we fear failure is negativity. Yes, failing at something is horrible. Mistakes make you look within, and sometimes, this leaves you questioning your worth and competence.
When you’re negative, your self-esteem suffers.
This is what I mean.
You tell yourself, “I’m not good at anything,” or “I’m not smart enough to get that promotion or pass that course.”
So you don’t even try, because what’s the point?
These negative words and thoughts can lead to insecurity. You’re left with self-doubt and the need for approval from others.
If you have doubts influencing your outlook, how can you make confident decisions? Then you rely on others to approve your work or make you feel secure, which creates a cycle of insecurity.
Mistakes are a natural part of life, and they’re necessary to help us learn from them. The most successful people in the world didn’t let fear hold them back, or they wouldn’t have achieved their life’s work.
It’s time to feel confident and to do this, you need to end your fear of failure.
7) Working on your future
If you had the power of prediction, you would grasp every opportunity that guaranteed a successful outcome.
This seems obvious, doesn’t it?
What I’m trying to show you is that if you had control over the outcomes, you would take chances, and you’d work on your future goals and dreams.
When you fear failure, you feel powerless.
This powerlessness makes you apprehensive when making plans or decisions about your life. Nobody wants to feel anxious and distressed when preparing for their future.
Unfortunately, this type of fear holds you back from seeking opportunities that could make a positive difference and help you achieve success.
As the phrase goes, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Overcoming fear can help you build strength and courage so that you feel confident about taking risks for your future.
8) True happiness
If you keep telling yourself that you aren’t good enough, how can you possibly be happy?
Living with apprehension about the decisions you make in your education, job, or relationships robs you of happiness.
Being consumed by worry and a sense of hopelessness won’t add another day to your life. In fact, stress alone increases your risk of developing conditions such as chronic headaches and hypertension.
I recall my grandmother’s words…
“If you don’t work on your fears, you won’t follow a dream or try to reach a lifelong goal, and one day, you’ll look back on your life and regret your decisions.”
The time wasted, and the constant worry will keep you stuck.
You’re missing out on true happiness and fulfillment in your life because you have a fear of failure. Fortunately, once you’re aware that you’re holding yourself back, you can make the changes to live without fear and regret.
I know how much you want to avoid failure, but it’s impossible to be perfect all of the time.
Think about it.
Everyone makes mistakes; it’s a natural part of life. When you try to avoid taking chances or making decisions because you don’t want to fail, you’re simply shooting yourself in the foot.
Failure doesn’t happen all the time, and while it’s unpleasant, we need to learn from it. Avoiding opportunities to prevent mistakes stops you from living your life and all the wonderful things it has to offer.
Stop allowing the fear of failure to control you, and start taking steps to flourish and believe in yourself.
If you fail, so what? Dust yourself off and get back on the horse!