I’m Scared Of Failure - How Can I Overcome This Fear?

Last updated by Katie M.

“I won’t manage it”, “I can’t do it”… I often say this because I doubt my abilities tremendously. Being so negative allows me to calm my fear of failure a bit. By doing nothing, I don’t run the risk of failing. I prefer to do nothing and remain in a state of waiting, for fear of not succeeding. So I procrastinate, thinking about the fact that I didn’t take the plunge out of anxiety. How can I overcome this fear to really start doing things?

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Are you scared of failing? Take this test to find out: 

When you’re scared of failure, there are some tell-tale signs. A good way to find out whether you suffer from kakorrhaphiophobia, otherwise known as the fear of failure, is to check whether you have this type of behavior:

➜ We don’t want to lead: since we have a negative self-image and don’t believe in our abilities, leading a group project is out of the question. We’ll never volunteer to be the leader. Many young people from generation Y don’t want to become managers for this reason!

➜ We only retain negative remarks: when someone criticizes our work, we tend to retain only the negative, even if there were positive opinions too. Worse, we don’t like compliments!

➜ We’re ultra-perfectionists: the fear of failure leads to a need to control everything, bordering on an inflexible personality.

➜ We compare ourselves to others: it’s hard not to be envious when we’re scared of failure. We see others succeed and mentally compare ourselves to them. We feel that their success will never happen to us.

➜ We cannot handle a big event: the fear becomes physical, symptoms of stress appear including hyperventilation, stomach aches, sweating, etc.

The causes of the fear of failure

Before trying to overcome the fear of failure, like any other phobia, you must understand the causes of this anxiety and go back to its origins. It may be due to a past failure, which was so traumatic that it turned into an emotional shock. Low self-esteem also contributes to the fear of failure. Since we don’t value ourselves enough, we tell ourselves that we obviously won’t succeed.

😰 This phobia of failing is often associated with the fear of being afraid. It may lead to a state of anxiety or depression, which can be serious. This is why we must act quickly as soon as we identify this problem in ourselves.

How to beat the fear of failure?

Everyone hates failing. Nevertheless, the real fear of failure becomes disabling, preventing us from achieving our goals or dreams. This paralyzing anxiety should not rule our lives, so don’t hesitate to test these solutions to overcome it:

Understanding your emotions and freeing yourself from them

It’s real in-depth work that needs to be done to understand where the emotion of fear comes from. You have to go back to the origins while taking a step back from this fear. It’s important to be factual and see events from an external point of view to better manage your emotions, as for the fear of failure.

🧘‍♀️ For this, it’s good to learn to relax physically so as not to feel the physical symptoms. We practice meditation, yoga, breathing exercises… In short, all the little things can help us overcome this emotion of fear.

Seeing failure differently

All success stories have had failures. Even our teachers at school repeatedly told us that it’s normal to make mistakes, that this is how we learn. It’s important to play down failure because this is how we improve, how we push our ability to adapt, and our resistance to difficulties. A failure can also help us to succeed better. It allows us to correct our mistakes and get our aim just right!

💪 The more we fail, the more we ascend in order to succeed!

Reprogramming your thoughts

Limiting beliefs are those that paralyze us. Typically, when we tell ourselves that we won’t succeed and that we aren’t capable. This is why we need to learn to reprogramme our thoughts by starting cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

It’s important to regain self-confidence and learn to let go, which is what this therapy does. It reprogrammes our reflexes and thought patterns by exposing us, little by little, to our anxiety. Thanks to it, we become capable of taking action in order to accomplish the projects that are important to us.

Editor’s note: Don’t let fear guide your choices

We’re all afraid of failing, and that’s normal. Failure is difficult to live with, even if it’s a source of many lessons. Identifying this fear is a good starting point, as long as you don’t let it take over. It mustn’t stop you from acting out of fear of making a mistake.

👉 If this fear deprives you of doing certain things, make an appointment with a psychologist in order to identify the cause and set up new ways of working.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy… It’s here and now!
#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Katie M.

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