I Can’t Do It!: The Fear of Failure

· June 2, 2016

More and more people are afraid of not knowing success and not being at the top in their professional or private life. Trapped in the “loser” mindset, these people are deprived of the joy of life and the daily challenges that life offers.

The way we face the challenges and difficult situations in life shapes our character and, therefore, our final destiny.

“Man never knows what he is capable of until he tries.”

– Charles Dickens-

For example, in a new situation which can be risky, if we focus on our fear of failure, we will certainly feel insecure and lacking in resources. In addition, our behavior may suffer. Numerous studies show however, that a positive mental attitude is the key element for personal success. Let’s take a look at how we can use it.

young woman happy

Being mentally fit

Being emotionally fit means to feel secure even in the most difficult situations. What does this mean? It is the way we interpret situations and value what happens around us, express our emotions, and take action.

A winning mindset is fundamentally based on capacity: the ability to always find a way to enhance meaning in any situation. The question we will ask to tackle each event in our life will be: How can I reach my goal?


The difference between success and failure

The difference between success and failure is the ability to transform difficult situations into enhancing resources.

“Success is learning to go from failure to failure without despair.”

– Winston Churchill-

Fear is one of the basic human feelings, but the fear of failure and the insecurity it causes should not block our ability to solve problems.

This is because the road to self-realization is full of failures, but it is precisely those difficult experiences which allow us to experience the most important changes and developments.

The winners in life have one thing in common, and it is not a lack of obstacles and difficulties encountered along the way: they know how to take advantage of every situation to grow, improve and get to a new level.

flower dry dirt

Fear of failure and fear of risk

Fear of failure usually leads people to avoid risks, and too often, these people do not even want to discover the limits of their own abilities. They only want to do the minimum necessary to obtain a sufficient level of well-being and protection.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow determined “security” as one of the primary needs of human beings, and that it is part of our natural instinct to want to protect and preserve what we have. But beware, security can sometimes deceive us: it may limit our choices, and consequently our actions.

“Often the difference between a successful man and a failure are not his skills or ideas, but the courage to bet on an idea, take calculated risks and act.”

– Maxwell Maltz –

To achieve any goal there must always be a risk. Just learning to manage the fear of failure, we will have more chances of getting what we want. Each fear is an opportunity to grow.

Fear starts in our minds

In chess, it is said that fear of attack is always stronger than the attack itself. Our imagination has a great ability to amplify our fear of failure.

However, fear is also useful: it warns us against danger. It is not functional when it completely blocks our progress toward a specific goal. If we are dominated by the fear of failure it is unlikely that we will be able to act freely and effectively.

Life is waiting for us, and nobody else can live it for us. If we really want to change, if we are willing to stop avoiding failure and risk, we can be happy.

We can change our ways of thinking and the dysfunctional behaviors that hinder us in achieving our goals. We just have to stop running, procrastinating, and making excuses.