Overcoming the Fear of Failure: Strategies for Success

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By awarenessofsuccess

Failure is a crucial aspect of learning and growth, but many struggle with it due to shame, embarrassment, and social stigma. Fear of failure can hinder progress and lead to missed opportunities. It’s essential to be mindful of fears and reframe them to avoid negative impacts. Atychiphobia is an irrational fear of failure, arising from various sources, including mental health conditions, anxiety, depression, and perfectionist expectations. 

Fear of failure can lead to low self-esteem, poor motivation, self-sabotage, and shame. It affects a person’s ability to pursue goals and potentially limits academic success. This fear can also stem from feelings of worthlessness.

Symptoms of Fear of Failure

The most important step in overcoming your fear of failure is to identify the symptoms. A few of those have been listed below:

Physical Symptoms

  • Sleep difficulties due to overthinking and anxiety.
  • Fatigue, sweating, digestive distress, joint and muscle pain, headaches, difficulty breathing.
  • Radiating or pounding heart, chest pain, trembling or shaking, dizziness or light-headedness, hot or cold flashes, and tingling sensations.

Emotional Symptoms

  • Procrastinating/avoiding tasks that trigger anxiety.
  • Intense feelings of anxiety, fear, and panic when faced with unguaranteed success.
  • Lack of goal setting and working on goals.
  • Excessive focus on the future.
  • Thinking you lack skills to manage situations or tasks.
  • Missing deadlines or being late with assignments.

How to Overcome Fear of Failure? 

Failure and Success

Failure is inevitable in life, but it can be seen as a learning experience or a sign of inadequacy. Success stories like Michael Jordan, Warren Buffet, and Richard Branson demonstrate the importance of failure. Failures can teach valuable lessons, such as self-discovery and unexpected motivation, and can be a key to growth and success. 

And for that purpose, we have compiled a few methods to overcome your fear of failure. Let’s explore them below. 

1. Acceptance of Failure

Sometimes our best efforts fail, and we may question why. However, failure in a task is an absolute fact of life for everyone, and we can change our response when we fail. Acceptance is another option, as it doesn’t mean we don’t care or will work to make things better. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel the emotions of sadness or anger, but it’s important to let ourselves feel deeply. 

Acceptance releases us from the inner contraction and constriction that comes with resisting reality, which can close off our inner intelligence and compassion. Connecting to our core, the center of wellbeing, allows us to remember our best selves and try again.

2. Think of a Beginner’s Point of View

Embracing a beginner’s point of view and mind involves proceeding towards new challenges with interest and positive thinking, and not with fright. This mindset allows for a world of possibilities and is beneficial even when someone has experience. A beginner’s mind is open to new ideas and experiences, without any expectations or preconceived notions. This mindset is beneficial even when someone already knows something or has experience. 

On the other hand, an expert mind is narrow and based on assumptions, limiting the ability to find new solutions. A beginner’s mindset allows for a more open and flexible approach to problems.

3. Have More Than One Backup Plans

A contingency plan is a crucial tool for people to plan for unexpected events. It ensures effective responses to potential future events, often referred to as Plan B. In case of failure, a fallback plan is created, such as a community center, to provide a backup plan. 

These contingency plans are essential for success in life, as they help in resolving issues that may arise during a proceeding task. As the saying goes on:

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

4. Keep Trying Again

Living in fear can lead to missed opportunities, so it’s essential to try and fail. Failures are okay, sometimes better than successes. Being willing to adapt and make changes is key to avoiding being stuck in a decision.

Failures can have a significant impact, but they are not always bad. The worst part is never trying, as it prevents you from fully recognizing your potential. By trying, you can understand your current position and improve yourself, allowing you to bounce back from setbacks.

5. Have a Conversation with a Person You Can Trust

Empathetic listening is a technique that helps individuals understand the point of view of others, allowing them to identify with their experiences and provide support. It involves imagining oneself in the other person’s place, allowing them to feel the pressure and understand why their superior has made a decision. 

This form of listening differs from simple compassionate listening, which focuses on focusing on the message. It can help individuals overcome overthinking and overwhelm, ultimately improving their overall well-being.

6. See Failure as a Challenge

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be challenging but also an opportunity to test your skills and develop positive characteristics. Instead of viewing challenges as negative, focus on the benefits of overcoming each challenge. 

Embrace the fear of doing something that scares you, such as taking a course or joining a local group. Even small challenges can be opportunities for growth, such as setting goals for time management or meditation.

7. Be Kind to Yourself

Self-compassion is a powerful source of resilience, emotional resilience, and self-improvement. It helps you assess situations objectively, make sound decisions, and see your growth potential. Self-compassion leads to better immune function, better self-care, and a more positive work environment. It also fosters innovation and team cohesion. 

Treating yourselves with kindness aligns your lives with your values, allowing you to find the best professional roles.


Fear of failure can hinder goal setting, but visualization can be helpful. Start with small, challenging goals as “early wins” to boost confidence. Learn to evaluate outcomes rationally, develop contingency plans, and practice positive thinking. Overcoming fear requires setting small, achievable goals and moving forward slowly.

To overcome the fear of failure, one needs to accept the fact that not everyone makes every right decision. The key is to learn from the wrong decisions and mistakes and make sure that it never happens again. One needs to realize that failure and success are not opposite of each other, but failure is a phase of success. 


How can I overcome the fear of failure?

Facing failure is courageous and rewarding. To reduce fear of failure, analyze potential outcomes, learn positive thinking, consider the worst-case scenario, and have a contingency plan. Analyzing outcomes, learning positive thinking, recognizing the worst-case scenario, and having a contingency plan can help overcome fear.

How can fear of failure destroy success?

Fear of disappointment can be a major area of strength to such an extent that staying away from disappointment obscures the inspiration to succeed. The instability of doing things mistakenly makes many individuals unwittingly damage their opportunities for progress.

What is the root cause of fear of failure?

The four factors that lead to the fear of failure are a thoughtful nature, anxiety about failure, guilt, and perfectionism.