Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is based on the premise that if you promise to do something, and for whatever reason, that promise doesn’t come to fruition, you have failed.  It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or the fault of others.  The failure is yours if you made the promise and couldn’t follow through on it.  

The stigma of failure is something that’s taught to us from our earliest years and something we often hold onto for our entire lives.  In school, if we got a bad grade, we were told we failed.  If we didn’t make the team, we failed.  If we didn’t get a part in the play, we failed.  Sometimes our failures would lead to punishments such as detention or being sent to the principal’s office.  Often though, failure came from our classmates, just for not fitting in.

So, it’s understandable that you would want to avoid failure at all costs.  These fears are steeped in your history, your emotions, and your expectations for your ability to thrive.  If you believe that failure is a very real possibility in your life, then you will always weigh that fear heavily in any type of change that comes your way.  Will it be good, or will I do a bad job and therefore fail?  Will I live up to the expectations of others, or will I fall short and therefore fail?

The fear of failure can shape your tolerance for risk-taking and determine what your idea of achievement looks like.  If this happens, you can become consumed with failure because of your actions and end up hesitating and questioning every opportunity that presents itself.  You’ll see opportunities as land mines instead of being potential happiness or success.  Your fear of failure then becomes a paralyzing blocker that will keep you from moving further in your career, or your personal relationships.

The fear of failure can be a significant blocker to change if you believe you’ve failed in the past, and consequently believe you could fail again.  One failure might be something you can overcome.  But multiple failures can become insurmountable sending up red flags with any new opportunity for change.   Multiple failures are no longer about failing as an action, but instead about being categorized as a failure.  A repeat offender.  Someone who can’t be trusted.  Someone who lets themself down, as well as others.   Being a failure carries a whole other level of stigma with it, creating even more fear and stagnation.  If you feel you’ve failed in a business venture, or a marriage, or even at school, then it often becomes a reason not to try again, as the fear of repeating that failure becomes a huge blocker for change.  

If you believe that failure was the outcome of your actions…, why would you ever risk taking that chance again?  

In many cases, the risk of failure is a perfectly valid reason to choose not to make a change.  If the information you have indicates the odds are not in your favor, then it makes perfect sense to find another direction.  Not everything is guaranteed to work.  Not every option is a good choice.  But if the information has promise…and the odds are that you could potentially succeed in making a change that works in your favor, a fear of failure should not be used as a block to move you forward.  

If your fear of failure stops you from exploring an opportunity, gathering more information, or determining if a real risk of failure exists or not…then it is a blocker you must push through before you can Find your Nxt.

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