How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure and Unlock Your Potential

We all want to succeed in life and reach our goals, but many of us are held back by a fear of failure. This fear can manifest itself in different ways: we may become anxious when faced with challenging tasks, procrastinate on important tasks, or even avoid taking risks altogether.

But the truth is that fear of failure is something that we can overcome, as these fears are formulated in our minds. By learning to be more mindful and developing the right strategies, we can start to unlock our potential and achieve our goals. 🫶

In this blog post, I’ll explore what the fear of failure is and why we have it, as well as share some strategies for overcoming your fear and unlocking your potential.

What is Fear of Failure?

Fear of failure is an emotional response that can arise when we are faced with a task or situation that we believe we may not be able to complete successfully. 😟

This fear can be triggered by a wide range of situations, from taking a test or starting a new job to making an important decision or taking on a new challenge.

When we feel that we may not be able to succeed in a certain task, we can experience a range of emotions including anxiety, fear, and even shame. This fear of failure can be so powerful that it can prevent us from taking risks, trying new things, and achieving our goals. 🙃

Recognising that failure is a normal and necessary part of personal growth and learning is essential. Learning from failures and using them as opportunities for improvement can help individuals cope with and eventually overcome this fear.

It’s important to remember that failure is not a reflection of a person’s worth, but rather a stepping stone on the path to success and personal development.

fear of failure

Reasons You Might Be Afraid of Failure

There are a number of reasons why we might be afraid of failure. One common reason is that we are afraid of disappointing others, especially if they have high expectations of us.

Another reason is that we may be worried about how we will be viewed by others if we fail. 👀

It is also possible that we may have experienced some form of failure in the past and feel that we are not capable of succeeding in the future.

We may also be afraid of failure because we believe that if we fail, we will not be able to move forward and achieve our goals.

Strategies to Overcome the Fear of Failure

Now that we have explored what fear of failure is and why we have it, it’s time to look at some strategies for overcoming it. Here are some tips for tackling your fear of failure and unlocking your potential:

Develop a Growth Mindset

One of the most effective ways to overcome the fear of failure is to develop a growth mindset. This involves looking at failure not as an end, but as an opportunity to learn and grow.

A growth mindset encourages us to take risks, embrace challenges, and look for ways to improve. It allows us to view failure as a learning experience and an opportunity to become better. 🤗

Take a look at our Personal Growth Bundle to find out more.

Visualise Success

Visualising success can be a powerful tool for overcoming fear of failure. Visualising ourselves succeeding can help us to be more confident, reduce anxiety, and take the first steps towards achieving our goals.

It is important to remember that visualising success does not mean that you will definitely succeed, but it can help you to build the confidence and motivation to take risks and move forward. 😀

To help with visualisation it would help to have a vision board. You can do this year by year or have an overview of the life you are trying to create. – Pinterest would be a great place to start with ideas.

fear of failure

Break Your Goals Into Smaller Steps

When we have a goal that we want to achieve, it can often seem like an insurmountable task. This can be overwhelming and can lead to fear of failure.

To help combat this fear, it is important to break your goals into smaller, achievable steps. This can help to make the task seem more manageable and reduce the fear of failure. 😊

Want to become a master at setting goals? Check out our mini-course: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

Accept That Failure is Part of the Process

It is important to remember that failure is part of the process of achieving your goals. Failure does not mean that you are not capable of achieving success, it either means that you have not found the right path yet or you just need to keep going. 🛣️

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes knowing when to quit and when to keep going can be hard. You have to think to yourself, am I going to regret this? or is this the best decision I can make for myself right now?

Accepting that failure is part of the process can help you to stay motivated and keep trying. It can also help to reduce the fear of failure and give you the confidence to take risks and try new things. 😊

Reach Out for Support

Reaching out for support can be a powerful tool for overcoming fear of failure. Talking to family, friends, and mentors can help to remind us that we are not alone and that there are people in our lives who are willing to help us. All you have to do is ask! 🗣️

Having a supportive network can also provide us with encouragement and motivation to keep going, even when we feel like giving up.

Celebrate Your Small Wins

It is important to celebrate our small wins and successes, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrating our successes can help to boost our confidence and remind us that we are capable of achieving our goals. Because you are! 🏆

It is also important to remember that failure does not define us; it is a part of the learning process. Acknowledging our successes, no matter how small, can help to keep us motivated and remind us that success is possible.

Conclusion – Unlocking Your Potential

Fear of failure can be a powerful emotion that can hold us back from achieving our goals. But with the right strategies, we can start to overcome our fear and unlock our potential.

By developing a growth mindset, visualising success, breaking our goals into smaller steps, accepting that failure is part of the process, reaching out for support, and celebrating our small wins, we can start to move forward and achieve our goals. 🎯

So don’t let your fear of failure stand in the way of your success. Start to take small steps today and unlock your potential!

Pin this post for a reminder 📌 👇

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Why rejection hurts – and what to do about it

Getting picked last for a dodgeball team, being told “I think we should just be friends” or “you’re not a right fit for the job role” are all forms of rejection that can hurt like hell.

Rejection can feel like a pool filled with different emotions such as; anger, shame, sadness and grief. Sometimes people don’t even understand why they have been rejected in the first place. This can lead to a downward spiral of negative emotions.

Nobody is immune to rejection. When you put yourself out there you face the possibility that you may not make the cut.

Scientists placed people in functional MRI machines and asked them to recall a recent rejection and they discovered that it activated the same areas of the brain as physical pain. This is why even small rejections can feel bigger than they are because it feels like actual physical pain. Damn.

Not only is rejection disappointing but it can make you feel like something is wrong with you. If you get rejected enough times it can heavily affect your self-esteem, making you doubt yourself and your place in this world.

backing up homer simpson GIF

Rejection knows no boundaries. It can invade your romantic, social and job situations alike. Not only can it make you feel inadequate, it also communicates the sense to somebody that they’re not loved or wanted or not in some way valued. Which is obviously not the case.

Guy Winch, Ph.D., psychologist and author notes that many times the rejection does 50% of the damage and we do the other 50% of the damage. “We start with this high volume of negative self-talk and criticism that takes the rejection to another level” he says. 

If you deal with rejection the wrong way such as ignoring your emotions, lashing out at people and vowing to never leave your comfort zone again can only negatively impact your personal and professional relationships. Fortunately enough, there are ways you can deal with rejection that will make you come out stronger.

Dealing with rejection is a skill that can only be developed over time. The more you try, fail and dust yourself off to get back up again the more you’ll be able to cope with the word “No”.

Different types of rejection

Social rejection – This type of rejection can occur at any age and usually begins in childhood. Social rejection can include bullying and alienation in school or in the workplace. Those who challenge the status quo of society are more prone to social rejection.

“Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships”. Says C. Nathan DeWall, PhD.

Rejection in a relationship – People may experience rejection while dating or in a relationship, it can come in the form of withholding affection or intimacy. When an individual decides to end the relationship this can cause the other person to feel rejected. The suffering that comes with this type of rejection is arguably harder than the other types. It can leave you speechless and feel physically sick. The intensity of the reaction to the rejection will gradually fade. You’ll have your good days and your bad days but little by little you will start to enjoy life again. I promise.

Familial rejection – Rejection from one’s family (typically parental rejection) is likely to affect an individual throughout life. We are often taught that our family’s love is unconditional, so when a family member rejects another member it can be excruciatingly painful.

At the end of the day, you didn’t ask to come into this world, so feeling rejected by one or both of the people who brought you in it can make you feel out of place.

Familial rejection can look like:

-Parents who avoid spending quality time with their children
-Failing to show interest in their children
-Limiting privileges without a reason
-Parents who refuse to follow through on the promises they made

Romantic rejection- Romantic rejection can occur when a person asks for a date and is denied. It takes courage to reach out and approach someone with who you wish to begin a new relationship. When met with rejection it brings up not only frustration but also shame.

Life’s too short to not shoot your shot. If they’re not interested, move on. There’s someone out there for you.

rejected mean girls GIF

 Here are some tips for coping with rejection:

Acknowledge your emotions
“If you don’t know what hurt you, you will bleed on people who didn’t cut you” – Unknown

Emotions are complex. Often if we experience rejection we naturally want to create some armour to protect ourselves to prevent more emotional pain. Wearing layers of body armour prevents connection with others and does not contribute to developing security. It creates a false sense of safety in a controlled environment which is not realistic.

Rather than deny, suppress or ignore your emotions, you need to acknowledge them. Having the confidence to deal with uncomfortable situations head-on is essential to coping with discomfort in a healthy way.

Passing off your pain as “no big deal” will only prolong it and make you more fearful of rejection. The key is to be able to face your pain.

See rejection as personal growth
Getting rejected is proof of your effort. It’s a sign that you’re willing to try new things even if they don’t plan out how you want them to. It’s a sign that you’re aiming to live your life to the fullest knowing that there is a chance you can get knocked down to the ground.

If you have never been rejected you are living life way in the comfort zone my friend. How will you know that you’re pushing limits if you don’t get a few knockbacks here and there?

Working hard day in day out doesn’t exempt you from failure. You’re not always going to be rewarded for your hard work. It’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s true.

Start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and watch how your life unfolds.

Focus on something beyond yourself
In the immediate aftermath of rejection all you want to do is focus on what happened and what you may have done wrong in order to be rejected. “but I just don’t get it, how could this happen to me” train of thoughts will leave you internally suffering for no reason. Sometimes it’s best to just focus on something beyond yourself to help get your mind out of that rut.

Ask a family member or a friend if there’s anything that you can help them with, volunteer at a food shelter, plant flowers in the community garden. There are a number of ways you can ease the process of rejection by getting up and focusing on the good things you can do in your life.

This doesn’t mean you should mask your pain and pretend it never happened. It’s acknowledging that you can’t change the past and dwelling on it is only going to make you suffer. Focus on something positive and get that spring back in your step again.

Look after the basics
The feeling of rejection can have both physiological and physical effects. So, it’s best to remember to look after number 1. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat well and go and get some exercise.

Trying to move forward when you’re still in emotional turmoil will never end well. Take some time to process your thoughts and feelings instead of pushing them away.

Keeping it in can affect you mentally and physically. It’s your responsibility to deal with your feelings, just make sure not to push yourself before you’re truly ready to let go.

Go at your own speed, don’t listen to people who say, “Omg you’re not over that yet!?” They don’t know what’s going on in your heart and your head. Only YOU truly know who you are. Don’t abide by other people’s timelines. Move when you are wholeheartedly ready to move. Don’t rush the process.

Practice a simple self-affirmation exercise
1. List five qualities or attributes that you have and that you really believe are valuable.
2. Pick one of those five things and write a brief passage about one of them (about 1-2 paragraphs will be okay). Elaborate on why it’s an important and valuable quality.

This simple exercise will remind you of your self-worth and make you feel infinitely better about yourself and become more resilient to rejection that comes thereafter.

We all have a fundamental need to belong. When we get rejected we feel a disconnection which adds to our emotional pain. Finding our way back to those who love us or reaching out to members of groups who value and respect us has been found to soothe emotional pain after rejection.

You are not alone in your pain. Feel your feelings, accept your feelings then seek help if needed.

How do you deal with rejection?

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