Stress Management

What are the causes of the fear of failure and how to overcome it?

Causes of fear of failure

  • Fear of the unknown: It is very difficult to try for any new thing. This is because you are not able to predict the exact output. You have low confidence to understand your capabilities while trying for the new one.
  • Perfectionism: It is very difficult to accept any other standards due to perfectionism. This kind of people does not try for the new thing. Due to perfectionism, you may lose your creativity. For perfectionists, failure is so terrible and humiliating that they don’t try again.
  • Family boundaries: Some parents control their children in such a way that children lost their creativity. There are many cases where parents don’t allow their children to participate in extracurricular activities. Parents become over-protective in lifting their child’s career. These living patterns continue to exist in their adulthood. They feel safe in their confined boundaries.
  • Past failure: Trying something new and failing repeatedly can break you internally. After failing two-three times you will not allow yourself to take a risk again. If you faced failure repeatedly then it does not mean that you have not achieved anything. If you think in a deeper way you will realize that you have enough resources to go one more time. Take the recent example of Elon Musk.
  • Low self-esteem: If you start underestimating yourself then you will never try for the new one. Instead of wasting time in doubting yourself, take a step ahead and start executing. Don’t forget that failing also teach you many thing in your life.

Steps to overcome the fear of failure

1. Be positive and motivated

  • First, don’t let your focus and motivation down at any circumstances.
  • You can defend any tough situation by thinking positively.
  • Negative thinking lowers your confidence and productivity.
  • Morning exercises and meditation helps you a lot in building positive behavior.
  • Spent some time with motivated and productive people.
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2. Have a clear goal

  • You need to clearly define your goal. Otherwise, it will create confusion and hence the fear of failure.
  • If your execution planning is proper then you will get lots of confidence in executing it.
  • Make sure that you are not short of any kind of required resources.
  • Tell your family, friends and colleagues about your goal and take feedback.

3. Set boundary conditions

  • Though you are very clear about your goal, you need to analyse all the possible outcomes.
  • Find out all the tangibe and intangible constraints.
  • Look and analyse the worst case scenario.
  • Make sure that all midpoints (obstacles) are clearly visible.
  • Move with an alternative solutions if possible.

4. Use failure to your advantage

  • Try to read more failure stories instead of success stories. Failure stories not only motivate you but also make you aware of the midpoints i.e obstacles.
  • If you failed one time then surrender yourself and feel the failure. The advantage of doing this is you will realize that you have achieved a lot.
  • Reframe your goal, visualize obstacles and take it as a challenge to start again.
  • Treat yourself kindly when you experienced the failure.


Premratan Kushwaha
Mechanical Engineer turned career enthusiast. After facing issues in finding the right job for myself and then realising that despite my degree I don't completely understand the significance of various profiles in the industry, I decided to make career out of helping others in finding the right career path.

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