Fear of failure

Failures are stepping stones to success, however fear of failures are detrimental to success!

Fear of failure seems to be in the air, be it in the student community, work front or in our personal lives! Those who are comfortable failing, know that they have learned how to bounce back to garner the energy and try again! Those who have not figured it out, or continue to face failures seem to be feeling let down!

So, what causes it and how do we identify and get ourselves out of it?

Self doubt

Fear of failure is the fear of not being good enough!

This is the biggest killer causing the fear of failure! Did I do this right? Let me double-check! Get a second opinion! Am I going to get it right this time? Am I capable? Have I lost my core skills? Let me talk to someone who knows this better! Why do I feel I am going in circles? I used to be so good at it in the past – what happened now? My friends/peers seem to be better than me always! Am I good enough? Why am I having to spend so much time on such simple tasks? and the list goes on…. (be it students, parents, employees or community)!

perception of being deemed a failure

If we fail, we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves and figure out the next step to move forward. What if others see us a failure? How can we change perceptions? How can we control what others think? If I lost a job and a home, what will people think of me? They will not think – he is just on a stepping stone to success??? No one thinks that way!

This is a huge issue in the current scenario – although many across the world are performing their day to day activities (student life or adult life) from the comforts of their home!

What causes this perception in our mind?

Constantly evaluating ourselves from a third-party perspective against a yardstick which no longer holds true in our life seems to be the crux of the issue.

Realize that….

No one is perfect
No one is expected to be perfect
No one needs to feel pressured to be perfect

Change is expected in one and all
Changing the yardstick to measure helps

What can we do?

  1. Acknowledging and accepting that scenarios and yardsticks are changing is a good start.
  2. We do have a choice – always! The choice to do OR not to do. Realizing that helps!
  3. Get to the crux of the issue instead of blaming it on everyone and everything else. There is something that is always in OUR capacity that we CAN do – however tough be the situation. Identify it, evaluate it and work towards it.
  4. Change the circle you are mingling with – helps see scenarios from a different perspective.
  5. Seek help and support


  • When you decide to change what you are doing, the fear is not going to go away! You might need to start while being afraid – but you MUST convince yourself and choose to go on!
  • Failure is the outcome that you are fearing, focus on the steps and actions you are taking – without focusing on the outcome in the first iteration of change!
  • Success breeds success – create smaller milestones for yourself to feel happy and energize yourself while trying the next time around! While you might not get there right away, but you will feel the energy to continue putting in your effort every time you accomplish a smaller milestone!

I have realized that it is not about how or how many times you fall, but about how you learn to get up and continue walking after that!

Three in my circle (student, mother and an employee) seemed to be dealing with the same issue today, writing this post on their request!

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