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"Many times, the thought of fear itself is greater than what it is we fear".

How to Overcome Fear of Failure?

What is failure?

Failure and success both are a relative term, that means different things to everyone. What one person considers successful; another may consider it, a failure. The level of failure and success depends on the person and what they value. If you are able to achieve the goals you've set for yourself or set by the society which may include your family, friends, and coworkers, you take yourself successful. Contrary to this it is taken as a failure. Well, let’s accept that nobody likes to fail right? However, the truth is that success cannot exist without failure. Failures are the milestones of a journey. One should not fear failure, instead, know that it helps you to evolve to your best. 

What happens when we fail?

When we fail we experience a plethora of emotions like embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness, and shame, resentment, depression, isolation from society, hopelessness, and many more. People feeling failure go into self-doubt, become self-critical, lose their confidence and self-esteem, and struggle with identifying with themselves. You will often find people struggling with fear of failure, comparing themselves with their peers, and disappointed in themselves. Fear of failure can be immobilizing. We assume the worst for ourselves and then hesitate to move forward.  To escape from all the negativity they indulge themselves in binge eating, binge-watching, staying hooked up on social media, consuming drugs & alcohol. Fear of failure would keep you away from trying new things you might be good at and eventually will stall your personal and professional growth. 



How to cope up with the Fear of Failure?

Here are a few ways to manage, mitigate the fatal repercussion of our failure.

  • Accept responsibility for failure with grace

It’s important to accept with grace an accurate level of responsibility for your failure. Your wound will heal faster with this and you will not miss the learning out of it. Don’t try to hide with a smile or blame others for your failure. If you reject how you really feel right now then those emotions will find a way to pop up frequently and later can take a depressive course. So, go ahead and embrace your emotions. Label your emotions and allow yourself to experience them and take accountability for your failure.

  • Talk to your well-wishers, Guru or Mentor

 Sharing your feelings with someone you look up to can turn out to be a fruitful decision. Air out your anxiety, seek a new perspective, and seek guidance. This conversation can help you to ground yourself in reality again and help you gain a sense of clarity.

  • Challenge irrational beliefs about failure

If a person has failed once, the next automatic thought would be “what if I fail again?’’. Well, that is one of the irrational thoughts a person can possess when they are spiraling down. One needs to develop an awareness of their thoughts and emotions and put them in perspective. Develop realistic and rational thoughts about your failure.


  • Research biography of famous leaders

Search online and you will find thousands of stories of failures and tricks to fighting them off. This may not solve your immediate problem but at least shift your mood from pessimism to optimism.  Go through the life stories of all leaders. You’ll likely find that all leading personalities, so-called successful persons of the world are successful because they failed. Actors get rejected for roles, athletes get cut from the team, and business owners lose business deals. Study properly what they did to bounce back from failure. You might learn skills that can help you in your own life.


  • Reject unhealthy habits to reduce pain

To deal with the fear of failure recognize the unhealthy ways you try to avoid pain in your life. Binge-watching, isolating yourself from people, staying hooked up on social media, intoxicating yourself are some of the unhealthy coping strategies that will do more harm than good. If you’re feeling like a failure, try to create or recreate little joyful moments for yourself and relax.  Listen to your favorite podcast, listen to some music, eat chocolate, watch a movie, go for a walk, go to the gym, take a nap, read a new book or close your eyes and just breathe.


  • Reprogram your thinking and shift your perspective

When you find yourself thinking that you're hopeless and a total failure then put a mental pause & take out time to reframe your thoughts. Introspect objectively, jot down the answers to these question·      

  • Is this okay to fail?

  • Is it shameful to fail?

  • Am I the only one who has failed?

  • Did I make a mistake that caused the failure?

  • Did I make a series of mistakes?

  • Did I try my level best? Am I honest enough?

  • Was I in my comfort zone or hesitant about the pain involved in facing challenges?

  • Is it because of foreseen or unforeseen circumstances did you fail?

  • Did I make the right target matching my capacity and values?

  • Did I act at the right time?

  • Did I fail in one aspect or in total?

  • Is this failure a delay or defeat forever?

  • Is it a one-time failure or permanent?

  • Is there an opportunity to try again?

  • If it is not a dead-end, then what are the other alternatives now?

  • Is this failure equal to the whole life or just a part of life?

  • Am I overreacting and doing psychological drama?

  • Are you an accomplishment or more than that.?

  • Will I allow myself to be wounded or learned?


This way one can go over the sequence of events and processes and see if there was anything that could have been done differently. If this analysis is made with hundred percent honesty, then everything turns out to be transparent as the mirror and negative thoughts are warded off. Once you get the answer to the above questions your self-esteem will be restored up to a certain extent and you are empowered to make a fresh start with the Affirmations like these-

  • I wouldn't allow myself to feel wounded.

  • This is just a small failure, not my entire life.

  • I will not compromise on my physical and mental health because of one failure.

  • I accept my mistake & I will work on my shortcomings this time.

  • I believe I can handle this situation in a healthy way.

  • I will bounce back with more knowledge & strength,

  • I will grab the opportunities that may come my way.

  • I will trust myself.

  • I will not succumb to the pressure of standards set by my family or society.

  • I will set my own standard according to my capability. My life standards are my choice.

  • I will be more patient, determined & hopeful.​


To sum up we can say that it is okay to fail. Life is not a game where one loses or wins. Life is a journey where we spend time with love and togetherness. It doesn’t matter how you fail instead how you get back up that matters. We have to come to terms with the fact that certain things are beyond our control. According to Gopal Das Ji, Life as a sculptor wants to make a masterpiece out of us. The question is whether we are ready to handle every test, every knock, every pain that comes from sculpting tools, or do we want to grumble and crumble down. The choice is ours. We should exercise this choice with a certain state of mind in equanimity, a balance that whatever life throws, we make it a wonderful possibility.


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