Fear of Failure

Aree Wongwanlee

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This is a very strange fear. It is also a very powerful fear. And an almost invisible fear.

Let me explain.

The fear of failure is the feeling that you should not try something because you are not likely to succeed. Your subconscious mind will bring up all kinds of logical reasons why you are not likely to succeed. And the guaranteed result is that you will not succeed because you haven't even tried.

Now, there are, of course, certain things which would be too foolish to even think about trying. Like jumping off the 25th floor and hoping that you will not die in the fall. However, other than such foolhardy notions, most other things in life are worthy of at least on good try.

Note that I said 'one good try'.

A half-hearted attempt is just an attempt to fail. When you try, you must go at it whole-heartedly. Think of, say, doing a high jump. You run at the pole half-heartedly, you jump without even putting any real effort. Result? You will definitely not clear the bar. Go at it 'full steam aheaad'. Jump with everything you have. You may pass. You may not. But you have made a really good try. And your chances of success is at least 50/50.

Have you ever met this fear of failure? Are you even aware of this fear of failure? Do you have any tips as to how to overcome this fear of failure? Please share your thoughts. Thank you.
 

Steven Wilson

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Thats some great information on overcoming the fear of failure. We all have at some point to time had fear of failure, but how will you make it if you don't even try?

Remember success is moving from failure to failure without losing your focus. So go for it.
 
S

Successful Souls

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Excellent post Aree

Certainly a topic I can see you are passionate about, as am I.

Something I really enjoy doing in my down time, is trawling through interview after interview of high profile figureheads of success, who have already trodden through the "mud" and come out the other side triumphant in life. ALL of them, and I mean every single success I have researched from Donald trump to Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman (Founder of Linked In) etc. have fear in common. They all held the same fear at one point in their journeys, as we do (or did) at the start of our own journeys. But they were all able to handle this fear in such a way that they pushed forward in spite of this uncomfortable sensation, and even harnessed its energy to propel them towards their goals.

Donald Trump, and Steve Jobs for example, both deal with decision making fear in similar ways. When it comes to crunch time and the tough call must be made, they are both renowned to ask themselves "How important is this decision really, in comparison with all the turmoil in todays modern world?" They use this tactic of seemingly cheapening the severity of the decisions impact and are able to move forward and live with the consequences, succeed or fail.

At the end of the day I believe each person deals with fear in their own way, but the successful people in life truly understand that the only fear with merit, the only one that should be taken into account, is the fear of looking back one day with the knowledge that you could have been great but never had the courage to begin.

Hopefully some can find this useful.
 

Aree Wongwanlee

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Right, @Successful Souls. The fear of failure can be so powerful that it can paralyze the person affected by it. It freezes up the thinking process. It makes the person just refuse to move forward. Because he is totally devastated by the thought that if he did, he would fail. So he stands his ground. And fails for not moving forward.
 

BuildALife

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In my experience the fear of failure is not just an internal process. It is common for those around us to raise all the negatives, these words often demotivate us and enhance our fears.
For me the secret is two fold:
1. I try to only share my thoughts and decisions with those I can trust to provide genuine feedback on the topic at hand
2. If I need advice then I try to find someone who is qualified/experienced to give advice on the topic at hand

It is about finding trusted advisers as well as relevant experts to help you through life, sometimes our closest family and friends are not the best qualified to give us advice in all areas.
They often just push their fears onto you disguised as advice.
 

Aree Wongwanlee

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Aha, you have found out something that is sad but true, @BuildALife. And the people who give you advice are actually being sincere. They don't want you to fail. So they tell you all the reasons why you cannot succeed.
 

namktqs

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Yes, I work with manager, there are many time I must give decision for team to do something that I don't sure of success, I fear many things include failure. But my key go through all is do things you want, do it, most of case there are all tools for our. If we don't responsibility for it then who will? if we want it we must do it. Always must to do something to get something. If you do things necessary then you will get good results.
 

Aree Wongwanlee

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No doubt about that @namktqs. There is no such thing as a free lunch. To get something, we must give something. Otherwise, life will not be balanced. To become very rich, we must be prepared to sacrifice a lot of things. Things like a private life. Things like time with your family. Things like bending the rules.
 

Dileep Tiwari

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That's true! Success does not come easily. If someone want to translate their desire into reality, then they have to work for it and make failure lead them to success.
 
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Aree Wongwanlee

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Just working hard is not enough. If working hard is the only thing needed to succeed, then a lot of labourers should be very rich, but they are not. What is missing?

Have you ever experienced doing something rather ridiculous? Like when answering questions in an exam, and looking over the answers, change some, later to kick yourself because the original answers were the right ones?

This is our subconscious mind at work. Somewhere, embedded in our subconscious mind, is the notion that we are not perfect. So even after you have marked all the right answers, which means a perfect score, your subconscious mind tricks you into making some changes, so that you will fit in with the idea that you are not perfect and therefore cannot achieve a perfect score.

Same with the fear of failure. It's this fear of failure which stops you from doing something which can help you succeed. It can be something as simple as sending an application letter. For some strange reason, you forget to send it. The reason is that your fear of failure wants you not even to try to succeed. So it makes you forget to send the application letter, as an example, so that there is absolutely no possibility that you will succeed in whatever you are applying for.
 

Carl Davies

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I think if people are unaware of the fear of failure they are lying to themselves. But this is how I overcome it - if it creeps into my head? I imagine in my mind I'm writing the thing I'm fearing about at the moment on a piece of paper. Then I imagine burning it with a lighter. Afterwards I open my eyes and don't feel so bad afterwards. Very much like the great master karate expert Bruce Lee did. Ow - wait, I remember now. That's where I learned it from.. hehehehe. Lol!
 

Patrick Frank

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This is a very strange fear. It is also a very powerful fear. And an almost invisible fear.

Let me explain.

The fear of failure is the feeling that you should not try something because you are not likely to succeed. Your subconscious mind will bring up all kinds of logical reasons why you are not likely to succeed. And the guaranteed result is that you will not succeed because you haven't even tried.

Now, there are, of course, certain things which would be too foolish to even think about trying. Like jumping off the 25th floor and hoping that you will not die in the fall. However, other than such foolhardy notions, most other things in life are worthy of at least on good try.

Note that I said 'one good try'.

A half-hearted attempt is just an attempt to fail. When you try, you must go at it whole-heartedly. Think of, say, doing a high jump. You run at the pole half-heartedly, you jump without even putting any real effort. Result? You will definitely not clear the bar. Go at it 'full steam aheaad'. Jump with everything you have. You may pass. You may not. But you have made a really good try. And your chances of success is at least 50/50.

Have you ever met this fear of failure? Are you even aware of this fear of failure? Do you have any tips as to how to overcome this fear of failure? Please share your thoughts. Thank you.
 

Patrick Frank

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Dec 15, 2014
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Of course I have experienced the fear of failure. And you are right, it is important to give it your all when you undertake a project.