Fear of Personal Failure is the most common phobia related to success

5 Simple Ways to Overcome Fear of Personal Failure7 min read

Our Collective Fear of Personal Failure Can Derail Even the Most Promissing Life. There Are Simple Exercises to Keep That From Happening.

More than 35 million Americans report having a fear of personal failure, making it the most common phobia in the country. A fear of failure will rob us of any chance at real happiness by paralyzing us and keeping us from trying anything new. The good news is there are techniques for overcoming a fear of failure that you can practice daily.

“It’s simply a fear of the unknown. And the unknown is what life is about.” 

So go ahead and overcome the fear of personal failure and check out some new tips on overcoming a fear of failure and get started today.

Learn to Say No

Just like you should avoid saying yes to everyone, so too you should avoid saying no to everyone. But there’s a difference between saying no and “not saying no”. You can say no to things that you really don’t want to do that just feel right to you.

Say no to what feels right to you for instance instead of saying no to your accountant when you should say no to that chore at the office, you say yes to it instead. The same goes for saying yes to your boss when you should say no to that meeting at the office. It’s okay to say no to things that feel uncomfortable but it’s never okay to say yes to those things.

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have the time to say yes to anything? Well the best way to stop this is to make a schedule of every single event you’re going to and to put off saying no to them until you’ve filled your schedule.

To Crush a Fear of Personal Failure, Believe in Your Own Expertise

Don’t be afraid to show your expertise whenever someone asks you for help. Just make sure you do it in a way that shows your comfort with the topic. For instance, if you have a child that’s sick and you need help with a chore, just say yes and ask for advice from your spouse or your child’s pediatrician instead.

This isn’t to say stay in your lane, but when you’re in your lane, you’re pretty damned good at it. Research on YouTube isn’t a medical degree. Zillow isn’t a real estate license. Expertise is only being one step ahead of who you’re talking to anyway. Don’t let your fear of personal failure be a road block to your own self-confidence.

Do you always try to help others by saying yes to everything? If you do, you’re hurting your own Self esteem .

Use Your Leisure Time for Your Own Needs

Fear of personal failure is exacerbated by a lack of self-care
By vadymvdrobot

Your. Own. Needs.

In general, having an abundance of leisure time can be great for a person’s self-esteem because you get to focus on your own needs without feeling pressured into helping others. For instance, if you need help with a chore at the office, say yes and do it while letting your supervisor know how great it is that you’re letting them know how great it is what you’re doing.

Focus On What’s in Your Power to Change…

People have been known to “take responsibility” for their own moods when they’re in a bad state, but when they’re in a good mood, they don’t say yes to everything that’s offered to them. People in a good mood don’t typically ask for help from others, but people in a bad mood usually do. The same goes for any other situation. The same rule applies for bad moods. Don’t just “feel better” by saying yes to everything.

The fear of personal failure actually compels us to fight against how we’re feeling instead of accepting it as the way you’re feeling. It will pass. Life is nothing but transient suffering. It gets better.

Let the rest go. 

Get Outside Help When You Need It

I’ll muse about work for a minute, since that relationship is supposed to be professional. But this technique applies to all types of relationships.

Talk to your supervisor about what’s going on in your life if you’re experiencing a lot of mood problems.

This is so you have a record of what’s been happening to you and you can get help if there’s a need for you. When the needs of others conflict with your own, talk to your supervisor. Don’t let things get to the point where it causes you harm or makes you not want to do your job. 

Tell them how you really feel and why you don’t want to do your job. Be honest.

A vacation is a lot cheaper than retraining your position. Again, trust your expertise and trust that they don’t want to lose you.

Being beholden to a job is stressful enough without worrying about your fear of personal failure on top of it. People will stay in a job they hate for entirely too long because all of their eggs are in one basket and they are afraid of how it will look. All the more reason to get that side hustle going post haste!

But I digress…

When you don’t speak up, jobs may be given to you by default or you may be put in jobs that make you stressed about your work. Whatever happens, don’t make it a habit of getting upset by the job that’s being thrust upon you. 

It’s okay to vent and blow off a little steam. But it’s much more effective to simply ask questions, make an effort to learn more about what needs doing, and say yes to tasks that you’re interested in and say no to those that you’re not. 

This will help you understand what needs doing and make a better assessment of what you’ll do, so make an effort to build up a portfolio of good job performance.

Living Your Best Life Moving Forward

This will help you reduce stress in your life and give you a much more complete life experience. If you’re having trouble in your relationships, don’t feel like you’re a bad person. Feel more comfortable about yourself and make an effort to work on your relationships with a counselor. 

It’s much easier to build a new strong relationship after you’ve been working on your own problems. This will give you more social support, which will improve your self-esteem, and give you a better understanding of what’s going on in the world around you. It’s a whole positive snowball effect.

This will give you a better chance of being in tune with others and their needs, allowing you to contribute in a much more useful way. It will improve your ability to handle stress, improve your performance, and keep you mentally alert and sharp all the time. 

The best of all are the job opportunities that will be given to you, allowing you to build up the skills and experience needed to do the jobs you’re actually interested in.

And remember, even when things are going wrong, don’t feel like you’re a bad person. Feel better about yourself, knowing you’re a good person with fantastic skills, and you’ll soon improve things around you. Don’t spend your life feeling like a failure.

Your life is a gift, and the only way to enjoy life is to spend it being happy. So be happy.

James J Griffin | Writer | Consultant | Itinerant Philosopher

James is a freelance writer, digital marketing expert, real estate consultant, and ardent work from home dad. Reach out to get in touch. California BRE# 01700279.

Young father with a toddler boy cooking.

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