How to overcome the fear of failure

What would you do with your life if you could not fail? This was a question asked to me once that opened my eyes to many possibilities.

 

I understand this sounds like a strange question. I mean, what wouldn’t you do…right? You could be a star athlete, become president, fly to Mars or my personal favorite, save the human race from its own demise.

 

No matter your answer, don’t you think it is ashamed most people in this world only dream of those thoughts instead of actually accomplishing them, all because of the possibility of failure?

 

What would you do with your life?

 

Fear of failure stops most people from achieving even the most minuscule success. Some people are so afraid to fail that they will make up just about any excuse others will believe, just so they do not have to try. When I see someone with not just talent but they want to to do something in their lives, they then say, But this or but that, it seriously breaks my heart.

 

 

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Let me tell you a saying that golfers say when they are on the putting green. You don’t have to be a golfer to understand this. When they line up their shot to try and sink a 20 foot putt and come up short, there is always someone in the group that will tell them, “when you come up short, you will miss 100 % of the time but if you go too long, you always have a chance to sink it.”

 

The same thing pertains to failure. If you want to accomplish a dream of yours and decide it’s not worth it because you may fail, you WILL fail every time. However, if you give it a try, you at least have a chance at success. I want you to start thinking about giving yourself that chance to succeed in life. Let’s talk about ways you can stop worrying about failure.

 

 

Embrace Failure

Now, I will tell you, I have friends that laugh at me when I tell them I failed at something today…”It was awesome!” I am sure you are probably thinking the same thing right about now. Give me a chance to explain.

 

Let’s start by looking at the definition which I pulled from Merriam-Webster dictionary. It means pretty simply, a lack of success. I want to repeat that…A LACK OF SUCCESS, that is what failure means. Here is what we as a society have come to believe what failure means:

 

Punch Points

 

1. Failure – To fail at something and never be successful for the rest of your life

2. Failure – To fail at something and now everything I touch falls apart

3. Failure – To fail at something and be ridiculed forever

 

 

Not one of those three statements says you have a lack of success. They all say you are a worthless no good loser that should go hide behind a rock.

 

The reason I talk about embracing failure is that this is how you succeed. In fact, it really is the only way and here’s why. Because when you try and become something you never tried before, you are going to fail.

 

Here’s the secret, when you fail, after your little pity party (which we all have those, including myself) you get to do something so amazing, so wonderful that it will blow your mind. You get to…get ready for it…TRY AGAIN. You get to pull yourself up, dust yourself off and go back to that drawing board and see what went wrong.

 

Key Takeaway

Oh, the reason you are going to embrace that failure? Because it is one step closer to your success. You will never make that mistake again because you figured out what went wrong. That mistake or those mistakes are gone, vanished into thin air. they are now in the past, never to be repeated.

 

What would you do with your life if you could not fail? I want you to keep thinking about this over and over again.

 

Fail to learn

 

Learning from your failures is a very important key to your success. Don’t let them go without understanding them first, that is very important. Once you figure out the problems that went wrong, then allow them to enter your past to never be seen again.

 

Is that it? Fail once and then I succeed? Man if it were just that simple I would be writing this from my beachfront property in Maui, Hawaii. Nope, you will get many more chances of failure again and again.

 

 

 

 

Let’s think of it though, are you really failing or are you what I like to call, “Failing To Succeed.” You will fail over and over again but what you are really doing is learning more and more about your niche, your little corner in this world.

 

The successful people in life know how to do one thing, learn from their failures. When you fail, you are ultimately on your way to succeeding. So in essence, you are never really failing, you are just learning along the way towards your success.

 

The problem with most people is they quit before the magic happens. They get so close but have no idea because they quit.

Do you want to know the true definition of failure within every single successful person mind?

 

Failing simply means quitting. It is really the only way to fail…quit. Because once you quit, you can no longer succeed. As long as you keep going, you haven’t given into failure, you are just learning many ways which will not work.

 

Overcoming the fear of Failure

 

Let’s look at ways to get this fear of failure off the table so it is no longer a concern. Here are a couple stories of what happened to me and how I either succeeded or failed.

 

1.

Key Takeaway

But people will laugh at me – It’s funny that no matter how old you are or position you are in with your company/business, this is always a problem for people. No one wants to be laughed at, made fun of, called names behind their backs.

 

I use to work for a cabinet making company when I was a kid, about 18 years old, just graduated. A friend of mine who worked there decided he was going to join the Marines.

 

Now, I found this very exciting because my brother was a Marine, my Dad was in the Army so maybe I could do something like that. It was actually a dream of mine in the back of my head.

 

One day we went to lunch together and he ran into his recruiter. His recruiter told him to come to his office tomorrow and then looked at me and said…”You too.” Now, I was not only a naive kid, but also easily intimidated.

 

I thought maybe if I didn’t go, he might come looking for me. So I went. Well, to keep this as short as possible, he recruited me, very easily actually mainly because it was something I thought about doing anyway.

 

When I got back to my workplace, I told my foreman and a couple others that I was going to join the Marines. I believe for the next ten minutes, nobody worked because they were laughing at my expense.

 

They were saying things like “Look at you, the skinny kid thinks he’s going to be a Marine” and “You’ll be coming home crying before the first day is over.” Well, that was all it took, I never joined and left that company soon after.

 

I allowed them to laugh me out of what I, at the time, thought was something I wanted, a dream that I had, now washed away for good. As I got older, I thought about that instance many times and soon realized, I didn’t get my dream because I allowed others to step all over it.

 

The funny thing or not so funny thing is I never see any of them. I have no idea who they are or where they are. I basically allowed strangers to me now, affect the outcome of my life. Never again.

 

2.

Key Takeaway

If they are in a room where you do your exercising, then put a note in a place where you would go before starting to work-out. Say you come home from work and plan on working out before dinner. Wherever the first place you go when you get home should be a note that says “Go work-out and be a winner.”

 

Since I was 17 years old my dream was to own my own business and become a millionaire. When someone would ask me what do you want to be when you grow up, I would tell them a millionaire. Then they would ask, yes, but how, what are you going to do to be one?

 

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I would tell them, I don’t know and don’t care. I will shovel feces off peoples lawns if it will make me a millionaire.

 

That was when I was 17 years old. At the age of 36 years old, 4 kids, two marriages (still married to my second love) and 23 different failed businesses later, I retired from my factory job of 17 years and own my own business.

 

In fact, I now own several businesses. This was all because I took my “23 Learning Experiences” and kept on moving forward. Do not fail by quitting.

 

3.

Key Takeaway

I already failed several times, how many times can I handle this – Here we are talking about your own mental state. Like we discussed earlier, a good way to get around this is to stop saying you failed because, in reality, you didn’t.

 

I look funny on camera, I speak weird, I blah blah blah. Is it going to be harder for you then say someone who has $20,000 to start something? Yes, probably, but I didn’t say anywhere that success was easy, I am just here to tell you how rewarding it is.

 

Here are just a couple samples

 

As for me? I was working in a factory, raising four kids. My older brother and I were sick and tired of being sick and tired so we had a pizza meeting with our more successful brother who was a realtor, flipping houses and owned a roofing company. He told us since we both knew a little about fixing houses, why don’t we get into flipping?

 

We, of course, came out with, we have no money plus all the time we would have to put in, we both have full-time jobs. So he said, I know someone who may loan you some money but you have to make up your minds whether you really want to get out of your jobs or not.

 

So we both decided to and borrowed $10,000 at 20% interest. I never looked back after this as 6 years later, I retired from that job.

 

Here are a few other success stories of people who were first poor:

Chris Pratt – lived out of his van before starring in the hit role Jurassic World

James Cameron – Lived out of his car while trying to get “Terminator” approved

Jim Carey – Lived out of a VW camper and a tent on his sister’s front lawn

Harry Houdini – Ran away from home when he was 12 years old and never looked back

Steve Harvey – Lived in a 1976 ford tempo before success

Oprah Winfrey – Was told she was “unfit for television” – Went on to become a billionaire from television

Look, I can go on and on with person after person who had some type of issue and still kept pushing along, believing in themselves and not caring what anyone thought. That is the fire you need to be successful. Just remember:

Failures are our stepping stones towards success

So I ask you once again…What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?

I believe in you – It is time for you to believe in you too

 

 

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10 comments on “How to overcome the fear of failure

Roseanne

This was very interesting and brilliant! I really enjoyed reading this Frank. Very good.
All your siblings knew you were made to succeed in anything you put your mind to.

If I could not fail I would open up my own clothing store! I know what it is to do hard work. Many people think that they can magically be succesful overnight. I wish that was the case haha!. However, hard work and perseverance is the key. This is a great post for those who need a little perspective on succeeding.

I’ve always said that failure is the universe’s way of giving us constructive criticism. Some of my best accomplishments have come from several times of failing. Thank you for this. Really inspiring, looking forward to reading more of your posts!

Hi Frank, and thank’s for your inspiring post. I’m just starting my online marketing business, and understand embracing failure, haha. But that’s how we keep learning. And one day I’ll get it right and make my million… OK, maybe not a million, but enough to retire on. That’s all I want.
Cheers,
Suzanne

This hit close to home. I’ve been doubting myself and the work that I have done with my site. Thank you for making me take a step back and reevaluate everything!

Thank you, Roe, you are one of the best in this world. You take after Mom’s heart, that is for sure.

I am glad you were able to read this post in time and hope you continue to push forward. You can do this! Thank you for the comment.

Hey, if it’s a million you want, then a million you will have as long as you do not give up and keep pushing forward. I know you can. Thank you for the comment.

You are correct, my failures are what made my successes. thank you so much for the compliments.

Thank you for commenting. Yes, work hard and smart and you will go places.

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