We have discussed fear being the driver in past editions, but I felt it necessary today to really drill down and take a closer look at these dynamics because they impact leadership so profoundly by quietly sabotaging our best efforts.

Fear of Failure and Fear of Success are similar in that they both bring focus to what is feared, but the storylines differ. Today, I want to look at Fear of Failure.

Fear of Failure is actually a bondage to success, a pre-defined version of success. With an assumption that anything less than that exact picture, is failure. The anticipation of or focus on an unwanted outcome… not reaching what your definition of success is. Fear of failure leads to huge control issues with much stress, fret, and scattered energy.

A person who is driven by Fear of Failure becomes attached to a belief that they must achieve the pre-determined picture, and often in a certain way. Because focus is on failure, they gather evidence to support the failure instead of holding the intention of success and being fluid as it materializes. Now, this is not always conscious – however, it jumps in the driver’s seat. When Fear of Failure is driving, the tendency is to do one of three things: 

Fight. Some people turn the whole thing into a huge dramatic struggle and fight every step of the way, only to find themselves falling short.

Flight. Some run in a different direction other than the goal, taking flight from what they perceive to be imminent failure.

Freeze. And some people freeze out of fear of what others will think or judge. Excuses and legitimate looking reasons rule the day and nothing is acted upon fully, if at all.

Good news: You don’t have to allow Fear of Failure to rule the day!  When you get clear on your purpose in whatever endeavor you engage in, passion kicks in and energy moves more freely. The definition of failure can be redefined and the perception of it occurring becomes remote. 

When you find yourself locked onto the disastrous image of failure in an endeavor, ask yourself:

  • What is the worst thing that could happen? Yes, look that monster in the face.
  • How likely is that to happen, really? Examine the facts.
  • What is the best case scenario?
  • How do I want to feel about this outcome?
  • What would be happening easily to feel this way?
  • What do I need to believe in order to bring about the best outcome? 
  • What is the first step in achieving that goal?

Failure is nothing more than what YOU define it to be. Redefining failure is imperative when 

establishing goals and moving easily toward them.

Next time, we’ll look at Fear of Success.

Are you ready to redefine failure, replacing obstacles and problems with creative and strategic solutions?

Consider attending the next 48 HR Breakthrough July 16 & 17 in Rogersville, MO near Springfield, MO

Lora Newman, M.S., LPC, is a Mastery Certified Coach, and Founder/CEO of Zero2Sixty Performance Coaching, llc, a national company currently serving clients in 22 states and four countries. Lora has been helping Business Leaders bust through the barriers holding them back in business and in life for more than 18 years.

She has gained notoriety as the Founder of The 48 HR Breakthrough™ 2-day intensive where business leaders learn to replace obstacles and problems with creative, strategic thinking so they can increase business revenue, lead teams with ease, and enjoy more freedom. 

Lora received her B.S. in Psychology from Drury University and an M.S. in Counseling from SMSU (now MSU.) She is a graduate of Coach U Coaching School, and is a member of the International Association of Women in Business Coaching. Lora holds duel certifications in EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) as a Certified Professional and a Certified Corporate Professional.