Fear of Failure's 9 Unusual Faces

Love, Self

Fear of failure limits success in love and life and it has many hidden faces.

Fear of Failure Face #6: Avoidance

Some people avoid putting themselves in situations where they think they could fail. This is a sure way to live your life as an underachiever. Underachievers stay in their comfort zone; facing the possibility of failure is too uncomfortable. Conversely, high performers live and thrive with challenge and discomfort. The possibility of failure motivates them into positive action. Are you avoiding something out of fear of failure? Take the first step in resolving this fear: Identify what you’re avoiding.

Fear of Failure Face #7: Indecision

This is a fairly common fear of failure face. It's important to remember that indecision is a decision. It's a decision to not change anything now. It's an inaction that keeps things the same. High performers and Fearless Leaders™ are good decision makers. Sometimes the decision is to do nothing, but deciding this is an active decision, not a passive lack of action. When indecisive, consider making a conscious decision to either do nothing or to take action — one or the other.

Fear of Failure Face #8: "Nexciting"
Do you know someone who's always chasing a new, shiny ball — someone who's always after the latest "thing," be it a new idea or a better product or service — before finishing what he already started? Or maybe it's chasing the next relationship. Going after what’s new and exciting ("nexciting") can energize you even if you’re not succeeding at anything important. Nexciting is like a drug cover-up for fear of failure. To counter this, consider having strong, positive accountability to follow through on all that’s important. 

Fear of Failure Face #9: Withdrawal

There are different levels of withdrawal. A mild form would be similar to procrastination or avoidance. In an extreme case, you could be curled up in bed in the fetal position. If the fear is so big that it immobilizes you emotionally and you withdraw, you may not be ready for the challenge. If this occurs, you have several choices. You can let this challenge go, find someone to do it with you, get help to find the courage to take it on, or develop the skills to be successful. Ultimately, you need to increase your confidence and probability for success. If your withdrawal is severe, consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

Now that you’re familiar with the nine fear of failure faces, score yourself on this 1 to 5 scale:

  1. never/almost never
  2. seldom
  3. sometimes
  4. often
  5. always/almost always
  • Fear of failure affects my personal life. _____
  • Fear of failure affects my business life. _____
  • Which of the nine faces is most prevalent in you? ____________________
  • Which of the nine do you notice in others? _________________

Please share your answers to the two questions above in the comment section.

For more specific techniques to begin to master fear, Blast Through Fear! is a four and a half hour audio training CD set or downlad.

This article was originally published at Dr. TC North . Reprinted with permission from the author.