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 #2: Procrastination
This is a more obvious fear of failure face. When you're afraid to fail and you think you might, you put off doing things so you don’t have to face failing. A business leader may procrastinate on implementing a new strategy because she's afraid it might fail. Or she might put off firing someone for fear that she'll spend a lot of resources hiring a new person who could be worse. This was true of a CEO of a high-tech firm who had a sales team that was underperforming. His board told her, "One of your weaknesses is you wait too long to make personnel changes." When she realized and embraced her fear of failure, it lost its power. After that, she made personnel changes quickly when necessary.

Fear of Failure Face #3: Anger

Many triggers can set off anger, and one of them is fear of failure. Instead of dealing directly with your fear, you express it as anger so no one, possibly even you, sees the fear. There's a good chance you don't even know you have a fear of failure because the anger quickly covers up the fear. Guys are great at this one, because they shouldn’t be afraid, right?

Anger in this situation is actually a protective response to fear of failure. Fear is the primary emotional response, and anger is the secondary emotional response. Expressing anger won't resolve the real issue, which is fear of failure. Anger can be an extremely deceptive fear of failure face, because when held in, it festers and is often unleashed on a person or situation having nothing to do with the anger’s original source. If you find the fear and work to resolve it, your anger disappears. This may be more common in men than women.

Fear of Failure Face #4: Crying

There are various reasons people cry, including emotional and physical pain and grief. Most young children cry openly when scared. But for adults, it's frowned upon. Crying (in private) can be cathartic, but you need to deal directly with the fear rather than using tears to cover it up. This may be more common in women than men.

Fear of Failure Face #5: Rationalizing
This happens every day in sales and relationships. For example, after losing a big deal, the leader or sales rep says, "I didn’t have much of a chance anyway." Stop deceiving yourself! Stop making excuses. What if you want a new job or a promotion or that really hot guy or gal — will you go all out? Or will you rationalize that you don’t have a chance and either not go for it or give a half-hearted effort? The only way to win big is to play big, play all out and learn from winning and losing. You’ll win big at some point. Keep reading...

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