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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Fear Of Failure

Robert Stevenson Blog - Don't let your fears become your limits

I have heard it said over and over again that what holds people back from succeeding is the FEAR OF FAILURE. I think there is more to it than that. I think the phrase “FEAR OF FAILURE” is directly connected to FEAR of shame, FEAR of ridicule, FEAR of embarrassment, or the FEAR of humiliation. The sad thing about those fears is they are all shelf-imposed. We are the ones who give those fears value. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The way to stop that concern is … Don’t Give Your Consent.

I understand all too well that failing will stimulate feelings of disappointment, anger, and frustration. But that’s okay. I have also found that those emotions, when channeled correctly, can be catalysts for overcoming the failed attempt. Meaningful Success comes from those who are willing to risk failure, willing to stretch the boundaries, and willing to try something new.

Thomas Edison once said, “I failed on my way to success”. The key to handling a failure is to first and foremost, not call it a failure … it was just an unsuccessful attempt at trying to accomplish something. There are countless reasons for failure; there were things that happened you didn’t foresee, the design or process was flawed, you over-estimated your capabilities, you under-estimated your competition … etc., etc., etc.

What you should take away from any failed attempt is the knowledge of why you were unsuccessful. NOW YOU KNOW WHY YOU FAILED is the essence, the key, the heart and soul of future success. NOW YOU KNOW you should have zigged instead of zagged. NOW YOU KNOW you should have turned left instead of right. The GREAT NEWS is … NOW YOU KNOW. But, if you start worrying about what others will think because you didn’t succeed the first time, you are wasting valuable energy that can be used to succeed the next time.

One of the main components in the “Art of Making Decisions” is can you live with the consequences if the decision you make goes wrong, doesn’t work, fails, bombs, flops, is a loser, a fiasco, or a dud? If you CAN’T live with the bad consequence(s) then you better look for an alternative solution. Some people may say, “Well, I didn’t see that consequence coming” or “I never thought of that possibility”; that is why, with critical decisions, you may want to solicit other people’s opinions. There are lots of clever acronyms for F.E.A.R. ...


The one a lot of people seem to choose, Forget Everything and Run! Don’t let anyone tell you FEAR isn’t real. It is very real … but you can handle it. I am not addressing life or death situations here … this is about the FEAR that is holding you back from moving forward in your life, advancing your career, handling things-issues-situations life is constantly throwing at you. The world-renowned artist, Vincent van Gogh said, “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” The great ones don’t worry about what other people will think … they JUST DO IT. (Sound familiar?)

Conquering your FEAR is the beginning of wisdom.Remember the wise words of Robin Sharma:

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.”


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