Wondering how to overcome fear of failure and rejection? Want to know the psychology of what causes this fear of failure or rejection?
No matter how successful people become, they can still fear failure and rejection. Achieving your goals in life doesn’t make you immune to fear. We all feel this way at times, some of us more than others. And it can seriously hurt your quality of life if you let it.
Overcoming the fear of failure and rejection is an important skill for many reasons. If you never try new things, you can’t succeed. Achieving any goal, whether it’s in professional or personal life, requires trying, leaving your comfort zone, and putting yourself out there.
Trying always includes a risk of failure (and success). Thus, you will always deal with that risk when you’re taking action towards any positive addition in life.
Many people don’t realize how detrimental it can be if you suffer from a severe fear of failure. Try to remember any big or small efforts you’ve made during the past week. How many of them did you actually do? How many of them just went past you because you didn’t act? How could your life be, if you had tried all of them?
Read on to discover how to overcome fears of failure and rejection, including insights from experts and tips based on my own experiences overcoming fear in my own life.
What Causes Fear of Failure?
If you want to learn how to overcome fear of failure and rejection, it’s useful to know what causes it. Failure almost always includes some kind of negative consequences that cause inconvenience.
- Starting a business and failing leads to financial loss.
- Failing in dating life can cause heartbreaks and intimidation.
- Failure in sports can cause physical injury.
Fear of failure warns us about potential negative consequences that can hurt us. Nobody likes pain or intimidation, so it’s natural to be afraid to fail. When you’re planning to do something that includes a possible negative outcome, it’s natural to worry about it.
Fear of Failure Psychology
The human mind is extremely complicated. According to Healthline, fear of failure can take many forms. The severity varies from mild to extreme. In a worst-case scenario, it can completely paralyze you and seriously hurt your both personal and professional life.
Healthline also presents that fear of failure can cause both physical and emotional symptoms. Symptoms like sweating, elevated heart rate, or an overwhelming urge to escape the situation.
There can also be different risk factors that make you vulnerable to fear of failure. For example, you may have an experience where you failed miserably, which caused trauma. Or, you may just be a perfectionist.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Face Your Fears Head On
Fear of Failure Procrastination
Procrastinating while being afraid of failure is like pouring gasoline into flames. If you want to learn how to overcome fear of failure and rejection, you must understand what procrastination does. Procrastination in this case means delaying the action. When you do that, you’ll get stuck inside your head, and your negative emotions take control.
You start coming up with different excuses to take action and visualize the worst-case scenarios. This makes all the negative outcomes feel worse than they are, which makes trying even more terrifying.
If you’re planning to start a business, the effect isn’t so bad. In the long run, it doesn’t matter too much if you do it today or the next week.
However, some opportunities pass at a much faster rate. A great example is a man in a club who sees a beautiful woman. If he approaches her right away, it isn’t that scary. He doesn’t have the time to think about excuses. If he delays it, however, it gets harder and harder.
At any time, her friends could ask her to join the dance floor, or another man could approach her. That’s when he lost the opportunity due to procrastination. That’s why procrastination can be detrimental.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Beat Procrastination
Fear of Failure Examples
I love sharing these because I have many examples from my life. I feel like I have great lessons to share, so hear me out.
When I was 18, I became interested in entrepreneurship and building an online business. That was when I discovered a training program that promised to teach some valuable skills.
I was hesitant because scams and generic “gurus” are so common nowadays. However, I enrolled even when I was hesitant. Even though the model didn’t work for me and I lost some money, I learned valuable lessons.
I learned many skills like digital marketing and copywriting, which have helped me a lot. Failure taught me more than any book or course could ever do. Failure isn’t the opposite of success. Failure is a part of success. That’s why it’s important to know how to overcome fear of failure and rejection.
Rejection Is Better Than Regret
Back in the nightclub, I had similar experiences to the example before. Sometimes I’ve gotten stuck in my head and lost the change. It has been frustrating, but that’s OK. I can always move on until the next opportunity arises.
I’ve also had an experience when I wanted to invite some girls to our table. I wasn’t in an amazing mood, but I remembered the principles and took action. Even though I got rejected, I felt great. I knew that rejection is better than regretting wasted opportunities and my friend felt the same. Dealing with rejection isn’t as bad as you think.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Start Dating Again
How to Overcome Fear of Failure and Rejection In Your Life
Now that you’re armed with theory and knowledge, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. Let’s take a look at how to demolish your fear of failure for good.
#1. Reframing Failure (Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset)
In the world of self-improvement, there’s this concept of a fixed and growth mindset. Many people are stuck with a fixed mindset, which tells them that they can’t improve and failure is bad. A growth mindset, however, tells us that you can always grow, and failure is only a stepping stone toward success.
The negative consequences of failing aren’t nice, but you can deal with them. Failing is OK because we’re all humans. We make mistakes. Failure teaches us valuable lessons that theory can’t. That’s why it’s a good thing. Failing means that you’ve taken your shot and learned something new. As long as you don’t quit and keep pushing forwards, your failures add up to lessons that lead to mastery.
I like to imagine failures as stairs. When you stack them, they become a staircase that leads to the clouds. That’s where success awaits. That’s why you should consider failure a good thing. When you know that you can only win, fear of failure isn’t so bad.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Why Failure Is a Good Thing
#2. Preparing for Negative Outcomes
Another great thing to do is to prepare for the negative outcomes. When you take a look at them, you can surprisingly easily figure out how to deal with them. If you lose some money when starting a business, you can make it back when you have a job, and try again. If you face social intimidation, it makes you mentally tougher. Nobody remembers it later.
When you prepare for the worst, have a backup plan, and so on you can survive any negative outcome. By taking these steps, you’ve prepared for any outcome, which helps with the fear of failure. And in reality, the outcome is never as bad as you imagined.
If you do your work properly, you know that you can deal with any outcome, which makes acting much easier.
#3. Just Push Through
It may be easier said than done, but hear me out. You can minimize procrastination and intimidation by just acting. This is how you don’t have time to worry about all the negative outcomes that may not even happen.
Back in 2020, I served in the military. Our instructor gave us a lesson about dealing with stress in combat. When in war, the stress and fear are intense. The worst-case scenario means getting killed, so fear of failure is huge.
According to him, the stress increases to the extreme before an attack. Right before the combat, you’ll experience the worst peak of fear.
However, when you engage, you start operating based on your instincts and training. That’s when the stress level goes down because you don’t have time to think.
When doing something intimidating, you can use the same principle. Right before starting, the fear is at its greatest. But when you start, it gets easier and you start acting based on your knowledge. Remember, starting is the worst part.
After you’ve pushed through that, the rest is easier. When you arm yourself with knowledge and a proper mindset, your chances of succeeding are greater. When you know this, the fear of failure isn’t that bad. All you need to do is to take the first step.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Forget Overcoming Fear
#4. Get Professional Help
Yes, asking for help from a trained professional can trigger some of your other fears, especially if you have a severe atychiphobia, which means the fear of failing.
There are different forms of psychotherapy and medication that can help you. So, if you feel like your situation is hopeless, don’t worry. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you have to.
Not only can they provide you with the tools and techniques to unpack the root causes of your fears in your own life, but they can help you develop a treatment plan. Or at the very least, help you manage your fears with lifestyle changes like exercise and nutrition.
They may also help to access if your life news more life balance, particularly if your fear of failure and rejection has caused you to overwork yourself or even burn out. Or if on the other extreme, your fear of failure has trapped you in inaction.
Permanent Cure on How to Deal with Fear of Failure and Rejection
What if I told you that there’s a permanent cure. Well, there is. Unfortunately, it’s not a magical spell or a genius epiphany.
If you want to be entirely confident in something, you need to repeat it again and again. When you give a public speech for the first time, you’ll feel intimidated. However, the tenth time is much easier. That’s because you have real-life experience.
Shifting your mindset gives you a great start, but the ultimate cure is to do the scary thing over and over again. That’s how you gain experience that demolishes your fear of failure.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How To Leave Your Comfort Zone
A great way to get started is to consume the information needed and take action as soon as possible. The action gets you further than any amount of information.
To permanently destroy your fear of failure, just follow these steps:
- Consume information and shift your mindset to make it easier.
- Push through the intimidation and just get started.
- Repeat the action until your fear of failure is nonexistent.
Top Questions About Overcoming Your Fears Answered
What is the Fear of Failure and Rejection Called?
Severe fear of failure is called atychiphobia. This is one of the many different phobias a human can have.
What Causes the Fear of Failure?
Fear of failure is usually caused by a lack of experience and fear of negative outcomes. After all, nobody likes negative consequences. Dealing with them may feel scary, which causes the fear of failure. Also, it’s natural to be terrible at something and be afraid if you’ve never done it before. Lacking the skill makes negative consequences more probable, which increases the fear of failure.
According to leading experts, the fear of failure can also be caused by reasons like past trauma or perfectionism.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Stop Thinking Negatively About Yourself
How to Overcome Fear of Failure and Rejection as a Student?
The principles are the same. Shifting your mindset and preparing for failure work. Above all, realize that a single exam or other school project doesn’t determine your future.
If you fail an important exam or don’t get selected for your dream school, you can always try again. Life has tons of opportunities to provide you with a great career (maybe even your dream job one day). When you start looking at them, you’ll find some great opportunities.
As a student, you don’t need to have it all figured out yet. What matters, is that you progress with your studies and have some kind of vision. Doing something that you’re interested in is enough for most people.
Take Your First Step Today
There you have it. My guide to demolishing your fear of failure. I hope you found this post useful.
I also urge you to try these tips in your life. When you do that, you’ll be amazed at how many opportunities there are and how much you can benefit from them.
Be More Positive Affirmations
Ready to be more positive about failure and rejection? Get your FREE 20 Printable Positive Affirmations to help you start thinking and living more positively today.
Just remember, it all starts by taking action, that’s your very first step towards defeating your fears of failure or rejection.Are you afraid of failure or rejection? Wondering what causes fear of failure? Click here for how to overcome fear of failure and rejection for good. #Failure #FearOfFailure #Success #PositiveVibesOnly
How do you overcome fear of failure and rejection in your life?
More About Guest Contributor
Veikko Arvonen is a blogger and author with a passion for self-development. In his blog Maxed Out 20s, he shares how you can become more confident, respected, attractive, and happier by sharing his battle-tested methods. Visit his blog to learn more and get your free gift!
Last Updated on August 8, 2022
Get Your 20 Positive Affirmations
Subscribe to our VIP newsletter, plus get the free affirmations.