Do You Fear Failure? - 4 Ways to Overcome It | Janine Kathleen


Is it really a fear of failure or is it a fear of feeling shame?


When I was younger I would get a cold or a runny tummy before exams. It would be awful. The same would happen if I was to do a speech or anything I felt fearful of doing.


When I was doing my psychiatric nursing, I had the stunning realization that I became ill so as to have an excuse for if I didn’t do well.

People-Pleasing is a real thing and is integral in a fear of failure I now have an awareness of any throat tickle and deal with it promptly through journaling and discussing the issue with my body and myself.


Physical excuses to cope with emotional stress


My question to you is, do you create physical excuses to avoid facing what society may deem a failure?


Things like:

  • headaches, 
  • colds, 
  • sprained ankles, 
  • having to shop instead of preparing your presentation,
  •  washing dishes rather than reach out to prospective clients.


All potential signs of avoidance, preparing an excuse for in case we do not meet our, and societal, expectations.


It is also important to look at the stories you are telling yourself and others e.g. I don’t think I will get that job/client. I don’t have the skills. Why would anyone wish to work with me?

 All stories of avoidance we use to protect ourselves


The Shame Pain


We do all this to avoid the emotion of shame that may accompany failure, with the attendant feelings of letting ourselves and others down.


When we can understand that failure is not something to be ashamed of, that is something to learn from, we can move forward empowered and with experience of what we do and do not desire to have in our life.


We all stumble and fall.

 It is in getting up and assessing what we can do differently in future that we choose to grow and to be able to create more effectively and consciously in our lives.


Failure helps us discover who we are, what our strengths are and where we can be aware of areas we can develop better skills in.


So failure is actually a very empowering occurrence long-term. 

It will also highlight conditioning from when we are small and experiences along our journey of life.

 It is often best to seek help from a professional coach, a healer or mental health care professional to help ourselves move beyond our blocks.

 I TOTALLY get the value of this. 

My coaches and mentors have helped me so much.


Pleasant at the time?

 Absolutely NOT. 

It is in having awareness of how we can deal with it in the way that is most effective for us that growth is also encouraged.


6 Ways to overcome failure more effectively


  1. Consider possible outcomes of various situations before beginning a project or event
  2. Consider ways you may self-sabotage, that the unexpected may crop up and the steps you can take to avoid or deal with these. In effect, look at how you can see the positives by considering the hiccups
  3. What are the worst-case scenarios? Can you create plans to deal with them?  When you have looked at the worst that can happen, without taking on the energy of disaster, you normally laugh and move forward much more effectively.
  4. Have clear-cut intentions, along with contingency plans and a great sense of humour.
  5. Read autobiographies and biographies of people who have overcome adversity, and just even lived full lives, to help yourself gain perspectives of how life empowers us when we choose to learn and grow from perceived failures.
  6. Choose to develop and grow yourself, to understand yourself and to always be open and willing to learn from ALL situations and people.


Tools to assist you

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses
  2. Use visualization to ‘see’ what you are aiming for. It is easier to tweak on paper and in your head
  3. Have clear targets, practical planning, understand processes required for results
  4. Have smaller targets than larger ones, small steps are less daunting than large ones
  5. Celebrate each small win, this creates confidence and creates an awareness of competence




We all fear failure. 

It is in seeing it and working on our confidence that we are able to move forward.

Failure is a learning process, not a punishment. Only you can make it so.


There usually are blocks and conditioning from our childhood and our life experiences, and it is in understanding this and moving forward beyond it that we become more successful and more creative.


See and sit with the fear, ask it what it would like you to know, and ask your body where you can grow and create more effectively beyond this.


Each time you face the fear and keep moving, you are able to overcome it much faster and more effectively.


Well done on choosing you and choosing to grow and create your life, despite the fear of failure.


reach out if your interested in working with me to overcome this fear.