How To Deal With The Fear Of Failure

The topic on how to deal with the fear of failure could be applied to almost any area of anybody’s life, at one time or another.

When confronted, we would find that dealing with the fear of failure is just as important as dealing with the fear of success.

There is actually a thin line between both, just as love and hate (so they say).

The meaning being, sometimes you just can’t tell the difference between the two.

If someone is struggling with a stronghold, one of two things will surely characteristically play out.

One is that the individual who is struggling will simply deny, or ignore, that there is a problem. We call this denial.

Second and most common, believe it or not, is that the fear of overcoming the stronghold will leave us in a state of paralysis.

In other words, we stay stuck in our position because the hope of success is overshadowed by the fear of our failure.

So, we do nothing and begin to conjure up excuses of why, eventually we start to hide.

The Strategy of Avoidance in Addiction

Have you ever felt like you were capable of being successful but were gripped with the fear of actually succeeding?

If you answered “no”, then come back when you are ready to be honest about it and with yourself more importantly.

Now, if you answered “yes” to this we are ready to move on, because the truth is that we have ALL felt like this about something in our lives, at one time or another.

It is only human to doubt, especially yourself and especially at a time when you are gripped with fear.

Ultimately, fear causes us to avoid situations or circumstances rather than confront or face them head on.

Avoidance is a familiar strategy for those of us who really want to recover from our addiction.

We now know that staying high or loaded and drunk all the time was often a way to avoid facing our problems and all the memories that still cause us pain.

Over a period of time, eventually, our avoidance became one of the most prized tools that we utilized.

Denial is different because we pretend that we don’t have any particular issues that need to be dealt with to begin with.

Avoidance sees those issues but sets them aside and pretends that we will address them later.

You could, in this example, equate avoidance to procrastination.

We procrastinate, saying, “I’ll do it, but later, OK?”

The truth is we have no plans of dealing with them any time soon, if ever.

Avoidance is part of our defective thinking: if we don’t deal with our issues, maybe they will magically go away!

But we know, intuitively, that they will not.

It is procrastination that keeps it a possibility and that becomes good enough for us…” I’ll buy that lie for a dollar!” becomes our stance.

The only possible way to resolve them is to confront them. It’s that simple.

Fundamentally Courageous

The difference between a warrior and a coward is courage.

If a warrior suddenly lacked the courage to fight, he would cower in the face of that fight.

So, if a coward musters up the courage to face a situation (even though he is scared) he becomes courageous within the face of that fear he has chosen to face.

I say this to say that we have all had issues that we have avoided confronting.

It may be months, years or even decades since these issues started.

Today, lucky for us, is a different day. Today is a day of resolve if that’s how we see it.

Today, tell yourself, “I am going to face what has been holding me hostage now for some time!”

As we step into the footwork of doing this, we also step into the courageous quality that is knit into our DNA.

Courage is fundamental to our being.

Defectively Full of Fear

Fear is defective behavior and practiced.

And avoidance is a form of fear. Procrastination is a form of fear.

I once heard that we were not created with “a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind!”

The problem with this is that we, as individuals, are involved within the process of actually believing this.

Do we believe we were created with the power, love and sound mind to overcome the fear which has controlled our lives? the fear of the unknown? the fear of failure? the fear of just not being OK for today?

I don’t know about you, but I lived in this gripping fear for decades.

But today (somebody say TODAY!), today is a day of activation, motivation and confirmation.

With these 3 ingredients we are going to focus on the issues, present the footwork in confronting them and stay out of the results.

Universal Assistance Will Always Accompany Us

If we do this, the Universe will assist us in accomplishing the task at hand.

It is no different from committing a crime. Here’s an example:

If you, let’s say, have a habit of driving drunk you are taking a risk on a probability of being pulled over by the law.

Now, if this happens, you are subject to DUI, which is a crime in most states.

Multiple DUI’s eventually will turn from misdemeanors to, now, a combined felony charge.

If you never addressed this, then the Universe had a way of inviting the police in to pull your ass over and distribute the justice for the deed.

The Universe had a way of assisting our arrest and having us jailed for our crime.

In this way as well, the Universe will step in to assist your journey of resolution so you can become free.

Unlike the handcuffs of the police, but this was the road you were traveling, so the Universe stepped in to assist.

I believe right or wrong actions are both rewarded by the Universe.

The reward for courage is peace just as the reward for breaking the law is jail, or in my case, prison.

As we learn to work on ourselves in recovery, we ask God in prayer and meditation to grant us the courage to face the issues we’ve been avoiding.

I believe in doing so, God gives His Universe marching orders for directing our lives in a, now, correct and meaningful life.

Failure Is Part of a Successful Journey

I would like to convey this simple truth for all of us. There is no success in ANYTHING without failure.

No one said it better than Thomas Edison, saying, “I have NOT failed… I just found 10,000 ways that will not work!”

If Thomas Edison had given up in the fear of failure all those times, we might not know of electric power generation, mass communication, sound recordings or motion pictures today as we do.

In Closing

Many of us have been in and out of numerous drug and alcohol treatment facilities.

Some of us have been in many institutional settings, such as jail and prison or even mental hospitals.

There are many of us who have worked very hard at our sobriety, only to relapse just the same.

This is a very scary position to be in because our reality becomes surreal…relapse and can’t stay clean become reality.

And, sadly, there are too many of us who have succumbed to the disease of addiction and are no longer here.

Sometimes the struggle to get clean is too much and it appears easier to stay dirty.

But the truth is, nothing in life worth doing is easy and nothing is accomplished while living in the fear of failure.

So today choose to not rest in the fear of failure, knowing that failure is a part of the journey and is nothing to fear.

Failure is the ingredient we will use, if necessary, to get that much closer to succeeding because relapse and sobriety are not far from each other.

We will no longer let the fear of failure overcome our hope for success in our recovery.

We cannot possibly succeed if we are afraid to and do absolutely nothing about it.

We can, however, be afraid and courageously face our fears with the hope of something better on the other side.

Remember that being afraid isn’t what makes a coward.

It’s being afraid and moving forward with courage that separates the coward from the courageous.

Choose to be courageous for your life today, even if you are scared about it.

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18 thoughts on “How To Deal With The Fear Of Failure

  • December 30, 2021 at 10:27 AM

    Hey thanks for this post! I truly felt like it was speaking to me! 

    Failure is sure a scary thing, everyone wants to avoid it so they think they can hide away from it and it’ll disappear but that’s not the correct way to view problems, we have to face it, that’s the only way to overcome it. And I find sometimes things seem hard to solve but once you try to face it, it becomes a little easier.

    And that quote by Thomas Edison sure is motivating!

    • January 1, 2022 at 4:45 AM

      I am happy that my post rang a bell with you, as it should with most of us because it pertains to us ALL! Thank you for your courageous response and admission to what is simply the truth. We have not failed…we all may not have found our answer yet, only what doesn’t seem to work as one draws closer to what will. Thanks again!

  • January 3, 2022 at 9:17 AM

    I am not scared of failure. I always tell myself that everything happens for a reason. If you are scared of failure then you will never accomplish your life goals and find your purpose in life. We all fail. So we can’t use that to hold us back in life 

    • January 10, 2022 at 1:16 AM

      Well Aubin sound like you have goals and purpose and understand that regardless we all do fail but the failure comes with the turf of ultimately success, in whatever you do. Thanks for your comment!

  • January 4, 2022 at 8:04 PM

    Failure is, without a doubt, normal. I was always told that I couldn’t do anything because of my health, so I never did. If only people realized that failing actually makes us stronger in the long run. We should never avoid or be afraid of failing. This article really spoke to me because it is true. Thank you for making it easier for me to open my eyes.

    • January 10, 2022 at 1:10 AM

      Hi Kiersti… you are so right my dear. Failing is normal. It’s part of life. The fear of failure, however, prevents you from gravitating toward success. As Edison said and actually what he meant is, “I have not failed!!! I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work!” What he simply meant is “I just haven’t found the answer yet…BUT I WILL!” And that “BUT I WILL!” is what is called, “the hope of success”. He never gave up hope of succeeding. I do hope this article has made it that much easier for you and I am joyous that your eyes are open! I wish you the best!

  • January 6, 2022 at 1:56 AM

    I’ve never thought of procrastination and avoidance as forms of fear. But it makes perfect sense. Once we become comfortable living in different forms of fear, it sure can be difficult to break out of the pattern. It can be crippling and I’ve seen it happen to many people. Fear can be very powerful. You are so right though in that nothing worth anything comes easily. We must choose to be courageous in life. Thanks for your positive guidance. Great article!

    • January 10, 2022 at 1:03 AM

      Thank you Lee and I am happy that you found my post as positive guidance. I am very greatly for your feedback and positivity! Thank you again!

  • January 8, 2022 at 2:25 PM

    Great article. 

    The fear of failure often stems from a fear of experiencing shame or embarrassment. Failing can trigger feelings worthlessness, so avoiding trying in the first place can sometimes serve as a way to protect the self from disappointment, regret, and sadness.                                                           

    • January 10, 2022 at 1:01 AM

      Well said Emmanuel and thank you for that powerful perspective!

  • January 8, 2022 at 6:03 PM

    This post came to me at just the right time. I have been procrastinating at doing something for two weeks. I tell myself each morning that this is the day that I get it finished, only to not do anything. This was just the motivation I need to overcome my fear of SUCCESS. I have been afraid of succeeding for so long that it has become like an old friend that I don’t want to go away. I have just realized that my friend STINKS and is POLUTING my thinking. Thank you for such a motivating post.


    • January 10, 2022 at 12:59 AM

      Jerry my friend I am happy that my post reached you. It sounds to me that you have the insight already. Maybe I just able to warm up the car before the driver got in to take over. Keep your head up my friend and more importantly in keeping your head up, you are looking toward your dreams and success, because when you are looking down, there is no other place to go but up!! I wish you your hearts desires buddy! Thank you deeply!

  • January 9, 2022 at 7:24 PM

    I don’t believe fear of failure is always a bad thing. I know a man that used to be a drug addict, he’s been clean now for about 4 years. Been in and out of rehab lots of times then came back to his home town.the last time he went away he didn’t come back to his hometown because he knew if he did he would fail again. If he didn’t have that fear he probably would’ve came back and probably would’ve returned to his old life. 

    • January 10, 2022 at 12:56 AM

      Thanks Jess for your insight! That may be true and that may have worked for your friend. But it may not have been the fear of failure but the hope of succeeding that made him leave his hometown because he had never been successful there. Either way, his hometown isn’t the problem or the reason for his addiction. His hometown may not have contributed anything positive to his life or addiction. The hometown may have even been a big influence in his lifestyle but the hometown is not to blame for the choices he chose. Nor are the numerous rehabs that didn’t keep him sober responsible for his relapse or continued addiction.  He alone is responsible, and it does not matter where you go to run or hide or get away or start fresh somewhere else. That may be great or beneficial to some, but that is never going to be the solution to the problem. Geographics don’t solve or cure addiction. The problem with that is simply this…he is taking himself with him wherever he goes. Doesn’t matter if he goes to Timbuktu or Siberia….he’s going with him. The addict or alcoholic must realize this…”If I am not the problem, then I will never have a solution!” Thanks again Jess!

  • January 11, 2022 at 5:18 PM

    I agree that all of us will come face to face with a personal fear at some point in our lives. It’s helpful to have the right mindset in order to overcome the fear of failure. Overcoming addiction is no easy feat, but if one can examine all that can be gained, it’s much easier to march forward into the unknown and overcome fears of both failure and fears of success. Thank you for the inspiration and encouraging words.

    • January 14, 2022 at 3:44 PM

      Well said Aly. Thank you for your insight!

  • January 11, 2022 at 5:33 PM

    WOW I love this post! It was so engaging to read. The transitions between sections had me feeling as if I were there in that moment. Dealing with the fear of failure is a very powerful adversary. Having the courage to face one’s fears can at times be a full-time job. Addictions has a hand on us all. Seeking to be free is an awesome pursuit. Thank you for sharing!

    • January 14, 2022 at 3:28 PM

      You are most welcome! Continue to pursue your freedom!


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