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3 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Failing

Don’t let your fear control your life. Here are some simple principles to keep in mind so you live life courageously

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BY Cristina Morales - 26 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The fear of failure is a totally understandable emotion—after all, failure is painful, often devastating, especially when it befalls something that you’ve invested so much time and energy into. Though normal, the fear of failure can be so overwhelming that it renders you paralyzed, so afraid of making any missteps that you don’t make a move at all.

But that’s no way to live. By letting your fear of failure rule your life and keep you from taking any risks, you rob yourself of powerful learning experiences and, ultimately, success. When you limit yourself like this, how can you possibly reach your full potential?

Fear should not be your master. Below are some things you can keep in mind so you can move past your fear and achieve success.

1. Stop seeing failure as a bad thing

The first thing you should do to get over your fear of failure is accepting its inevitability. Just face it: life is made up of a series of failures and successes. It’s how we cope with failure that makes all the difference. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Whenever things don’t go according to plan, take time to reflect and ask yourself what you can learn from the experience. Looking at this negative experience from another angle has the power to transform your setbacks into a learning opportunity, not just another point of defeat.

2. Be patient

Success rarely comes easy, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a truly successful person who hasn’t had their fair share of failure. For example, Paul Rivera, the founder and CEO of Manila-based job-hunting platform Kalibrr, had 80% of his staff at an earlier venture quit one day, stepping out for lunch and never coming back. To make ends meet, he turned to Craigslist, writing other people’s resumes for $50.

Similarly, ONE Championship founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong had to struggle to turn his company into the multi-million dollar brand that it is now. “The first 2-3 years were really hard,” he said in an earlier interview, recalling how in the beginning, no one wanted to meet with him or even return his emails. “People thought my idea was too crazy.”

As demonstrated by these founders (and many others like them), growth takes time. When you fail—and it will happen—don’t beat yourself up. Learn to be patient with yourself and grow and learn at your own pace.

3. Keep your eyes on the prize

As this article from Inc. Southeast Asia points out, successful companies aren’t built by hard work alone, but by focus. By concentrating on what you set out to achieve, your negative thoughts will have much less power over you. Keep this in mind: as long as you keep picking yourself up and keep moving towards your goals, you’re bound to get there.

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