The Irony Of Fear Of Failure

Irony Of Fear Of FailureI’ve just published a new post on another site called ‘How Does Fear Of Failure Affect Your Business?’. The article is all about the irony that fear of failure in business can actually lead to failure, because when we’re frightened, we often don’t do the things we need to do in order to thrive.

In fact this phenomenon is as true of our career, or indeed of life in general, as it is of a business. It really is so weird that the deep-held desire to keep ourselves safe inhibits us from taking what we perceive as risks, yet that in turn can stop us from having the happiness we desire in life.

How many times have you looked at someone and thought ‘wow, there’s an incredible human being in there – if they could only show it’? How many times have you ever felt you weren’t realising your potential?

Years ago, when I truly wasn’t realising my potential, I always thought it was other people. I convinced myself I was doing everything I possibly could to be visible, to be successful, to make a real impact. I felt frustrated that I couldn’t seem to make my mark or be heard by the ‘right’ people (most of whom I perceived as idiots anyway).

With hindsight, it’s not all that surprising I didn’t make the mark I wanted. No matter how well you think you are disguising your feelings, if you are contemptuous of others, they will sense it, at some level, sooner or later.

But that wasn’t the only thing that held me back.

Back then I had several beliefs about myself which weren’t particularly useful. The belief that I was unloveable. The belief that I wasn’t good enough. The belief that I wasn’t intelligent enough when, at the time, I already had a degree from Oxford and an MBA!

It’s extraordinary how we manage to get in our way, through our fears, our beliefs and a mis-placed notion of what will protect us.

If you’d like to read more, here’s the link to the article on fear of failure and how it affects a small business.


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Image: © Doug Wheller : ‘Fear Terror Eye’

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