The Women's Journal

You Will Never Believe. That The “Fear of Failing” Really Means You Are Afraid of….

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By Joe White, President and Founder of Get Life Coaching

2012 Entrepreneur of The Year

In my near 15 years of coaching, I can say that the number one reason my clients share with me why they are not successful is, “I am afraid of failure.” On first glance it sure seems to make sense. You set a goal. There is a desire that you want. You even create some sort of action plan. Then you realize you are not following your action plan and you are not getting closer to your goal. This happens again and again. Finally you draw the conclusion that you must be afraid of failing. Yes, that explains it all. It explains why you don’t give it your all. Why you don’t follow up and why it seems you are self-sabotaging your own success. So yes, your hypothesis must be correct. Right? Perhaps…or perhaps the fear of failure is really code for…fear of success.

So wait a minute Joe that makes no sense. Perhaps, but lets look at this a bit closer because I think you will begin to see the truth behind this myth.

Part of human psychology is that we dislike change or at least we find it uncomfortable. Change can be awkward, challenging and even humbling and because of that we tend to really like what is comfortable and familiar. Even if it is not good for us. In other words, we will stay in comfort even if it negatively impacts our life.

So what really happens if you fail? It means that you are right back to where you started before you began and as undesirable of a place it may be for you, it is familiar to you. You may be unhappy about it but you know how to survive in that place. You most likely have been there for a while and you know how to navigate your way.

Now, what if you were successful? What would change? Everything! Life as you know it would be altered forever. I know now you are thinking, “Yes, that is what you want!” True; but your level of uncertainty would be through the roof. You would be far outside your comfort zone. You ask yourself questions like, “How would I maintain this success?”, “What if I could not handle it?” and “How would I handle the new challenges?” Wow! That is a lot of uncertainty, so many areas that you could fail, and be exposed. Now, tell me, which one creates more uncertainty? The one that gives you the devil that you know or the one that gives you the devil that you do not know?

The Solution

1. First step is awareness. You must become aware of what is driving you. Find out what is truly preventing you from success.

2. Once you become aware, you must ask yourself what is that worst that can happen? I mean really, what is the worst that can happen? Is it that you will become embarrassed? Broken hearted? Lose your investment? Be rejected? It is imperative that you understand the absolute worst that can happen to you. 

3. Ask yourself, “Is what I want to achieve worth risking me getting the worst that could happen to me. If you answered yes, then take massive action and now focus on what you want. If you answer no, then congratulations. You need to negotiate with yourself and dig to discover what is preventing you because you are not yet on board emotionally.

By identifying your true fear, you can align with it and solve it. When you are blind to it, you keep running into a wall because you are looking the wrong way.

Live Free


Like most married woman with children, I found myself coursing through life on autopilot. My first priority was taking care of my family, which lead me to take a back seat to my own life. I “thought” I was unhappy and that crushed my spirit. How could I be so unhappy when I have so much to be grateful for? What I learned through attending the Fire Walk and Breaking through the Barrier is that you don’t “lose” happiness, or need to search for it. It is there with you everyday. You just need the right tools to help you wipe away fear, old habits and denial. Once you accomplish that goal, you’ll find happiness standing right in front of you, arms extended; ready to embrace you once again. Thank you GLC. Thank you for teaching me how to get back in the driver’s seat….I am thoroughly enjoying the ride! With lots of love and gratitude.  ~ Cindy Berkowitz


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