Fear of Failure

“Success is not absence of failure.” Maximilian Kikwembe, Swahili Apologist

Fear is part of human nature. What is your greatest fear? For me my greatest fear is fear itself. This statement might sound too philosophical but let us digest it together. In life, there are many events, circumstances or situations that we never wish to find ourselves in and probably that could lead to fear. I asked one of my colleagues this question and he replied, “my greatest fear in life is failing,” he then added, “failing as a result of the choices that I have made.”

The fear of failure comes in different ways, I have succeeded to analyze few of them and I feel comfortable to share with you. Firstly, believing that you do not have enough skills or knowledge to achieve something, especially what you desire most. Secondly, having feelings like you won’t be able to achieve any of your goals. Thirdly, worrying that imperfections will make other people think negative of you and worrying that you will disappoint others if you fail. Fourthly, underestimating your own abilities and feel that you are unable of doing something. Lastly, giving unnecessary excuses that does not make sense.

There is a Japanese saying that, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” Indeed, fear has malicious impact in our life, fear can disorganize many things which we plot and focus to do and achieve. Personally, I believe that failure is not void, it is a sign to success simply because each mistake informs us something, every failure carries a message which is essential when we pay attention and grab it, and that message is likely to transform us the way we do things.

I do believe that sometimes it is now or never. Taking risks is necessary. I am one of the people conquered with Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of taking risks, he says, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” I think it is certain that when one is afraid of taking risks is likely to miss a lot of things, he is certain not to accomplish many of his dreams. Furthermore, I want to inform you that the greatest risk you can ever take is daring to do nothing.

Fear of failure is a common emotion that can keep us from taking risks and pursuing our dreams. It is a natural reaction to the prospect of negative consequences such as embarrassment, shame, or disappointment. If left uncontrolled, however, fear of failure can prevent us from attaining our greatest potential and enjoying a fulfilling life.

The primary cornerstones to conquering fear of failure is changing our perspective so we perceive failure as an opportunity for learning and progress rather than as a reflection of our value or competence. By redefining failure in this manner, we can approach problems with curiosity and openness and increase our willingness to take risks and try new things.

Another approach for overcoming fear of failure is to divide our objectives into smaller, more accessible pieces. This can assist to alleviate feelings of exhaustion while also increasing our sense of control over the situation. Setting realistic expectations for ourselves and accepting that setbacks and mistakes are a regular part of the process can also help to alleviate the pressure we feel to achieve.

Developing a network of friends, family, or coworkers who can offer inspiration, direction, and constructive criticism is also crucial. A sense of accountability from a supportive group can help us stay on track toward our goals while also bolstering our confidence and resilience. Ultimately, even in the face of fear, it is critical to act. The more we practice taking risks and confronting our concerns, the greater our confidence and resilience. Even if things do not go as planned, we may learn from our mistakes and apply what we have learned to make better and informed decisions in the future.

To encapsulate, fear of failure is a strong emotion that might prevent us from pursuing our aspirations and reaching our goals. It is a natural human reaction to the uncertain and unpredictable, and it can express itself in a variety of ways, ranging from procrastination to denial. When we take risks or go outside of our comfort zones, the idea of making mistakes or falling short can feel especially daunting. Failure, on the other hand, is not the inverse of success, but rather a crucial component of the learning process. Indeed, through addressing our fears and pushing through the discomfort, we can easily mould and develop resilience, perseverance, and ultimately achieve greater success than we ever believed possible.


This content is obtained from my book, Believe, Begin and Become: Anatomy of Triumphant Success

Philosophy for life

6 thoughts on “Fear of Failure

  1. Summary;
    Success comes from, fearing fear
    1.Taking risks is necessary
    2. Perceiving failure as a lesson
    1. Being near to Constructive people
    2. Being accountable of our acts
    3. Taking more risks
    Thank you Apologist for this insight. Blossom to Greater Horizons.

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