Relieve Anxiety

3 Simple Ways To Combat Fear Of Failure

3 ways to combat fear of failureEach of us falls victim to it: There are no exceptions. Think for just a moment about the very long list-beginning with the most perfect man ever born.

This post is not intended to make light of the debilitating effects of fear and of anxiety; rather to suggest some old fashioned methods of dealing with the natural consequences of taking risks with our jobs, careers and reputations.

Fear is real; when taken over by fear, our reactions vary but frequently, we freeze, just like a deer caught in our headlights because she has been blinded by the intense glare of the light. She stands immobile, seemingly waiting to be killed.

The process in us is not all that different from that deer and the most common response to that surge of neurochemicals which cause hearts to race, throats to constrict and dry, pupils to widen, breathing to accelerate and stomach acid to pour into our gut is panic so severe that we behave just like that deer in the headlights; paralysis takes over, for an instant or for a lifetime.

The very first step in mitigating our fear is to recognize it.

Admit it to ourselves, perhaps to another if talking it out will help. It’s essential, I have learned, to select very carefully those whom we decide to trust when these moments of bone shattering anxiety and terror hit.

In this medicalized culture we live in, all too often, we take our fears to a professional who, more often than not, prescribes a psychoactive drug. Will the drug deal with the fear? Will the drug help us understand what is causing it, will the drug cure us of the fear?

No, no and no.

3 ways to combat fear of failureWhat the drug will do is to alter our thinking ability, diminish our awareness and slow our responses. And after a period of time, begin an addiction to the drug. Be careful taking those things that are prescribed by a well meaning doctor-they can do harm.

Once we have admitted the fear, invite it to take a chair in our mind so that we can ponder what lies beneath it. Admittedly this sounds a bit Zen but it’s important.

Here is why: we need to isolate the fear-pin it down and decide exactly what we are afraid of… is it embarrassment, loss of job, customer or career? Or is it failing an exam or failing in our new business?

Or is it one of the biggest ones: fear of what other people say, what will they think?

And then act-take action.

Most combat veterans will tell you that he or she is always terrified before the mission. As the rest of us are before an exam or before a speech.

Once we have dug down deep to identify what our real fear is, then we can take the steps to provide the best chance of success whether it is to study, get to work on that article or book, getting started is the very best antidote to fear of failure. It is amazing how quickly the apprehension dissipates and excitement takes over.

Over and over we read and see that most of us regret not what we did even if we failed but what we did not do: Don’t join them.

Lin Wilder, DrPH  is a former Hospital Director, now full time internet marketer, trainer and author

If you liked this article, Lin suggests her latest E-Book, now available at Amazon. Lin can be contacted at

Lin’s website is

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