How To Beat The Fear Of Failure

How to beat the fear of failure. Hello. I’m Cheryl Chapman and you’re watching Cheryl TV, a place where you can learn how to choose a life of freedom. So this is Follow-Up Friday where it’s all about following up on questions that I’ve received from you.

So today’s question comes from Kirsty and she writes, “Hi Cheryl. I’ve had a fear of failure and I’m always very quiet. I hate to speak about what I’m worried about. There’s fear of being judged. I wonder if you can help me because I really don’t know what to do next. Thank you Cheryl.”

So Kirsty, first of all, this is a great question that covers two of the fears, one of failure and one of being judged. So firstly, what is a fear of failure? Well, failure according to the Oxford English dictionary is a noun. Wow. So how can that help us? Well, first of all, it’s a noun that denotes lack of success or the neglect of an expected action and thirdly, it’s an action or a function of not functioning.

So get ready for this because the posh word for the fear of failure is “atychiphobia”. Now this is where we allow fear to stop us doing things that can help us moving forward, say for example to achieve our goals. The tell-tale signs if you’re not sure if you have a fear of failure are self-sabotage. Have you ever procrastinated, felt anxious? Do you have low self-confidence? So do you hear yourself saying things like, “Well, I will never be good enough,” or are you a perfectionist? Have you ever thought you will just wait until everything will be fantastic? Then you may have a fear of failure too.

But here’s the news. You’re only born with two fears – the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. So where does the fear of failure come from? Well, I believe that it comes from conditioning. Can you remember the story about Pavlov’s dogs, the ones that you rang a bell and then they would get fed?

Well eventually, when he rang the bell, he didn’t need to feed them. They would still salivate with no food. Steven Hayes invented a little exercise that I would like to share with you on how we can be conditioned as humans too.

So please complete the following sentences. Children should be seen and not …

What about Mary had a little …?

And then blondes have more …

Exactly. Now if you’ve been brought up with an English-speaking background, the words you probably said were heard, lamb and fun. But is it really true? I mean do blondes really have more fun?

Well, now I’m going to tell you that those aren’t really true. So I just want you to forget them. Not quite as easy as it sounds because unless you have got a memory like a fish for two seconds, then you’re still going to recall those.

So let’s have a think about the fear of judgment. Maybe as a child you were told, “People like us don’t go to university,” or “All rich people are mean,” or “Who do you think you are?” Well, that’s where the fear of judgment comes from.

For example, when I was a child at five, I was left alone after school until my parents came home from work. So my mother said to me, “Be careful.” Now, great advice as a five-year-old in a house for a couple of hours by herself but it did not serve me as a growing adult, because I kept having a fear of not being careful. So be careful. Everything in my life, I was careful, I was careful, I was careful.

So how can you get over this? Well first, it’s a matter of perspective. So first of all, people see failure as a – like the end of the world. But really it’s just a way that we can grow.

Michael Jordan, the basketball player, was dropped from the basketball team, told that he wasn’t very good. Oprah Winfrey was fired as an evening news reporter because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Marilyn Monroe was told to just go away and be a secretary and Elvis Presley was told to go back to driving a truck.

So what happened to these people? Well, there was not necessarily a fear of failure but what happened was it drove them to prove that they could do better.

Now there’s so much we could talk about these fascinating subjects. But here are two very simple steps that you can take right now to begin your journey to overcoming the fear of failure.

Firstly, analyse the potential outcomes. You see, many people fear failure because of the unknown. So review what could happen. Write down the worst things that could happen. Then you will be prepared.

Secondly, recall. Recall successes that you’ve had, maybe just small things to begin with. But when you can write a list of things that you’ve done well, then that failure can go away.

So here’s your takeaway for today that I would like you to share with the world. Ready? Failures are parts of life. If you don’t fail, then you don’t learn and if you don’t learn, then you won’t grow. So are you ready to grow? Are you ready to overcome your fear of failure?

Kirsty, I would love to thank you for this question. It was brilliant. So this is for everybody now. Share with me below what successes have you had, successes that when you first started out, you really didn’t think you could do? Maybe today you’ve had a light bulb moment that you would like to share with us too.

So did you like this video? I hope you did because I certainly enjoyed making it. So I would like you to consider subscribing and sharing this with your friends and if you would like to have some more personal insights, then please join me across at for more updates. Remember to live, love and laugh every day and continue to be you and unique in every way.

I will catch you next time on Cheryl TV.

If this resonates with you, you might like to get your hands on a copy of the book Find Your WHY! to become frickin’ awesome (the book is FREE all you need to pay for is a small fee towards shipping & handling)

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