Fear of Failure

Often when I’m coaching clients, we discover there is an underlying fear of failure that is preventing goal achievement and reaching optimal success in life. Fear is one of the largest roadblocks to being successful. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be fear of success. This may sound ridiculous. Who would be afraid of success? You’d be surprised, most people. What if I’m not ready for the success? What if I can’t handle the success? What if my success hurts my relationships? What if my success forces me to do something I’m not comfortable with? The fear of failure permeates all aspects of life. Maybe you were promoted and are fearful that you’re not qualified for the job. Maybe you lost your job and are afraid that you’ll never find another job. Maybe you’re fearful of getting married. Your parents had a rocky marriage and eventually divorced. You don’t want to repeat what they went through. Maybe you desire to start your own business. You’re afraid that your business will fail, that you’ll lose all your retirement, and will let down your spouse. Do any of these scenarios resonate with you?


Sometimes the fear of failure is masked by other obstacles. You might have a substantial amount of weight to lose. You can’t imagine losing all that weight. You haven’t been at a healthy weight since you were in high school. There’s no way you can reach that goal. Yes, that was me, back in the late 1990’s. I was at my heaviest weight and couldn’t imagine getting to my goal weight. I’d never been successful in losing a substantial amount of weight since becoming an adult. I was genuinely afraid that I wouldn’t be successful. Fortunately, I had a health coach that helped me see otherwise. I focused on small, achievable goals, and started seeing success. With success came confidence. As my confidence increased, so did my weight loss. I reached my goal weight roughly a year later.

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Are you struggling to get that promotion at work? Are you drowning in debt? Are you frustrated with your overall health and wellness? Are your relationships less than satisfactory? Do you feel stuck? Fear can manifest in all sorts of symptoms. You might be feeling anxious, irritable, or having difficulty sleeping. Maybe you’re prone to migraines, upset stomach, or other physical symptoms. Most often these symptoms are the result of something bigger. If this is relatable, it’s time to seek help.


Chatting with a close friend or family member is a great place to start. Reaching out to your health care professional can provide a different perspective. Your physician can refer you to a counselor or therapist. A certified coach can also help you gain perspective. Fear of failure can be debilitating. There’s hope. It’s not a life sentence. Bottom line, seek help. That’s the first step in reaching your goals and obtaining your best life.

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