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How to overcome your fear of failure

One of the most common things holding people back from achieving their potential in business is the fear of failure.

It is human nature to fear the unknown. When we push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, whether in business or in our personal lives, it is pretty normal to feel some degree of stress and anxiety.

In business, many of us consider our work to be representative of who we are as a person. As such, we can often view a failure in the workplace as a personal failure. This fear can often manifest itself in such a way that we avoid reaching for new targets or striving towards new goals in case we fail. This can result in us holding ourselves back because we fear failure.

It can be helpful to refocus and see “failures” as “learning opportunities”. Some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, including the likes of Richard Branson, have failed several times in business. However they view these failures as learning opportunities.

As Richard Branson says in his blog about accepting failure;

“Embrace fear, learn from it and move on to your next business venture with courage and the knowledge that if you don’t hit upon a success, you’ll have the will to do it again and take on the next challenge”.

“As my son, Sam says: ‘If you’re learning from mistakes, then you can never really fail – you’re just on a constant journey to success.’”

Think of the times where fear has stopped you taking action. Often the pressure continues to build until the need to act overcomes your fear. In those circumstances how often are your worst fears realised? Seldom things turn out as badly as we expected and then we query why it took us so long to act.

Making mistakes and learning from them builds confidence and expands our comfort zones. When we feel fear in business we should recognise that it is indicating an opportunity to grow and we should welcome it.

If you need expert advice on how to move forward, come in for an informal chat over a coffee – book a free advice clinic with Will Abbott on 01242 776000 or