Fear of failure is the most important factor that stops you from being able to realize your full potential.

Most often, it’s the result of our own thoughts and imagination, instead of any real-world causes. In other words, we’re afraid of fantasy, something that doesn’t exist.

You may be going down an unknown path, but don’t lose faith in yourself. Don’t listen to your fears, and also of those around you. Don’t let your past setbacks creep into your present state of mind. And never give up on what’s important to you.

Here are 5 ways to overcome the fear of failure and keep going no matter what life throws at you

1. Visualize What You Want and Declare it Out Loud

Whether you’re scared or if there are real hurdles up your path, if you want to achieve something, you must envision it. This will help you stay focused on what you want. It’s impossible to get anywhere or accomplish anything if we haven’t declared it as our sole mission.

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.
– William Arthur Ward

The first step is to understand that what you want to do is already a huge part of who you are. If you want to run a marathon, you’re already a marathon runner. You just need to take the next step and start running.

Whatever you want to do, envision yourself doing it, and declare “I will” out loud,  the first thing every morning for a couple of minutes. You’ll start seeing a positive difference within 2-3 weeks.

2. Understand the Consequences of ‘Status Quo’

It might be tempting to stay within your comfort zone and maintain the status quo. However, inaction based on fear, will only make you lazy and eat into your confidence. Initially, it will stop you from achieving your dreams. Eventually, it will prevent you from doing anything.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
– Albert Einstein

Just as your present is a result of your past, your future depends on what you do today. The fear of failure may be immense, but it is nothing compared to the pain of missed opportunities that you’ll face in the future.

Life is movement. Don’t stay where you are, hoping that things would improve on their own.

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3. Believe in Yourself

Every successful venture is based on the foundation of self-belief. What you believe will either give you strength or make you weak.

Typically, we tend to think that people find success after a certain level of accomplishment, or based on some external factors; it’s just a mindset. Success is a habit developed through powerful thoughts & beliefs.

What you think about yourself will influence your feelings and actions.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
– Henry Ford

Developing your self-belief takes time and requires practice. Spend a couple of minutes every day remembering the top 2-3 achievements of your life so far. They don’t have to be grand. They can be about simple things such as how you learned to cook, paint, drive, or do anything else that you love doing.

If you’re capable of accomplishing them, you are undoubtedly capable of doing greater things.

4. Go Slow, But Keep Going

Focus on taking only one step at a time and give it your best shot every single time. Don’t think about the future or the end. Just keep going. Needless to say, you need to forget about multitasking completely.

When you focus on just one step, things seem much more doable, and you won’t get overwhelmed by the long road ahead. If you feel down or tired, just look back at how far you’ve come, to energize yourself.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Old Chinese proverb

However, you’ve got to start today. Don’t wait for the right time or the perfect plan. Such things don’t exist.

Also, remember that nothing can ever result in a 100% failure. You may experience occasional hiccups and might need to do a course correction. The good news is that each setback can be fixed with a minor adjustment, and you can keep going.

Every step you take will make the next one easier, and what once seemed far away, will soon be standing right before you.

5. Be Open to Change

When we set out to accomplish something, we tend to have a preconceived notion of how we’ll achieve it, how things will play out, and what we’ll encounter along the way.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
– Confucius

As we work towards our dreams, we find that reality is not as expected, and we’ve to face unforeseen obstacles. On the other hand, we might also see that some things which appeared impossible turn out to be trivially easy.

The key is to keep an open mind that allows you to learn new things and refine your journey based on your experience. However, under no circumstances, compromise or change your goals.

Wrapping Up

Don’t be afraid to face your fears. They’re not as scary as you think, and they’re certainly not going to stop you from getting what you want. They’re only telling you that what you’re doing is really important and worth fighting for.

Do one thing every day that scares you.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s okay to feel a bit confused, a little uncomfortable if you have no idea what’s ahead or whether you can handle it. As long as you keep going slowly and steadily, you’ll be able to figure out the next steps.

As you become more and more involved in what you’re doing, you’ll lose track of your fear of failure and other things, and notice that things are not as bad as you’d imagined them to be. In fact, they might just be better.

Sreeram Sreenivasan

For more than 8 years, Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Intelligence, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He’s the Founder of Ubiq BI, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises. He’s also the editor of Fedingo blog which covers a wide range of business growth topics.