How Fear Leads to Failure


They say the only thing to fear is fear itself. Okay, there may be many other things to keep a wary eye out for, but there is no denying fear’s undermining power to derail you. Fear is debilitating. Just the mere hint of fear can prevent you taking action, or hinder you from doing your best.

One of the reasons we don’t succeed in business is not the fact that we actually feel fearful, rather that we let that fear control our thoughts and therefore restrict our actions.

Remember that fear is one of our primal emotions. It tells us to be cautious, but if we let it stop us from achieving, it will kill our chances of success. Embrace it as an alert system, but learn to work with it … identify and analyse your fears, then push on regardless. Fear leads to failure in so many unfortunate ways.

Fear of failure

The most common form of fear for the career or business person is fear of failure. A simple “but what if it doesn’t work out” can prevent us from turning our much loved hobby into a successful small business, or from taking on an interesting role.

Compounding this fear is the fact we see the smallest of actions that don’t go according to plan as a massive failure — when in fact everyone goes through this process on their journey to ultimate success.

The fear of failure is also the reason we don’t take calculated risks. The fear that people will laugh at us if something doesn’t go right, leaving us well behind those who are taking risks and ultimately getting the pay off.

Fearing success

Yes you read that correctly. We love the idea of success and all the trimmings that come with it. However, deep down, the idea of such success would mean our world as we know it would completely change. We may lose our friends (you, know, Tall Poppy Syndrome when other people don’t want you to succeed more than them) or we may have to maintain a successful business to keep the new standard of living. It is easier for us to remain where we are comfortable. Success means change. Both are challenging, but you should not let fear of either block your path.

Fear of not knowing

Not knowing what you need to know can be a pretty scary feeling and can prevent you from expanding your business or trying something no-one else has done before.

It is this “new” idea that no-one else has done that may be the one thing that takes you to the next stage in business.

If you don’t know something that you feel you need to then simply ask. Do your research, ask questions and pay for experts if required.

Everybody goes through this as they gain experience. The first step in overcoming fear of not knowing is to start asking – you’ll probably get so absorbed in finding the answers, you’ll forget to be afraid.

How to fight fear

The fastest most successful way to fight fear is to starve it.

Take note of what situations you are in, or what thought process you start, that results in feelings of fear. Then train yourself to remove yourself from the situation immediately or change your thought process by replacing it with something productive.

For example, if you discuss your potential business decisions with all your friends and they start questioning your choices and doubting your ability – causing you to start feeling fear — then you may want to choose one or two trusted business advisors instead.

If being flooded with other people’s perceived successes on social media makes you start to fear failure in making your own business decisions, limit how much time you spend online. Focus on your decisions in their own frame of reference, not in comparison to the airbrushed life of social media.

If you find that trying to keep track of all your projects is causing ‘deadline stress’ and fear, find a better way to organize and prioritise them.

Essentially, identify your fear, address it — and overcome it.


Amanda Rose is the only 'Strategic Connector' in Australia, connecting CEOs, directors and businesses together to enhance brand, profile and lead generation opportunities.

Host of Amanda Rose TV, Founder and Host of The Business Woman Media, Keynote Speaker and media commentator including a weekly Smart Connections video blog for

For help bringing your brand to the next level, contact Amanda today on 0432 49 02 48.

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