Why Do People Fear Failure?

There is a question that is asked quite often by some, why do people fear failure?  Yes, both fear and failure are both scary/negative things, by themselves.  Fear is an emotion, and failure is a result of the choices and actions you have made.  If used together, in a constructive way, the question wouldn’t be, why do people fear failure? – it would be more like why are people wanting to fail? Keep reading, I explain everything.

I have thought about how I would write this article. I wasn’t sure if I was going to give only personal examples of why only I fear failure – but after a bit of thought, I’ve concluded (personally) that the vast majority of us fear it for all the same reasons. I will start this article off with a video – watch it – be inspired by it – and continue reading afterward while keeping the video itself fresh in your mind.

What is fear?

In its simplest form, fear is one of four emotions we “feel” – joy, sadness, anger, fear. I like to look at fear as the driving emotion of every single decision we make. We make a decision based on whether the “fear factor” of the action is worth the cost of the result. We make this decision in every decision we make – such as getting up in the morning and going to work and taking the same path every single day – because it works. There is low risk of anything bad happening. The “fear factor” of your actions are low. But if I would ask you to leave 10 minutes later every day or take a different road to work tomorrow morning; you would most likely say no. Why?

The fear or risk of that action outweighs the reward – you’ll be getting to work to do nothing more than normal and you would be getting the same in return. Now, if I said to take the different road, leave ten minutes later than normal, and make it to work on time for a $1,000 bonus – I’m sure you would do it – because now the reward outweighs the risk of being late and not knowing the road you are driving on.

Fear is nothing more than an emotion that triggers chemicals in the brain to tell us not to make that action. When triggered, fear is protecting us from potential pain. This could be emotional or physical – or even both. This trigger is protecting us, correct? I mean, it’s our brain basically attempting to avoid pain and ultimately keeping us alive… or is it? Are we being held back by ourselves? Its very possible…

Without fear, we are practically emotionless…

Girl fearing pain - girl afraid of failure

A lot of our decisions wouldn’t exist if we didn’t fear the outcome. Like I said in the last section, fear drives every decision we make. Imagine how life would be without it…

Nearly all levels of responsibility, in everyone in the world, would be non existent. Bad decision-making would thrive in nearly all of us. Most of us would spend nearly every dime we made on today – because we would never fear losing our home or putting food on the table. We would do nearly everything we could from a negative aspect – because we wouldn’t fear the consequences of going to prison. We also wouldn’t fear the ultimate consequence of bad decision-making, death. There are so many examples of “things” we wouldn’t fear…

There are people that say, “I fear nothing”… but in reality… they do – we all do… the decisions we make based on our past determines what we fear the most and ultimately defines us… I wouldn’t like to see our species without this, honestly…

Failure has pros…

Why do people fear failure - fail a lot to succeed

No one likes failing. Failing, especially if it’s unexpected, can be devastating. It can change not only your life and surroundings – but the entire way you think of something or your entire existence even. The severity of failing solely depends on the effort that was placed into whatever failed prior to it actually failing.

Believe it or not – failing is needed in life. If you do not fail – how will you get any better at anything you are doing? I like to look at failure as a measurement of both effort and execution. If you fail, you are lacking one or the other – or in the worst case – both. Either you are not putting in enough effort – or you are not approaching and executing the task correctly. Each time you fail – use that as a learning experience and step back – look at what you have done. Do you put in enough effort to get you to where you wanted or needed to be? Did you approach the task and execute as good as you could have?

Failure also teaches you a lesson – and something you should never repeat. Like I stated at the beginning of this article – if you repeat the same actions everyday you’re going to generally get the same result. That goes for everything in life – failing as well.

So why do people fear failure?

Most people simply can’t get past the idea of putting time and effort into something and it not actually paying off. They also do not want the fact that they failed to loom over them. It could also be the idea that many people don’t like change – and to change you have to try something new – and to do something new nearly guarantees that you will fail. Failure is painful and fear is keeping you from it.

Think back to the video at the beginning of this article. Imagine of those people gave up after they failed – or better yet, imagine if they never even tried because they were too afraid of it. This world, again, would be a much different place today.

I will admit – I do not like to fail. I never have. No one does. I went through much of my younger years fearing nearly everything. There were things I wouldn’t even try because of failing – and there was no way in the world that I would try something if it meant that there was a possibility that I would fail in front of someone. NO WAY IN THE WORLD would I have even attempted it. Fear controlled me.

I have since conquered my fear of failure by understanding that you MUST FAIL to succeed. That is my goal here at ConquerLife – to show those that failing leads to something great – and it makes it all more than worth it in the end; and you become a much more humble person from it.

Embrace failure… expect it… want it…

Maybe wanting it is a little much – but I’ll conclude this article by saying… face your fears. Embrace failure – use it as fuel to better yourself. Use your experiences that make you fear failure as examples to build upon – use them as stepping stones to reach much greater heights than you would have, had you succeeded.

Till next time, take care my friends!

About Me


Please leave your comments and stories below and feel free to read my other articles – Improve self esteem in adults, Solutions to depression and anxiety.





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