Tackle Your Fear of Failure to Live Your Dream


This is a guest post by Kimberley from Dream. Delight. Inspire.
Think of the biggest dream you have. Something that everyone (even your internal voice) says is probably unachievable. Now think about starting to implement steps towards achieving that dream. Scared? Terrified even?
We are all paralysed by fear when it comes to taking a leap into the unknown. Fear only raises its ugly head when we’re close to putting a dream into action or making an important step or decision.
Re-frame the way you look at failure
You will always fail at some things in your lifetime. Failing teaches you what not to do the second time around. I’ve learned a number of things the hard way: never touch a horse from behind, know when to stop investing more money into a new business and let it go, ask for help when you need it, never lose sight of your passport in a foreign country – you get the drift.
Yes, failing at them hurt a lot (and my ego took a bruising) but I’ve been able to use that knowledge to make better decisions. If you don’t at least try to live your dream, you won’t learn from the experience.
YOU are never a failure, you are just experimenting and one of your decisions hasn’t worked out. You are not a failure, the idea/action itself was a failure, but you’re learning and can now tweak future ideas to lead to a success.
Realise what fear is stopping you from achieving
  • Write down all your fears. Everything that could go wrong if you started to follow the path towards your dream.
  • Now write down the best outcome that would be the exact opposite of all those nightmares right next to it.
Most of the fear we have is about the unknown. Writing down everything that could possibly happen means that you can mentally prepare yourself for what could crop up once you start on your plans. If you can deal with a small failure along the path and get back up quickly, isn’t that a success?
Isn’t the dream outcome that you wrote down worth taking a risk for? What would your life be like if you achieved that dream? How would you change for the better?
Worst case scenario
What is the very worst that could happen if you take the plunge and go where your heart wants to take you? Maybe you quit your job to paint and don’t make enough money as an artist to pay your rent? Then you could get a temp job for a week or so to make enough money for rent and bills and then go back to your creative dream.
Always think about how bad things could get, what you’d have to do if that did happen and how long it would take to recover. Don’t let the fear that will come from this paralyse you – let it inspire you. You now have a plan of attack if the very worst possible outcome comes to be. Anything better than that will now seem like a success or at least a stepping stone towards it.
Start your engine
The best way to overcome fear is to acknowledge it and move on. Get things done. Even tiny tasks such as researching an element of a new idea can replace that fear with something much more powerful and positive – excitement.
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed – Theodore Roosevelt


What are you too afraid to put into action? 
Can you face the fear of failure, accept the possibilities and go for it anyway?



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Hanna September 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Thank you for this post Marthe! I finish school next year and don’t have any idea what to do with my life afterwards. Reading your blog always encourages me to just go out and do something. Thank you for that.


Marthe September 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Don’t thank me, thank Kimberley from Dream.Delight.Inspire :D

And you’re welcome, I’m happy that you’re inspired to get out there. Just listen to yourself and look for opportunities, I’m sure you’ll find something great to do after you finish school!


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