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Let's talk about...fear of failure

For many of us, a fear of failure lives underneath the surface of our perfectionism. All humans experience fear; but as perfectionists, we feel very justified in our fears and imagine the worst that might happen as a result of even minor mistakes or failures.

In a recent session of Beyond Perfect, we took a look at some of the fears driving our perfectionism. Those fears ranged from not living up to our potential in the eyes of peers, damaging our relationships with our kids, being “exposed” as not capable in front of coworkers, or being viewed as selfish or unreliable by friends and family. These fears are so understandable – and informed by things we deeply care about. However, as perfectionists, our tendency is to believe these outcomes are possible from even minor mistakes, leaving us operating from a place of fear, rigidity and control.

Interestingly, much research has shown that the pain associated with the fear of failure is usually more intense than the pain following an actual failure. We spend so much time being afraid of things that never actually happen, aren’t actually true, or when they do happen, aren’t actually that painful. Can you imagine how powerful it would be to get that time back, that mental capacity back? The truth is that we actually are resilient enough to get through most setbacks. It may seem impossible to believe, but trusting that we are relieves us of so much excess worry and pain today. I’m not saying it will always be easy. But with time and support, we can get through a lot. And allowing ourselves to experience minor setbacks, minor failures along the way ensures we are even more equipped to weather the storm when one arrives.

What is something you feel justified in fearing that it may be worthwhile to revisit? Want to tackle questions like these with other inspiring women like yourself? Add yourself to our waitlist; when you do, you’ll be the first to hear about future cohorts!

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