5 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure at Work

Most of us know that, if we want to get anywhere in life, we need to be willing to take risks, take chances, and occasionally fail. As long as we learn from our failures we can continuously improve and succeed. The same applies at work but, for some reason, the fear of failure is often stronger and more crippling when it comes to work. Here are 5 ways to help you overcome your fear of failure at work.

1. See The Benefits of Past Failures: One of the reasons we’re so scared of failure at work is because we don’t take the time to see the benefits of our past failures. Whether it was in school or at a previous job, you’ve probably already had a negative work experience that would qualify as a failure. If you can gain some perspective on the benefits of that negative experience, like the things you learned because of it or the confidence to handle similar situations better in the future, you can overcome your fear of failure at work.

2. Ask Mentors, Coworkers, and Bosses About Their Failures: Gaining perspective on failure in the workplace will certainly reduce your fear of it. Ask a trusted colleague, your mentor, or your boss to share past failures they’ve experienced in the workplace and talk about how they overcame it or how it benefitted them in the long run. Knowing that it’s happened to everyone and learning from others’ mistakes will keep the fear from holding you back from optimal achievement at work.

3. Visualize Success and View Failure as a Challenge: If you’re so worried about failing, it may be because you keep picture yourself failing at a project instead of visualizing your success. Take time to visualize what it would look like if you did everything right. Then, you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to succeed and you can view potential failures along the way as a challenge to overcome rather than a hole you fall in and can’t climb out of.

4. Arm Yourself With the Knowledge, Information, and Skills You Need to Succeed: Sometimes, our fear of failure creeps in because we simply feel unprepared to tackle the task at hand. If you take the time to arm yourself with all of the knowledge, information, and skills you need to succeed you’ll reduce the possibility of failure and reduce your fear of it because you’ll feel adequately prepared.

5. Treat Yourself With Kindness When You Fail: When you fail, and you inevitably will at some point to some degree, treat yourself with kindness. Embrace self-compassion and an attitude of persistence rather than dwelling on a negative experience. Learn what you can from the failure and keep moving to prevent the fear of failure from holding you back.

The fear of failure can hold you back in all areas of your life, including work. Use these 5 strategies to overcome your fear of failure at work so you can confidently tackle challenging projects and take risks.