overcoming fear of failure at workIt’s no secret that fear is difficult to overcome. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can run from either. Simply put, the best way to tackle fear is head on (which may explain why so many people try so hard to ignore it). But, whether it’s caused by some type of relationship, self-perception, finances, or your career, fear is something that just can’t be ignored.

If you think you may be experiencing some sort of fear at work, ask yourself questions like these: “Does my job make me anxious or uncomfortable? Does it keep me constantly stressed out? How often do I second guess myself or my work?”

If you weren’t too happy with your answers to these questions, you’ve probably acquired a fear of failure at some point in your life and it’s found it’s way into your job. This fear— or what Google refers to as “atychiphobia”— can be one of the most crippling types of fears because it has the power to negatively effect almost all other areas of our lives if we let it.

Given that most people in the workforce strive to succeed at what they do, this is a problem that a lot of people face on a daily basis. And while that alone could help ease some of the pressure you may be feeling, “at least I’m not alone” is just not a solution.

Luckily, we’ve got just the tips and tricks needed to help kick your pesky fear to the side and get you feeling confident at work. Here are 4 critical steps to tackling your fear of failure once and for all…

overcoming fear of failure at work

Step 1:
I won’t lie to you… the first step in overcoming your fear of failure is a doozy. In order to move past it, you must first be able to acknowledge the fear and try to understand where it comes from. Seems easy enough, right? I thought so, too.

The hard truth is that so many people spend so long in denial of their fears that they never actually end up facing them. How’s that old saying go again… Oh yeah, “admitting you have a problem is the first step.” Though typically used in a different context, it applies here as well.

After acknowledging your fear of failure as a real problem, you’ll need to ask yourself whether or not it’s been there all along. By this, I mean try to think back to when you first started to notice the fear developing at work. Has it been there since day one at your current job? Has it been there throughout every job you’ve ever had? Or did a specific incident cause it to develop somewhat recently (such as a transition in your life, for example)? This is how you’ll really begin to understand why you fear failure so much.

Step 2:
The second step in tackling a fear of failure at work will force you to get a bit more creative. For this step, you’ll need to use your imagination. In other words, try to visualize the fear coming true.

For example, say you’ve successfully accomplished step 1 already and now realize that your fear of failure really derives from your fear of disappointing your spouse/partner financially (remember, this is just an example). The next thing you’ll need to do in this situation is imagine that fear playing out in the most realistic way possible.

Visualize having to tell your spouse or partner that you failed at work that day and got fired as a result. Then imagine how he or she would react to this change in both of your lives. Granted, they probably won’t be thrilled, but they might not realistically react as bad as you think either.

overcoming fear of failure at workMany people are so terrified by the idea of letting someone else— or themselves— down that they visualize failure solely as a damaging, destructive thing. In reality, however, failure usually serves as the best teacher. Whether it’s a menial task or a big, important job that has you afraid of failing, there is always a positive spin that can come from it.

Note: If someone in your life were to react badly to the so-called failure, try slowing their thoughts down by calmly explaining the situation in detail and your reasons for not doing better. Remind them that you’re only human— and so are they. At the end of the day, if you don’t make it seem like a huge failure, they probably won’t think it is either.

Step 3:
Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to find an outlet for the fear. Because this is pretty self-explanatory, it’ll probably be most useful for you to simply have a few examples of good outlets.

One of the best— and arguably most obvious— choices is to talk through your fear of failure with someone else. This is extra helpful if the person you choose to confide in has also experienced feelings of inadequacy or failure at work before but overcome it or learned from it in some way. He/she doesn’t have to be a shrink to remind you that the possibility of failure in any area of life can be overwhelming.

However, other common outlets for dealing with fear (of any kind, really) are through things like writing, art, music, meditation, and so on. Basically, anything that you can channel the stress and anxiety of the fear into would work. The more of those negative feelings you put into an outlet of your choosing, the less they will cling to you at work.

As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!

—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.

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