6 Ways Fear of Failure prevents success

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success or failure.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Fear of Failure wears disguises.

Some fear of failure may be protective; it gets us to do things we need to do and to avoid other dangerous things. But excessive fear of failure likes to wear disguises, that way it doesn’t get blamed for all the ways it prevents our successes.

1. Fear of failure is a primary cause of procrastination.

The longer you put off doing anything the more last-minute it is, the less responsibility you need to take for the results.

You can avoid some fear and anxiety by not doing the paper, project, or work-related task. Then when you do it last-minute you can say that this is not your best work. The procrastination has given you an out for why this project is not done well.

The result – you are not a failure when your task fails.

2. Fear of failure makes us missing in action.

Lots of people are so afraid that they will not do something perfectly that they do nothing. Similar to procrastination this method keeps us from feeling that it is our fault when we do not succeed. We didn’t do anything so there was nothing to fail at.

This is a large cause of writer’s block. If you are afraid that what you write today will not be any good, that is a good reason to not write anything today. Let’s face it, not all posts turn out to be great ones. Some don’t even make it to the so-so category.

String a row of days of non-writing together and you become a non-writer. No more negative comments or reviews.

3. We do the minimum to get by to avoid the fear of failure.

Fear of failure can also prevent us from sticking our necks out. If you do too much you get noticed. Do only the easy things, never aim too high and you can avoid a lot of failure in life.

Never volunteer an idea and you won’t get stuck doing the work. You won’t get the credit if it goes well but you also will not get the blame when it fails. It is a lot easier and safer to criticize others for why things went wrong than to risk yourself on trying to make things better.

Do the minimum and you also avoid any possibility of success.

4. We begin to look lazy and apathetic to avoid the fear of failure.

A similar strategy to doing the minimum is to pretend you do not care. If you do not care if you are inherently lazy and unconcerned, then how can anyone fault you for doing poorly at things you never cared about doing in the first place?

We expect nothing from lazy people and they customarily live down to our expectations. Stay lazy my friends and avoid any risk of failure or success.

5. We avoid any situation where others might judge us.

Don’t go for a job interview and you avoid being turned down. Drop out of school and you do not have to take tests. Avoid being around others and they will never judge you.

This strategy will help you avoid failure. It will also keep you unemployed, under-educated, and living off the system, in poverty, for the rest of your life. You will have avoided being judged but at what price?

6. We become perfectionists and set impossible goals to avert failure.

This may well be the sneakiest way of all to avoid failure. Set impossibly high goals. Always do too much work constantly and then when one of your many tasks does not turn out up to the standard you have a ready-made excuse. Who could blame you for failing at a few things what with all the things you have to do?

More tomorrow on those perfectionists and how they avoid both success and failure.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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5 thoughts on “6 Ways Fear of Failure prevents success

  1. Pingback: Fear of Failure Prevents Success. | counselorssoapbox

  2. Pingback: On Being Confident | The Academic Prairie Dog

  3. Pingback: How to fail –Getting F’s may be harder than you think | counselorssoapbox

  4. Pingback: Success does not cure low self esteem | counselorssoapbox

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