How to stop being afraid of failure

Failure is better than not even trying

Just like a lot of people, I used to be afraid of failure. For me, failure in school meant that I didn’t try hard enough. It was my fault, and my parents made clear that I had to avoid it.

But bad grades weren’t the only failure I feared. For instance, my mom always taught me that having a decent job was the only way to success. And for the longest time, I believed that being unemployed was the most daunting thing that could happen to me. Until I spend the most unhappy three years of my life in jobs that I hated.

This experience made me realise that it’s far worse to feel like life has nothing more to offer. And so I quit my job without a plan B on the horizon and decided to give myself space for exploring, trying, failing, and trying again.

Not trying will lead to regret

When we think of failure, we’re most afraid of disappointment and other people’s (and our own) judgment.

Maybe we want others to think that we’re too good to fail; maybe we’re afraid of being judged by people we love, and maybe we’re scared that our positive image of ourselves will shatter if we actually try. Or we simply feel like we’re not good enough.

But the truth is, if you really want something, dealing with failure is just a hurdle along the way, and the one thing you’ll regret once you’ve lived your life is if you didn’t even try.

Don’t let your life consist of “what if”

Let me tell you a concrete example from my own life: I always loved with blogs. When I was 18 years old, I discovered a fashion blog while looking for outfit inspiration online. It was back in 2009 when blogging wasn’t a job yet and no one else read them. Starting with this blog that I follow to this day, I discovered the whole fascinating world of personal blogs.

For someone who loves to write and be creative, blogging seemed like a dream. But I was too scared to start my own. The fear of failure stopped me from trying.

For almost a year, I would take pictures of all my outfits before leaving the house in the morning, hoping to start a fashion blog. But I was always too critical of myself. I wasn’t as pretty as the other fashion bloggers. My pictures sucked (they really did because I took them on my old Sony Ericsson phone, way before I got my first smartphone), and I was too afraid that people would find out and make fun of me.

Even writing this fills me with regret. Why didn’t I just jump over my shadow and do it? Of course, my outfits were terrible, and I would be embarrassed to look back on them now. But who knows what would have happened, how things would have evolved? Maybe my life would be entirely different right now!

Don’t let the fear of failure stop you

Now I did finally start a blog at the beginning of last year. Still too embarrassed to make it about anything personal, I decided to write a travel and lifestyle blog.

I would talk about nice and neutral topics like my favourite places in Paris or rainy day activities. Never did I mention that I hated living in Paris, or that my only rainy day activity was watching Netflix.

I wrote what I thought people wanted to hear, carefully pretending to be a “normal” person.

I didn’t mention my IBS, actually, I didn’t mention anything personal. And as you might imagine, that blog never took off.

Was it a failure? Yes. But I’m still proud of myself for making this step and getting out of my comfort zone.

Learn from your failures

Now, do I regret failing at it? Honestly, I don’t. In the long run, dealing with failure is easier than dealing with regret. Because failure actually makes you progress.

If I hadn’t made all the mistakes I made, I wouldn’t have noticed what I really wanted to do: write about my struggles in life and help others with IBS, being weird and introverted and shy, and having dreams bigger than the sky.

Can I be certain that this blog will actually find an audience? I can’t. But it’s something I’m passionate about. And if I were to fail again, I know that I would get back up, learn from my mistakes and make an even better try.

You don’t have to be afraid of failure.

Failure is always better than not even trying. Failure teaches you a lesson, makes you learn from your mistakes, it makes you stronger and wiser.

Not doing anything just makes you think about what could be. And once the moment passes, it leaves you wondering how your life could have been different if you hadn’t been so scared.

I’m not telling you to risk everything all the time. I’m just suggesting that if you really want something, you should go for it.

Maybe you’ll fail at first, but you’ll keep trying until you succeed. And this procedure of trial and error will save you from a life filled with regret.

How to stop being afraid of failure

If you agree that you shouldn’t be afraid of failure and found this post helpful, I would very much appreciate if you shared it with your friends! 🙂

36 Replies to “How to stop being afraid of failure”

  1. Uh, I can relate to this! Right now I am looking for a new job and I often catch myself thinking ‘I love this job description! But naaah, probably I am not good/smart/experienced enough for the position’. But you’re so right, failure is better than not even trying, who knows, maybe someone in my dream job will see that I am passionate about it and won’t mind that I don’t have years of experience… So, I will try!
    And it is great that you bravely started this blog and instead of writing ‘what others want to hear’ write what you want to tell! I think, being sincere and open is always interesting, so I wish the best success for your blog 🙂
    P.S. Am I the only one curious, what is that fashion blog that you still follow to his day? It must be good!

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment!
      You should definitely try! Someone very close to me had that same issue, he was trying to make a change in his career but couldn’t find a job at first because he didn’t have enough experience. But he didn’t give up and in the end, he got a job that was even better than he ever expected! I really hope you get your dream job. 🙂
      And the blogger I was talking about is Rebecca from A Clothes Horse ( – it was the first blog I ever read and I still love it!

  2. This is such great encouragement to just go out there, follow your dreams, and do it! I have always been afraid of failing the people closest to me and wanted to get everything right. At some point though I realized though, if I only do what others expect of me, the only person I‘m failing is myself. That was a huge eye-opener and your post reminded me of that. Reading it inspired me to just follow my dreams again no matter what happens on the way. And I totally agree, you can only really regret the things you haven‘t done. And sometimes the best things stem from mistakes you made because you have learned from them. And if you tried all the ways something doesn‘t work, you will eventually find the way that does work.🌺😊

    1. The fear of failing the people closest to you is the worst, especially when they want the best for you! But ultimately I’m the only one who can decide what I want to achieve in life and I have to try no matter what. I totally agree, learning from your mistakes makes you progress so much!

  3. Great post! I’m a huge believer in making mistakes. It means you’re trying.

    1. Thank you. 🙂 I agree, you can’t get anywhere if you don’t try!

  4. Well said. Thanks – need to hear this – personal makes you want to keep reading.. Great post – made me want to keep reading – so that is a good thing!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed reading. 🙂

  5. So needed this right now! My husband and I are in a pickle of whether to take a financial risk or stay trapped in the 9-5 rat race where he’s super unhappy. The “What if” thing is what makes me want to take the risk. I never want to look back and wonder what would have happened if we just took a leap! I’d much rather fail after trying than never try at all.

    1. I was so scared when I quit my job to try doing my own thing, but now I’m so happy that I did it! I haven’t figured everything out yet but I’ve come so far and I would never go back at this point.
      So at least for me, the financial risk is definitely worth it if you get a chance at being happy. And you never know what you can achieve until you try!

  6. Regret is one of the worst feelings! Great article!

    1. Thank you! And I agree, regret is not a nice feeling!

  7. Really motivaing and a inspirational post. I have been on stage in life where i find myself stuck and think is the thing even worth trying but today i regards only thing which i left without a try no thinks which I tried and failed.

    1. I’m so happy that you liked it! I always feel that if I fail at something although I gave it my best shot, it just wasn’t meant to be and I can move on… but regretting something is the worst!

  8. Amazing blogpost! I really can feel you. I also had a time when I didn’t dare to try new things, and that’s truly something that leads to regret! I’m happy that I learned that, so I can turn the ‚what ifs‘ into bold action now. Thanks for sharing your story! I’m sure that it can inspire others, too! 🙂
    Love, Elaine

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment! I’m happy that you found a way to turn the “what ifs” into action, I feel like doing this makes life so much better!

  9. Great Read! I have struggled with the fear of failure for years and the only thing it’s done for me is made me give up/fail. But this is why I started a blog! To push through and finally make things happen!

    1. That’s so great! It’s one of the reasons why I started my blog, too. 🙂

  10. This is such a positive perspective and so encouraging! Sometimes I’m reluctant to try new things because I’m scared I won’t be good at it, or someone else will be better than me… which they probably will, but that isn’t a good enough reason not to do it!!

    1. I’m so glad that you found it encouraging! 🙂 I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be good at something in the beginning… and there’s always going to be someone who’s better than me. I think that it’s important to just focus on our own progress!

  11. Thank you for helping me continue to overcome my greatest fear: failure.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂

  12. Good for you for sharing personal things. It can be hard because we feel like those are the things that people may not be interested in but then they are the things that make us more relatable after all. I’m with you on Netflix on a rainy day! glad to see a human and relatable blog!

    1. Thank you! 🙂 To me, it’s pretty scary to share personal things because I feel like I’m weird and people will judge me! But then I’m thinking that I can’t possibly be the only one.

  13. Fantastic reminders. We must take risks and chances; of course we may falter, perhaps many times… but oh the glorious day when we fly!!!

    1. I just love how you phrased that, thank you!

  14. Love this post! So many amazing reminders! Really needed to hear this! Sharing!

    1. Thank you so much!

  15. Good post. It’s good to see people’s view on the topic of failure. I’ve always said that I never fail, I either win or I learn.

    1. I love that, that’s way more motivating that talking about failure!

  16. This is so true! I finally decided to start a blog but I put it off for over a year because of fear of failure. I still don’t know whether it will fail or not but at least I’ll know that I tried it, instead of constantly wondering “what if?”.

    1. Same here! I always tell myself that even if it doesn’t work, I’ll have learnt so much.

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