Women in Leadership – Overcoming Fear of Failure

Women in Leadership – Overcoming Fear of Failure


Any of us can fear failure. It is not a condition that only women face, men do too and so do children. As a matter of fact, our fear of failure could very well have started s women in leadership ometime in childhood. For most of us, that means we have carried it the bulk of our lives. If you have a fear of failure how do you cope with it? Are you afraid to speak up even though you know the answer? Do you turn down new opportunities because you are afraid you won’t measure up to expectations? Are you loathe to ask for a raise because you fear you will be turned down? These and many more behaviors are driven by fear of failure. We do not believe we can make the grade so we do not go for it. We avoid situations where we will be tested. We turn down the chance for wonderful opportunities and experiences. Fear has up in its grip.

What can you do about it? You know it is there but it is difficult to face and there is often even fear of not being able to succeed at overcoming fear! Here are some suggestions of things you can do to begin to overcome your fear of failure.

Do something somewhat challenging that will bring small successes. Celebrate the feeling you get when you succeed at something. Savor it and take the time to note how good it feels. Allow yourself to feel proud and good about your achievement.

Make a list of all the things you fear about failing. Keep your list out on the table and add to it as you think of more things. Go back over your list. Do you really think most of the things on your list will actually happen? Often we find that we have blown things out of proportion and they become scary. Is there anything on your list that you really could not cope with? Chances are your answer is “no”.

Review your values in relationship to your goals. Are they aligned? Make sure they are and then work to make your goals crystal clear – so clear that they act as magnets drawing you forward. How will you celebrate when you reach your goals?

Check your self-limiting beliefs. What are they and ho are they holding you back from being successful? What could you change them to that would be more empowering? Do that and see if it helps you overcome some of your fear.


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