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16 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Failure and Achieve Your Goals | The CognoZen Method

Keep reading to learn the 16 ways to overcome your fear of failure and start achieving your goals today!

Woman screaming in frustration

In today’s hyper-critical Cancel Culture-era, it seems like more people are dealing with the fear of failure.

They have brilliant ideas and beautiful dreams but they’re afraid to take risks, chase their dreams, or put themselves out there because they don’t want to deal with the comment trolls and backlash that come with being in the public eye.

Most people are afraid of the consequences that may come from failing in public. They’d rather not try at all than face the potential pain of being seen as *gasp* human.

And it’s understandable.

I mean, how many times have we watched lies and rumors destroy everyone they can in the past few years?

I get it. We’re living in interesting times filled with interesting people with interesting points of view (to say the least).

But that doesn’t mean that you should hold yourself back from doing what you love.

I think it’s time for ALL of us (myself included) to accept the fact that yes, this is the current cultural climate…BUT things change all the time, and there are far more positive, uplifting people who think for themselves and don’t trust gossip in the world than there are trolls, despite what some comment sections might make you think. 

Think about it:

Most gossip pages have millions of followers, but their posts only get a few thousand likes and a few hundred comments.

That means that the majority of their audience read the posts and either ignore them, or don’t care enough to leave negative comments about it.

And even when someone does get dragged for failing, it’s mostly forgotten and replaced by a new viral story in a matter of days.

I think it’s time for all of us to stop giving in to the fear of failure and start chasing our dreams and living our lives how we want to. Do you agree??

Fear of failure is a powerful force that can hold us back from reaching our full potential. From putting off a big project at work to avoiding applying for our dream job, it can keep us trapped in our comfort zones. 

But what if you could break free from that mindset? Imagine what you could achieve if you weren’t afraid to try, to risk, and even to fail sometimes!

Here are 16 powerful ways to shift your mindset and overcome your fear of failure

1. Redefine Failure

Instead of seeing failure as a sign of weakness, look at it as a learning opportunity.

Every setback has valuable lessons that help us understand what works, what doesn’t, and how we need to improve.

Remember, some of the world’s most successful people experienced countless failures before achieving greatness. (e.g. Walt Disney, Oprah, STEVE JOBS)

If you’ve ever failed before, don’t worry. You’re in great company. 😉

Get Into Action:

  • Make a list of some of your past “failures”
  • Write down at least one thing you learned from each experience
  • Create a personal mantra that you can recite to yourself the next you’re feeling held back by the fear of failure. (e.g., “Failing is just learning. I am still worthy and good enough.”)

Get the Workbook:

2. Focus on the Process, Not Just the Outcome

Becoming too attached to a specific outcome can cause major anxiety and make failing feel like the end of the world (or at least life as you know it).

And, because whatever you resist persists, the more afraid you are of failing and not reaching your goal, the more you’ll think about ways and reasons why you might fail.

Nerve-wracking, much???

Shifting your focus to the process – i.e. the small, daily steps you take – can help you feel more in control and remind you that progress isn’t just possible; it’s happening every day.

Get Into Action:

  • Break down a big goal into smaller, manageable tasks.
  • Celebrate each completed task, no matter how small.
  • Focus on giving your best effort rather than a specific outcome.

Get the Workbook:

3. Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism is a TRAP! A very small, suffocating one, at that. It sets impossibly high standards and makes you terrified of not measuring up.

Aiming for progress over perfection creates a more sustainable and enjoyable journey, and helps you continue to move forward instead of getting paralyzed by insecurity and self-doubt.

Action Steps:

  • Pick a project to start, even if you don’t feel 100% ready.
  • Set deadlines to avoid overthinking and endless revisions and stick to them.
  • Practice saying “this is good enough” when a task is complete. Sure, maybe it could be better. But that doesn’t mean that the work you’ve done isn’t already good enough.

Get the Workbook:

4. Visualize Success

Our brains have a hard time distinguishing between what we vividly imagine and reality.

Spend a few minutes each day visualizing yourself achieving your goals. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of success in every part of your body!

And if you struggle with visualization, try scripting! Writing out exactly what you want can make it easier to paint the picture in your head. If you’re looking for detailed scripting templates for your career, friendships, love life, and more, you can find them in The CognoZen Method library.

Get Into Action:

  • Create a vision board of your goals and dreams. Create a visual representation of exactly how you want your life to look.

    If you want to create a vision board that you can have on your phone, there are plenty of digital vision board templates to choose from in The CognoZen Method library.
  • Write a detailed description of what success looks and feels like.
  • Practice visualization with quiet meditation or before bed.

Get the Workbook:

5. Build A Support System

Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your potential. Share your goals with them and ask for support and encouragement. If you know that they love and want the best for you, try to create a safe space for them to give you honest feedback. Take that feedback into serious consideration, then ultimately trust your intuition when you make your final decisions.

Knowing you’re not alone makes a big difference, always.

Get Into Action:

  • Find at least one supportive friend or family member that you feel you can share your dreams and plans with.
  • Connect with a mentor or coach in your field.
  • Find online communities related to your goals. Get active in them by attending events, posting valuable insights, and writing genuine comments on other people’s posts.

Get the Workbook:

6. Challenge Your Inner Critic

That voice in your head that says you’re not good enough? Don’t believe it! Throw out those negative thoughts and replace them with more empowering ones.

I already wrote a full article on this called How To Overcome Self-Doubt By Challenging Your Inner Critic. Give it a read to learn more!

Get Into Action:

  • Keep a “thought log” for 24 hours to track negative thoughts.
  • Make note of the negative thoughts that you tend to think the most.
  • Reframe each negative thought into a positive or neutral one.
  • Use affirmations like “I am capable” or “I am learning and growing” as mantras throughout the day to boost confidence.

    In the FREE 3-Day CognoZen Challenge, there is a section devoted to reprogramming your brain to believe that YOU ARE WORTHY and reduce negative thoughts. I highly recommend checking it out!

Get the Workbook:

7. Celebrate Small Wins

Acknowledging your progress, no matter how small, builds confidence and keeps you motivated. Celebrating the small wins makes the big victories even sweeter!

I talk more about the benefits of celebrating your small wins in this article. Check it out whenever you want to!

Get Into Action

  • Keep a “success jar”. Write down your wins and add the slips of paper to the jar. Revisit the jar whenever you’re feeling discouraged or stuck to encourage yourself.
  • Treat yourself with small rewards for milestones. This could be as simple as a 20-minute walk, a quick nap, or your favorite snack (as long as that doesn’t tempt you to overindulge lol). 
  • Reflect on your progress regularly (weekly or monthly). Congratulate yourself regularly.

Get the Workbook:

8. Embrace Discomfort

Growth happens outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to do at least one thing that scares you a little bit each day.

And no, I don’t mean “do something that puts you in danger”. I mean talk to that stranger if you’re an introvert, go live online if you hate to show your face, or ask out that person you’ve been crushing on!

Over time, you’ll build self-confidence and resilience and expand your limits.

If you needed to hear it, YES, you ARE capable of doing hard things. I believe in you!

Get Into Action:

  • Identify one small thing that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Write down the steps you need to take to do it.
  • Start with tiny steps and gradually increase your exposure.
  • Reward yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone!

Get the Workbook:

9. Learn From Others

Find role models who have overcome setbacks and achieved great things. Read their stories, listen to their advice, and get inspired by their resilience. Here are a few famous failure-to-success stories that are worth looking into:

Thomas Edison

Tyler Perry

Warren Buffet

Mark Cuban

Beyonce (seriously, who knew!)

J.K. Rowling

The creators of The Matrix

Sara Blakely

Soichiro Honda (yup…as in, the car!)

And so many more. This LinkedIn article put a lot of their journeys into perspective. It’s worth reading!

Get Into Action:

  • Research people who inspire you in your field. Watch their interviews and read their stories.
  • Listen to podcasts or interviews featuring successful people. Make note of the challenges they had to overcome on their journey to success.
  • Attend conferences or workshops where you can learn from people who are already doing what you want to do. Learn from their mistakes as you map out your own path.

Get the Workbook:

10. Focus On What You Can Control

There will always be factors outside your control. That’s just life. Focus your energy on what you CAN influence: your mindset, your actions, and your preparation.

Get Into Action:

  • Make a list of things you CAN control regarding your goal.
  • Stop worrying about things you can’t control. (Easier said than done, I know, but it’s definitely worth the effort.)
  • Focus on taking consistent action on controllable factors.

Get the Workbook:

11. Develop A Growth Mindset

“Hard work beats talent every time.” 

Believe that your abilities and talents can be developed through hard work and perseverance. Failures are simply opportunities to learn and improve. Set your goal and aim to get 1% better every single day. You can do this!

Get Into Action:

  • Replace “I can’t” with “I haven’t learned that YET.”
  • Seek out challenges and learning opportunities.
  • Praise yourself for effort and improvement, not just the outcome!

Get the Workbook:

12. Practice Self-Compassion

Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would your best friend. Be patient with yourself, forgive your mistakes, and remember you’re a work in progress.

Get Into Action:

  • Talk to yourself like you would a friend struggling with fear of failure. Be gentle, kind, supportive, and honest.
  • Practice self-care activities to replenish and reduce stress. This can mean giving yourself an at-home spa treatment or scheduling time to rest and rejuvenate.
  • Learn mindfulness techniques to calm your nervous system.

    If you want to learn how to regulate your nervous system in as little as 10 minutes, check out the methods in the FREE 3-Day CognoZen Challenge.

Get the Workbook:

13. Take Calculated Risks

Don’t be reckless, but be willing to embrace the unknown. Research, prepare, and then take a leap of faith. You might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.

There’s a woman on YouTube who set the goal to get rejected as much as possible in one year. Know what this did for her?

She applied to Harvard…and got waitlisted! (An INCREDIBLE accomplishment, in my eyes.)

She applied for a job at a marketing agency at 18 years old without a college degree…and got the job AND was paid more than people twice her age!

She applied to become a model and got rejected…but when she asked them why, they said she was too “ethereal” (model speech for “otherworldly beautiful”) to do print campaigns!

Umm…I’ll take that kind of rejection, please!

If you want to learn more about her story, you can check it out here.

Get Into Action:

  • Start with small risks to build confidence gradually.
  • Research and assess potential risks and rewards before deciding.
  • Have a contingency plan in case things don’t go as planned.

Get the Workbook:

14. Bounce Back Quickly

Setbacks are inevitable. We’ve all had ‘em, and we’ll all have more of them as long as we keep living. The key is to develop the ability to recover quickly. Process your emotions, learn your lessons, and then recommit to your goals.

A setBACK is just a setUP for a STEP UP. Remember that!

Get Into Action:

  • Allow yourself to feel disappointment without wallowing in it.
  • Analyze what went wrong and identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop a “bounce back” routine (e.g. exercise, talking to a friend, etc.).

Get the Workbook:

15. Remember Your “Why”

When fear creeps in, connect with your deepest motivations for pursuing this goal. Thinking of the people you want to help and the next goals you want to meet can help keep you going when you want to give up. Let your “why” fuel your courage and determination whenever you feel discouraged.

Get Into Action:

  • Write down your “why” and place it somewhere where you can see it every day.
  • Visualize the positive impact achieving your goal will have.
  • Revisit your “why” whenever you feel discouraged and keep going!

Get the Workbook:

16. Have A Sense of Humor

Laughter really is the best medicine. Taking yourself too seriously can fuel fear of failure. Finding humor in setbacks and laughing at your own foibles puts things in perspective. It helps relieve stress and shows yourself you can get through anything with the right attitude.

Get Into Action:

  • Seek out humorous content: watch comedies, listen to funny podcasts, etc. There are plenty on the internet. Just search them out!
  • Create a collection of the funniest posts you see on each social media platform. Revisit it whenever you need a pick-me-up.
  • Share funny stories with friends and family.
  • Reframe setbacks with a touch of humor.
  • Try Laughter Yoga. I’m serious! When you watch random clips of a Laughter Yoga class it seems completely nuts, but when you do the exercises yourself you end up in stitches!

    Here’s one of my favorite Laughter Yoga videos on YouTube right now. I think the funniest part for me is her actual laugh. I love it lol.

Get the Workbook:


Fear of failure is normal, but you don’t have to feel paralyzed by it forever! Try these easy methods and see how much your life progresses! If you want more support, download our free workbooks found below and throughout this article.

Wishing you infinite success and happiness!

Get instant access to the FREE 3-Day CognoZen Challenge to learn how to reprogram your subconscious mind for more wealth, happiness, & success!

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