How To Overcome Fear Of Failure

Is fear of failure holding you back from making a big transition in your business or career? Watch this video to discover 3 concrete strategies for overcoming fear of failure, so you can can confidently move on.

Transcript of Video: 

Hi, I’m Rikke Hansen from and this video is all about how to deal with the fear of failure.

People are so afraid of failure that it literally costs them their potential and their dreams.

I’m sure you’d agree that: Fear of failure kills more dreams and has killed more dreams than failure itself ever has.

That’s a statistic that’s been proven over and over again.

But I know you’re watching this video because you want to make a big transition in your career or in your business, so let me help you redefine what failure could actually mean to you. Because I can literally guarantee you, how you view failure and your fear of failure is NOT defined by you. It was chosen by someone else for you.

I’m a big believer in empowering you to make the change you want to make and  I’ll show you some concrete strategies in this video, so you can redefine how you view fear, your fear of failure. You can make it work in your favour and you can use it as an ally, so you can make that change.

Here’s what I’ve noticed in my work, as a transition adviser.

There are two things that always come up, that literally paralyze people and that influence how they view failure:

1. Cultural and family conditioning
2. Workplace conditioning

1. Think about where you grew up, your family, your culture. There’s a very, very big chance that unless you grew up in a very entrepreneurially-minded family, you were not encouraged to take risks. You were not encouraged to fail. You were encouraged to get good grades, stay safe, play the game and get the rewards accordingly.

That means that when you think of failure, you think of, “Oh my god, it’s done. Failure is final. I’ll never get up again or I’ll be embarrassed for the rest of my life.” All that kind of stuff.

You might know Sara Blakely (one of the youngest ever female,self-made billionaires) who invented Spanx, which is an underwear range that controls muffin-tops amongst other things, and in an interview, she said that every night around the dinner table, her dad would ask her: “How did you fail today? What did you fail at today?”

Now for most of us, we didn’t have parents who have those kind of conversations with us around the dinner table. With my dad, it would be things like, “So did you get an A+? Or did you get an A?” Or “What achievements did you have?” or “You didn’t take any risks” or “Were you careful?” And all of that stuff.  No wonder that if you grow up with this idea that you have to stay safe, you still feel that you have to avoid failure at all costs.

2. It’s the same thing when it comes to workplace conditioning. A lot of us have worked in environments where, you know, failure in your job meant you got sacked. It was a death sentence. It was demonized. Think about professional services. You are not hired to take risks. You are hired to protect the client and get achievements and get results. You’ve been conditioned, whether you worked for you know, in the corporate environment, in a work environment, for five, ten, fifteen plus years, you’ve slowly been conditioned to avoid taking risk at most costs.

So here you are, trying to maybe start your first business, or your next business, and you are really confused and you’re afraid of failing because growing up and in the workplace, you are not rewarded for failure. You were punished for it, and you were told to avoid it at all costs. At the same time that it also means, you just absorbed those belief around failure, without questioning them.

 The thing is, whether you already are an entrepreneur or not, you don’t automatically get an entrepreneurial mindset just by becoming an entrepreneur or changing career.
It is absolutely vital that you do several things to redefine what failure means, so it doesn’t have just to be what you absorbed subconsciously from the work environment or from your parents or from the culture you grew up in.
There are 3 concrete strategies I want to share with you right now:

Strategy 1:  Identify your beliefs and change them

Here’s the thing, beliefs are a choice. You can change your mind about what you believe and you can act accordingly into that new belief.

Action: I want you to sit down with a piece of paper and just write down everything that comes to mind when you think about failure or your fear of failure.

Here’s one thing I notice with a lot of my clients and a technique that’s helped them a lot. For a lot of people failure is like final. It’s like all or nothing, you’ll be on the street eating dog food, you’ll be homeless if that business doesn’t work or if that career change doesn’t work or that next business. It’s all very all or nothing. But here if a fact:

You can choose your level of failure. It doesn’t have to be final and you can choose your level of risk. That’s the great thing.

Failure does not have to final, so once you identify your beliefs, just reframe them and choose something else.

That’s really, really important for you to do. There are so many levels of failure you can choose, so please avoid the all or nothing scenario or I’m going to be homeless and on the street. Think about role models and examples of people who’ve taken risks and who kind of failed but they turned that into learning experiences and they turned it into great businesses and great careers. That’s strategy number 1.

Strategy Number 2: Do Something Worth Failing For

Let’s get real here, do a reality check. What is the real failure here? If you’re watching this video, there’s a big chance that you really want to change career or you really want to start your own business or you want to finally start the business you really want to run. But right now you’re stuck in the scenario you hate or at least that you really want to get away from because it’s making you stressed, sick and not making you realize your potential.

Here’s my challenge to you, isn’t the real failure you staying stuck in that situation you so badly want to escape and not taking action?

Because right now you’re probably not doing something really worth failing for and that’s the real difference.

Once you nail down what you really want to do, what you’re going to find is that it’s going to be worth taking risks for, it’s going to be worth failing for. Just like love. If you’ve ever been in love you know that you get to the stage where you’re just going to have to risk it. You’re just going to have to risk failure, you’re going to have to risk rejection, you’re going to have to jump right in. It’s always been worth it. Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. I want to use that analogy here as well.

Make sure you do something worth failing for because the real risk and the real failure is staying stuck in something you don’t want.

Strategy 3: Replace Failure With Experiment

 Number 3 is really important and it’s replacing fear of failure or replacing failure with the word experiment.

Rather than thinking: “I failed” or “It was a failure”

Think:“I experimented” or “I learned more”

Think about scientists. Scientists go into the lab trying to find the cure for cancer. They know very well it’s not going to happen in the first go. They do experiments, do experiments and every time they do an experiment they get more information to solve the big questions and eventually they will find the solution.    Thankfully, starting your first business is a lot easier than being a scientist finding the cure for cancer, but there’s a chance that you will need to do some experiments in order to get the insights you need, to design that ideal business, that ideal career.

You need to learn more about yourself and you can only do that if you take risks, if you do things that might seem scary and might result in “failure.”

What if there was no such thing as failure but only learning experiences, only experimentation?

I really want you to think about it like that because that’s really going to help you. Because it means that you’re going to crave going out and taking risks and doing things that otherwise could be seen as “Oh my God, you’re going to fail.”.
That’s the beautiful thing about life. The more experiments you undertake, the more confident you’ll get, the more self-knowledge you’ll have and the more successful you’re going to be.
Think about it. Most successful entrepreneurs that we know about, the beautiful businesses of people who have careers they really love, it wasn’t always the first thing or it wasn’t always the first idea. They had to test drive things to find the right fit. There you go.
A recap here: Number 1: Be really aware of what your current beliefs around failure are and redefine them to work for you. Remember there are many levels of failure. You can choose, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Number 2: Get real. Do something worth failing at and do something worth failing for. Your staying stuck in the scenario you want to escape from is the real failure here and that’s what you should try to avoid. That’s the kind of failure you want to avoid, not going for what you really want. Number 3: Replace failure with experiment.

Please go out there and experiment because the more you experiment, the more pieces you’re going to have for the puzzle that’s going to make you happy and fulfilled in the work that you’re doing. 

If you liked this video, I would love for you to come over to, sign up for more videos, let me know what you need and let’s get you making that transition.


Go out there and fall in love with taking risks.

 Remember failure’s only experimentation, so please go have those experiments. There are many levels of failure, you can absolutely do this. Thank you.

On Career Change, Own Business

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