Fear of failure prevents many people from reaching their full potential. It generates an inability to make committed decisions and persevere in the face of obstacles. And yet, without these abilities, success is never more than an accident.
Fear of failure is a self-esteem issue and arises from the mistaken belief that experiences which result in failure define one's self as a failure.
How should one look at failure?
First, make a persistent conscious effort to divorce failure from the issue of self-esteem. The idea that human beings successes or failure is based on overgeneralization and all or nothing thinking. These are reasoning errors. In truth every human being who has ever lived has succeeded at some things and failed at others.
Second, discard the idea that failure is all bad. You can learn from any failure if you search hard enough. Pose the question, "What can I learn from this?" and, if need be, wrack your brain for an answer. If you answer "Nothing," ask, What can I learn from having answered in that way?" You will be able to find a more elaborate and helpful answer.
Third, understand that success and failure are intimately associated. In many cases, in many pursuits, failure is a necessary prerequisite for success. Learn from what happens, make corrections, and take those actions that now seem most likely to reap rewards.
Fourth, bear this in mind: The vast majority of successful people have failed many times in their lives. Many successful people have failed a lot. To maximize your chances of success, try difficult, exciting things, and when you fail, ask what you can learn from it. Failing usually is better than not trying at all. Not trying is the one way to guarantee you fail.
Finally, all your ducks needn't be in a row. Many people think that before starting their career, they must start with a crystal clear idea of their ultimate career goal and know they have the potential to succeed. It rarely works that way. Many successful people get their first jobs with only a general idea of their career direction. Many are unsure whether they'll succeed in that career.