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fear of failure

by Kate Swoboda, CCLC, author of The Courage Habit (forthcoming)

One of the most frustrating aspects of changing behavior is that we can logically know what we need to do in order to change, yet we don’t take different actions when the opportunity arises. Everyone wants to know: what’s happening in that moment? Why is it that we can know better, yet still not make the choice to do better?

Fear of failure bedevils the lives of millions children, teens, and adults. As a result, procrastination often follows. Fortunately, you can rein in both your fear of failure and procrastination using the same techniques.

Let’s explore the thinking behind the fear of failure. Jeremy’s example may help. Jeremy’s fear of failure thoughts were like a thundercloud over his head. He believed he was a failure if he made mistakes or fell short of his goals. To avoid the short-term feeling of failure, Jeremy procrastinated and too often experienced the failure he feared.

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