The Fear of Failure

Annie Mae Edwards
Carpe Diem Daily Inspiration
4 min readNov 1, 2022


How many of you fear the thought of “failing” at something, so much to the point of it even getting in the way of you pursuing some of your passions and dreams?

Personally speaking, I have found many situations in which my anxiety over the consequences of said “failure” have actually prohibited me from doing things, that quite honestly, could have been successful, and could have made an impact.

Define Failure

What is the actual definition of ‘failure?’ According to the Oxford dictionary, it is both defined as 1) lack of success and 2) the omission of expected or required action.

Therefore, failure isn’t just about trying something and not succeeding. It also encompasses NOT trying/executing something, which causes a hinderance to your life/circumstances in some way.

To Try, or Not to Try…

If the fear of failure prevented people from exploring ANY new ideas, how would the world ever change? What would society look like? What would YOU look like? How would YOU feel? It is impossible to discover the best version of ourselves without trusting ourselves to delve into new ideas, explore ourselves, and search for our life’s purpose. Therefore, happiness would only be superficial and short-lived.

Is this security of eliminating that fear of failure blocking our capabilities of understanding true happiness and fulfillment in their deepest forms?

The Truth

The truth is, we all (at least to some extent) have this fear. It is also a perfectly normal feeling to experience. New ideas and adventures do carry risks. However, how we respond to this fear of failure determines the outcome of the effect it carries on our lives. Yes, there are risks involved. However, the benefits may far outweigh them.

Bottom Line

It is okay to have worries. When we let our worries overcome our mind so much that it consumes our being, our time that we could instead spend “doing,” and causes us to feel unbalanced, this is where it becomes detrimental.

With the right mindset, even when we do experiences failures, we discover that they are disguised as lessons for us to find wisdom in. We discover that even if it didn’t work out as we planned, we are more equipped with knowledge on how to reevaluate . Most importantly, we also discover ourselves, and our life’s purpose in its happiest form.


One thing to always keep in mind when these fears begin to creep up is this: A failure that you can learn and grow from is much better than letting that fear of failure accidentally manifest into the ULTIMATE failure: the failure to actually LIVE, versus merely existing.

Thoughts to Ponder

  • Sometimes we fear the obstacles ahead of us, and doubt our ability to overcome them. However, if everything were easy, how would we ever we ever be challenged to grow?
  • If we never ventured out because we feared “failing,” would the journey of life even be that enjoyable?
  • Would we technically be “failing” to fully encompass our journey in life by not doing things?

The Failure to Live

Part of the excitement in life is where it takes you, and you must be willing to take risks that you believe in in order to have that experience. Also, even if the journey is a rocky one, achievements mean even more when you know how hard you pushed to get there.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” -Beverly Sills

At the end of the day, following your heart, and being willing to risk “failing” at something, is this only way to leave your mark. We are all unique for a reason. We all have a purpose, and a contribution to leave that no one else can execute like we can.

  • Don’t let the fear of failure steal this from you.
  • Don’t let it prevent you from being part of the change you wish to see in the world.
  • Don’t let it strip you of YOU.
  • Don’t let it strip you of your LIFE.

The fear of failure is okay; an obsession with it that actually affects your lifestyle is not.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” -Mae West