Four Ways to Reframe and Overcome the Fear of Failure 

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Life Coaching

We want to let you know, before getting started, that we get it. The fear of failure is a real thing, and it takes time—and a lot of courage—to overcome it. We have had our own journey with failure and have learned many lessons over the years (both in business and in life). One of those lessons has been learning how to reframe and, therefore, overcome the fear of failure. 

It’s not always about being extra “brave” or stepping outside of your comfort zone. Yes, those are necessary, but we can simply reframe our thoughts on failure to make this process much easier on ourselves. We hope these reframing tips help you as much as they’ve helped us! 

Failure story time! 

A pizza sits on a table while many hands reach in to grab a piece.

We have a funny story for you. When we were in our 20s, we decided to throw a fancy dinner party for our friends. We tried out a new recipe, and about 20 minutes before our guests were to arrive, we tried the food and realized it was UNSERVABLE! Oops! 

So, what did we do? Well, we ordered pizza and had a good laugh about it of course! 

Yes, it’s a silly story, but it was at this moment that we decided that we could reframe failure and make the most out of it.  

Four steps to reframe and overcome the fear of failure 

What do we mean by “reframe?” defines reframe as the following: “to look at, present, or think of (beliefs, ideas, relationships, etc.) in a new or different way.” 

That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re taking a fancy dinner party and turning it into a pizza party! Who doesn’t love that? Hopefully these four steps on how to reframe and overcome the fear of failure will give you peace of mind as you navigate this journey. 

Step 1: You get to decide what’s a failure or not. 

A yellow neon sign says “let’s party.”

The first step in overcoming fear of failure is understanding that you get to decide what is or isn’t a failure! What a relief! Our dinner party is the perfect example. We could have decided that the night was a complete failure and be embarrassed that our guests weren’t getting the meal we promised. 

But we quickly decided that having a fun night with our friends was more important than the food they ate. Pizza was the right move, and the night was a total success because everyone ate delicious food and had a great time being with each other. 

Step 2: Realize that how you react to mistakes affects you (and those around you). 

A big yellow box that has a happy face on it is surrounded by many little yellow boxes with happy faces on them.

In the same way that you can decide what’s a failure and what’s not, you also get to decide how you react to situations. Because mistakes do happen, and how we react to those mistakes matters a great deal. Was cooking a meal for the first time for a dinner party a mistake? Sure. Could it have put a whole damper on the night if we hadn’t laughed about it and treated it as a failure? Yes, it could have.  

When you realize that your actions and attitude have a significant impact on those around you, it changes the way you react to failure. This is especially powerful if you’re a parent.  

When you make mistakes, embrace them … what an important message to send to the people in your life!  

Step 3: Failure is a learning experience. 

Scrabble™ letters spell out “I am still learning.”

In our blog post all about growing as a person, we talked about having a growth mindset and learning from failure. We’re so passionate about this topic because it changed the trajectory of our life.  

But how can we successfully put this into practice? How do we actually learn from our failures? Here are three questions to reflect on to point you in the right direction: 

  • What made this situation a “failure” or mistake? 
  • What will I do differently next time? 
  • What skill do I need to learn to do better next time? 

And here’s a bonus question: Does it even matter? Sometimes we panic over mistakes we’ve made, when in the grand scheme of things, they don’t really matter! Answer these questions every time something doesn’t go your way. This is how you learn from failure. 

If you feel you need more inspiration and motivation, check out this blog post on “Coming Back from Failure.” 

Step 4: Focus on the journey. 

A wooden bridge winds over a body of water with tall trees on either side.

The last step in reframing failure is to remember that the journey is just as beautiful as the destination. When we face roadblocks and move past them, we become stronger, more confident, and, ultimately, more successful people! We overcome the fear of failure because we know and accept it to be a part of being a better person in the end.  

Throw a pizza party! 

If you take anything away from this message, it’s to not let the fear of failure keep you from moving toward your dreams and goals. Reframe what failure means to you, and if you find yourself in a bind, throw a pizza party! It helps.  

Having a positive mindset isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Check out this blog post on staying positive to be inspired!