Are You Afraid of Failure or Success?

Are You Afraid of Failure or Success?By Milissa Harding

It can take a tremendous amount of courage to step into entrepreneurial waters, and with that, often comes a fear of failure. Perhaps you have experienced a fear of “failing” in your business, a fear that you won’t make money doing work that you love, or a fear of letting someone down.

Fear can have a really negative impact on your growth as an entrepreneur. When you’re afraid of failure in your business, you naturally sabotage your efforts by pulling back, avoiding and making excuses rather than doing the things that will support you in moving forward. So, where does this fear of failure come from? Fear of failure can have many sources, but one of the most common roots of this fear lies in the messages that have been passed along to us from others:

  • Has someone ever discouraged you from following your dreams?
  • Has anyone ever told you that being an entrepreneur is risky or a “waste of time?”
  • Do you know someone who has struggled as an entrepreneur?

You are greatly influenced by the people that you choose to pay attention to, and in many cases, it can be your family and friends who (unintentionally) plant these fear-based thoughts of failure in your mind. The thing about fear though, is that, the more you focus on it, the more pervasive it becomes. The key is to begin transforming your fear of failure into thoughts and experiences about success and achievement. Visualize yourself succeeding and living your dream. Counteract any fear-based conversations by sharing examples of how you’re moving towards your goals. Surround yourself with other like-minded individuals who support you and champion your efforts. Most of all, keeping taking those daily steps forward NO.MATTER.WHAT.

Now, what about fear of success? We’ve already looked at how fear of failure can get in the way of our success and sabotage our efforts as entrepreneurs. But, did you know that it is also common for entrepreneurs to experience a fear of success? It might sound like a strange fear to have; I mean, don’t we all want to enjoy success in our businesses? I know that your intention is to be successful doing work that you love. However, sometimes the thought of having a successful business scares the crap out of business owners. Here’s why…

Generally speaking, we all have similar visions of what a successful entrepreneur “looks like”. We imagine a successful entrepreneur to be someone who is making great money, has a full practice of clients, a roster of customers or a large number of people in his/her downline. Perhaps we imagine that a successful entrepreneur takes frequent vacations, spends lots of quality time with family and can afford pretty much whatever he or she wants. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The problem with our common picture of successful entrepreneurs is that it can be scary, even though we want to experience those examples of success. It’s scary, because we wonder if it’s actually achievable, we wonder if we can maintain that level of success, and we wonder what others will think if our lives transform in such grandiose ways. We look at where we are and where we want to end up, and we think to ourselves, “Wow, that gap looks pretty big!”. When this happens, it can be easy for you to actually fear (and repel) success. Not only do you question if you can actually become successful in your business; you also start wondering if you can even handle the success in the first place. Can you resonate?

I believe that it’s important to create both short and long-term goals of where you want to be in your business, but I also believe that we need to recognize and appreciate the small steps we take each day towards realizing our goals. When you only look at the long-term vision that you have, you may find yourself fearing your own success more often. However, when you notice (and celebrate!) your daily achievements, you actually start training yourself to “taste” success on a regular basis, instead of waiting until the GRAND DAY arrives. Enjoying daily successes prepares you to fully enjoy the bigger successes when they come, without fear.

Here’s a bit of homework for you:

What would it look like if you were a fearless entrepreneur? What small successes can you begin celebrating today. Take some time to reflect and journal your thoughts around these questions. Pay attention to how your energy begins to shift as you begin working through your fears of failure and success.

Milissa Harding is a Health and Lifestyle Coach and founder of Embrace You and Your Biz, where she supports introverted entrepreneurs to step into their own spotlight and shine, by fully embracing their lives and their businesses, from the inside out. Request your FREE gift, “The 4 Secrets to Embracing Your Life and Your Business” as well as a 5-Day Getting Started Series by visiting

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