Overcoming Fear of Failure – Making a Career Change Possible


Have you ever thought about changing career but have been so afraid of failing that you decided not to?

In the UK, we are surrounded by opportunities and choices yet so many of us do not take advantage of what is available. We have the option to find a career best suited to our personalities yet choose to remain in a disheartening career because we believe a career change is simply not possible.

Fear of failure is one of the most common beliefs preventing career change.   You may be a perfectionist, a procrastinator or feel you are not good enough. These all come from a fear of failure and can cause you to miss out on career opportunities, leading to unnecessary stress, worry and unhappiness.


A fear of failure can be overcome through changing your thought pattern. Be willing to change and this will be possible. Here are a few steps to help you:

  1. Be aware of your belief, ‘fear of failure’, and the reasons you have for supporting this belief (perhaps you made a mistake in the past or did badly in an exam at school).
  2. Ask yourself if it is useful for you to continue clinging on to these past experiences/beliefs or whether it is now time to update your beliefs.
  3. If it is time for an update, decide what would be more useful for you to believe instead by turning your fear of failure into a positive statement. For example, ‘I am scared of failing’ becomes ‘I am successful’.
  4. Keep repeating your new positive belief; each time your fear of failure belief resurfaces, stop it and replace it with your new belief.
  5. Now take action to support your new belief. Fake it ‘til you make it! Use this new positive belief to empower you to take action.

You may now be thinking this is easier said than done or you are unsure of what to do next. Making the decision to change and knowing where to begin can be difficult and takes courage and perseverance.

I have had many clients who were desperate to change careers but believed it was not possible. One client believed that a job was not to be enjoyed. He had been told this by others in the past. He subsequently developed a fear of failure and remained in a job he disliked. This client then made the decision not to waste any more time and worked towards changing his belief. This allowed him to explore career opportunities available to him.  He is now pursuing a career that he is passionate about.


You have the choice to either allow fear of failure to control your life or to overcome this belief and pursue a career that fulfils you and brings a smile to your face.



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