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Fear of Failure

Jun 4, 2023

There is one thing in particular that is not taught in school. To be honest, it is not really taught in most families either, nor in a vast majority of the professional world.

But learning how to deal with it will dramatically improve your life. And funny enough, this is a lesson you can learn in a scene that is considered abnormal and very much superficial.

I’m talking about failure.

Failure is the daily bread of bodybuilders. The very goal of training is to push your body to its limit because this is what is necessary to build muscles.

Today’s email is not about training, though, it’s about failure. For most of us, failure is something bad, and if you fail, then you’ve necessarily done something… well, bad.

But for a bodybuilder, failure is the goal. Failure is an opportunity to grow, to get bigger and better. It is the path toward more confidence & self-respect.

Now, in the context of this sport, it is pretty straightforward. You go train, you fail, and the next time you train, you overcome the failure. Do this often enough and you transform your body.

But outside the gym, after you’ve changed your perspective on failure (which I hopefully helped you do with the first part of this email), how do you overcome it? How do you embrace it, even?

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Consider the thing that you might fail at
  • Picture the worst that could happen if you do fail
  • Find a specific solution to that “failure”
  • Analyze what happened to learn from it
  • Decide how you’ll do it next time so that you don’t fail again

Let me give you a concrete example, with a bit of context.

Let’s say you are invited to dinner, and you’ve been made responsible for the dessert. The hosts are gourmets and have great cooking skills.

You are a bit afraid you might fail your recipe. You need to do exactly this:

  • Consider failing your cake
  • The worst that could happen, is that they would be disappointed in you and start to speak badly behind your back in your shared social circle. Your friends would start to question your cooking ability and decline your invitation, which leaves you feeling alone & ashamed
  • One solution would be to work on your cooking skill so hard that you would never ever fail a recipe. Your cake would be so great that all your friends would want to come over on the weekends.
  • After analyzing the situation, you noticed that you were in fact not prepared with the right recipe, nor the right ingredients and that you lacked experience baking that cake
  • So next time that you are invited over, and you have some responsibilities, you make sure beforehand to double-check every step of the creation

Now, with this little exercise, you have a very specific plan about how to go about overcoming failure – even before it happened!

This is great, but I’m sure you’re wondering why this email goes from an education problem in our society, to bodybuilding, to baking cakes.

Well, the reason is the following. I speak to a lot of you girls. And this fear of failure is not only widespread. It is also preventing a lot of you from making the right decisions for your goals.

➡️ The decision to set boundaries, because you’re afraid that you would fail your relationship.

➡️ The decision to track all the food you eat, because you’re afraid it might show that you did not perfectly hit some specific targets.

➡️ Or the decision to invest in yourself, because somewhere deep down in your head, there’s a small voice reminding you of all the past failures when you did bet – unsuccessfully – on yourself

Girl, I know betting on yourself can feel scary. It’s even scarier to put a price on that bet.

But if there’s just a little, tiny spark in your heart that drives you to get better every day, fighting the fear of failure, make that bet.

Invest in yourself, and prove that fear of failure wrong.


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