21 Apr 2021

Your Fear Of Failure May Be Stopping You From Being The Entrepreneur You Were Meant To Be

According to Nefzi (2018), emotion is ‘essential for judgement and general decision making’ for entreprenurs. Damasio (1994) suggests that ‘fear can have an impact on the cognitive reaction of individuals.’

Lerner & Keltner (2001) examined the influence of fear and anger on risk perception. They suggest based on their findings that people who are fearful are usually ‘implicated in risk aversive behaviors.’

While fear can motivate Cacciotti & Hayton (2014) suggest that fear ‘is identified as an emotion that is perceived as a consequence of environmental signs, and it is related to some psychological and behavioral issues.’

When I speak to clients I typically find that a limiting belief was created during their childhood. Not feeling a sense of belonging with family caused several clients to strive for perfectionism, looking for purpose and meaning that never seems to be fulfilled.

Other clients described a feeling of fear to be visible or do lives, to close deals. When we investigate these fears in hypnosis it becomes clear that the issue that they came to me with as the presenting problem is not the actual issue.

Fear is masking a deeper emotion, a feeling of not being good enough, of feeling that there is something wrong with them because of past experiences.

The real challenge we have is that our minds imprint these negative experiences and store them away as something to look out for. If you experienced something that caused you intense pain, why would you want to go through that again? So even though we’ve consciously forgotten about those difficult past experiences they are still coded into our minds and acting as a filter for our behaviour.

So if you are feeling that you can’t move forward with getting clients, building landing pages, going live or doing challenges, there’s a chance that fear is preventing you from moving forward. Especially when you notice that there is a repeatable pattern to your behaviour and you simply cannot explain why you do it, except that you feel an overwhelming urge to put something off or avoid it.

Our past experiences shape us and fear is associated with high uncertainty around what we feel is in our control (Smith & Ellesworth, 1985; Lerner & Keltner, 2000).

Where we feel that things are not achieveble, possibly due to our past experiences, this causes us to feel fear (Conroy, 2001).

So in order to show up authentically and start getting paid what you are worth, you need to become self-aware of how your perception of risk is being impacted by your past experiences.

Here are some reflective questions you should ask yourself:

  • What are you putting off or not doing because you’re scared?
  • What are you actually scared of?
  • If you did go ahead and do what you are scared of what’s the worst that could happen?
  • If you do go ahead and do what you are afraid of and you succeed what does that look like?
  • Can you visualise it in your mind?
  • What would be different?
  • What would greater monthly income mean for your business, your life and your family?
  • If you’re ready to become self-aware of what is holding you back and move from fearful to fearless in 30 days then book a free strategy call today.


  • Cacciotti G, & Hayton James C. (2014). Fear of failure and entrepreneurship: A review and direction for future research, Enterprise Research Centre, Research Paper no. 24. Retrieved from http://www.entrepriseresearch.ac.uk
  • Conroy, D. E., Poczwardowski, A., & Henschen, K. P. (2001). Evaluative criteria and consequences associated with failure and success for elite athletes and performing artists. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 13, 300-322
  • Lerner JS. & Keltner D. (2000). Beyond valence: toward a model of emotion-specific influences on judgment and choice, Cognition and Emotion, 14(4), 473-493. http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/pp/02699931.html
  • Nefzi, Nabiha. (2018). Fear of Failure and Entrepreneurial Risk Perception. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge. 6. 45-58. 10.2478/ijek-2018-0013.
  • Smith, C.A., & Ellsworth, P.C. (1985). Patterns of cognitive appraisal in emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 813-838. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.48.4.813

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