The Fear of Failure

David Maxwell!!!!! My football coach's yell could be heard across the field.  I often heard him in the midst of playing the game, he was that loud!  Playing football was something that I enjoyed but there was always something holding me back.  My coach's yelling was his way of trying to motivate me.  The problem was not the motivation, it was something deeper inside of me.  I didn’t understand why I was so hesitant playing until years later.  My battle was with the fear of failure.

Fear of failure lives as a struggle in many men’s lives.  The fear is not something they can usually name but it holds them back more often than not.  The fear keeps them from moving ahead and can bring many negatives into each man’s life.  The struggle usually comes as a form of perfectionism.  Men want to do something perfect and fear messing everything up.  The fear of failure creates two major problems for men.


  • Fear of failure causes many men to hesitate trying new things or doing something different from the norm.  Many men get stuck doing something one way and refuse to change because of the fear of doing something else wrong.  The struggle comes when they know they need to change but something on the inside keeps them from doing it.  This mental pressure builds up and then they begin to put themselves down or believe that they really can’t do anything well so they stop trying.

  • Hesitancy brings a defensive mindset that settles into the minds of many men.  They start building walls around the way they do things or the way they are and refuse to allow change to enter.  They spend their mental energy staying on defense and never move to the offensive side of life.  They stop venturing out and seeking new experiences.  The problem with this is men were designed to be adventurers and without that sense of adventure in life, they will begin to die on the inside.  This leads to loss.


  • Fear of failure ultimately causes every man to lose.  They lose their ability to reach their full potential because they are so focused on not failing.  They live in the world of wasted opportunities because the fear of failing keeps them from moving out and taking risks.  Safety becomes their master and the illusion of security overwhelms their minds.  Their desire for security traps them and keeps them from moving on possible opportunities so they lose those options.

  • The saddest loss for men comes with their own loss of wholeness.  Men desire adventure and the thrill of taking new territory but when fear of failure controls them, they lose their sense of adventure and lose their own ability to impact the world around them.  Our society is full of men who live a life of survival every day but escape into a virtual adventure every night because they have lost their own sense of adventure.  Men must learn to deal with their own fear of failure so they will begin to grow again.

How has fear of failure affected you? 

This past year has really been an eye opening experience for me realizing how many decisions I have made in my life based on the fear of failure.  I can’t go back and play football again, but I can live the rest of my life fighting against that fear and pushing myself to keep growing.

Take some time to think through how you are living right now and ask yourself the hard questions about the fear of failure.  You may be one decision away from the life of adventure you have always sought.  If you need some help with getting direction in your life, I do a free coaching call and would love to connect.  Click on the free coaching call button at  

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All