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AAGGGH! I'm scared! How to combat a Fear of Failure

The Results Room

On this page, you will find case studies involving highly successful people. Examples will be shown of them following the principles of Empire State of Mind and how their state of mind affects their performance and also what happens when they don't follow the principles.

This page is a great way to learn and reinforce the principles that will ensure long term, consistent success. 

 picture : Charles Dickens


AAGGGH! I'm scared! How to combat a Fear of Failure

Nayan Sharma

Fear of failure is when you worry, that what you want to happen will not become a reality. Fear is an emotion. It is natural for us to experience it. For anyone that says they never feel fear, they are not quite right. What they are actually trying to say is that they CHOOSE to adopt a different state of mind whenever a feeling of fear comes about. 


One of the major causes of fear is an incessant 'thinking mind.' Too much thinking of the future creates anxiety, worrying about HOW things will happen makes this even worse. The other alternative is to persistently think about your past failures. Once again, another concept that is seriously flawed. 

The past is done! Learn from it and move on. On the other hand, the future has not arrived, it is also irrelevant. Both, are totally out of your control.  

Focussing on things that are out of your control will only build turbulence in the mind.  

Simply, accept what is. Focus all of your attention entirely on the present moment.  By doing this, you will prevent an exacerbation of the feelings of fear.


What does fear look like? If I had to do fear how do you think I would present myself physically?

  • Shoulders would be dropped forward,
  • Chin would be a fraction down,
  • Posture would be shifting forward and not upright,
  • Breathing would be shallow,
  • Muscle tension, especially around my head due to these feelings of fear and anxiety. 
  • If communicating, it would be hesitant and would fail to project effectively. The voice would not sound strong or confident. 

So, as we have established, fear is generated from an uncontrolled mind where there is too much 'thinking' and not enough consciousness in the present moment. This then shows up in our physiology. Physical changes will happen to the way we stand, sit, breathe and our muscle tension. 


Get Conscious:

If you are present in the now, it will allow you to turn the 'thinking mind' off, which so happily likes to drift into the future and tries to figure out how things will happen or, in other instances, focusses on past failures. Either way, by being present here and now, this voice will turn itself off.

The simplest way to do this is by focussing your attention on your body. For example, when you walk, feel your feet touch the ground. If you are driving, feel the steering wheel in your hands and the pedal beneath your foot. Just by doing that, your consciousness will be brought to life and you will not allow yourself to think uncontrollably. 

Change your Physiology: 

As we have already established, if fear looks like this:


 This feeling will never get you success. Make sure it is temporary. 

This feeling will never get you success. Make sure it is temporary. 

Success, strength, courage and determination looks like this (see below): Shoulders back, chest out, chin up, slow and deep breathing. relaxed muscles and a strong projecting voice when communicating.


 Shoulders back, posture straight, chin up. This is confidence. This person acts in spite of fear.

Shoulders back, posture straight, chin up. This is confidence. This person acts in spite of fear.

I’m against having emotions, not against using them
— Harvey Specter, Suits.


Fear can actually be a useful emotion. Some people fear failure so much that it makes them work incredibly hard to prevent it. These people are sometimes called 'perfectionists.' So, if you are a perfectionist, you have swung to the other side of the pendulum where too much fear can slow you down and can cause a lot of stress, especially since achieving perfection is almost impossible in any field. In life, there will always be another level of progress or growth that can be achieved. So, if a 'perfectionist' is reading this, be highly conscious, notice when your efficiency suffers because of this fear. If that is happening, adjust your physiology and work from a place of confidence rather than fear. In this state, you will produce your best but will also be highly efficient.

Lastly, don't let the boogeyman called fear paralyse you. I am now talking to you, the person who finds excuses to not follow your passions because you are too scared to make a mistake. You spend your time thinking like this, "how will I look? What will people think of me? What happens if it doesn't work?" There are numerous other excuses that I could come up with but I won't indulge you with this.

I want you to know one simple thing: deciding to not fulfil your passions and not living life to your maximum, because you are too scared to fail, is the biggest fallacy in the world. 

In order to succeed, you MUST FAIL. How else do you expect to learn? Embrace failure, it is the building blocks that takes you to success. 

In my case, failure was my best friend. Of course it causes a bit of pain, but it was a failure of epic proportions that resulted in me learning what was necessary to be successful at the highest level. Empire State of Mind would not exist today if it weren't for this failure. Every day, I am so grateful for that experience, because I became a better man and have now been given an opportunity to help you achieve success and fulfil your maximum potential. 

The biggest failures in life are not those people who make mistakes, it is those that sit back one day, when they are old and wish they had their time again, to do the things they loved, to take the chances that would have brought them the greatest joy.

After some time, they realised that all of their fears and worries never actually were real. It was pure imagination. 

Here is a simple equation to finish:
If you aren't growing, you are dying.
To grow you must make mistakes. That is the only way to learn.
If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't succeeding.
AND CHOOSE FAITH, not fear. 

Go ahead and make your life the way it is meant to be!!