Fear of failure stalks the world of entrepreneurs, from losing customers to running out of money. For entrepreneurs, courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to persist in spite of it.

Research has revealed four strategies that enable entrepreneurs to ensure that fear of failure works positively:

Emotional self-monitoring and control - Practicing self-awareness can help curb the potent influences of negative emotions on goal setting and decision-making.

Problem-solving - Actively seeking out flaws and weaknesses and doing something about them is a powerful means of reducing the fear of failure.

Learning - Learning is a powerful antidote to fear of failure, helping to mitigate one’s doubts by increasing one’s capabilities.

Seeking support - Reaching out to mentors who are directly related to the field of the business is key and really helpful.

The benefit of fear of failure is that it forces you to come up with new and better ideas and can fuel you to more learn more, to talk to more people and figure out why things aren't working.

Thus, fear of failure has both negative and positive effects on motivation, decision making, and behavior. While fear is a natural state for an entrepreneur, the ability to anticipate and manage it is a vital skill.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - How Fear Helps (and Hurts) Entrepreneurs, by James Hayton and Gabriella Cacciotti