There are times in life that cause us to reevaluate everything. Times of crisis and of upheaval are particularly good points for taking a look around and seeing what parts of your life are not working for you. If you find yourself questioning your level of success, perhaps it’s time to see if your fear of failure is holding you back. 

Nobody enjoys failing, but you may be letting a fear of failure sabotage your chances for success. Are you so afraid to fail that you refuse to try? Do you have a relentless inner critic that won’t allow you to take one step towards your dreams because you are afraid that you won’t realize them and be embarrassed? Are you afraid of the sting of an initial rejection? These fears are common but you must tame them in order to be successful. Remember, failing to try is the only true failure. If you try something and fail, try again, persevere, and eventually you’ll succeed. 

If you need help motivating yourself and getting rid of negativity so you can start to eliminate your fear of failure, start with this podcast featuring Andro Donovan, a published author and expert in developing a new, healthy mindset. The key takeaway is that “if you change the ideas in your head, you start to change the reality.” A more optimistic mindset may be exactly what you need to help you start down your path of success. 

Another tool you can use to evaluate your life is your human design chart. It can help you better understand yourself and your underlying motivations so you can have personalized recommendations on how to reduce your fear of failure. More on that below, but first — 

To encourage you to face your fears and never give up consider these stories about people who simply wouldn’t quit: 

1. Viola Davis. Viola Davis is an Academy Award winning actress who didn’t begin to get recognition until she was 43, before that she had small roles but she never quite “made it” until her Supporting Actress nomination in the movie Doubt. Even that acknowledgement didn’t make her a household name though, that wouldn’t come for six more years, after winning a Best Actress Oscar, and starring in the hit TV show How to Get Away With Murder. 

  • Viola was the first African American actress to win an Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama series. 
  • She is also the first African American to win the “triple crown” of acting, with two Tony awards, an Oscar, and an Emmy. 
  • Even though she was an actress for decades, Viola didn’t gain the recognition she deserved until quite late in her career. If she had quit earlier, she wouldn’t have made it at all

2. Harlan Sanders. Harlan Sanders, also known as Colonel Sanders, is famous for being the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

  • The Colonel faced many hardships because his famous fried chicken recipe wasn’t an instant success. When trying to market his chicken recipe to restaurants, Colonel Sanders was rejected 1,009 times. 
  • In 1952, he finally persuaded a Utah restaurant owner to partner with him and they launched the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. 
  • By the early 1960s, there were over 600 locations in the United States and Canada. 

3. Patricia Field. Patricia Field had a career as a stylist in New York but the doors of Hollywood weren’t opened to her until she was 54. With people often lamenting the lack of cultural “relevance” of older women, she proved that you can be fashionable and successful at any age.

  •  She was nominated for an Academy Award for The Devil Wears Prada and has won two Emmys for costume design.
  • Patricia is proof that you should ignore naysayers and work towards your goals, no matter your age or what society says.

4. Henry Ford. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, is famous for his innovations in manufacturing and coming up with the idea of the assembly line. 

  • Although Ford achieved tremendous fame, fortune, and success in his lifetime, he also had several businesses early on that didn’t make it. His previously failed businesses left Henry Ford completely broke five times before he found success with manufacturing cars. 

5. Vivienne Westwood. Vivienne Westwood is a famous fashion designer dubbed “the fairy godmother of British fashion” but her success came quite late in life. Although she had been in the industry for over a decade, her designs didn’t take off until she designed an icon — the “mini-crini”.

  • Vivienne operates over 60 boutiques that sell her designs
  • She is a living testament to the fact there is no timeline of success and it is always possible, even after 50. 

6. Sylvester Stallone. Sylvester Stallone is a famous movie star, but many of his fans are unaware of the struggles he went through to break into the business. 

  • He was so strapped for cash at one point that he had to sell his dog for $25 in order to pay his electric bill. Just two weeks later, he wrote the script for Rocky and started trying to secure a movie deal. 
  • Sylvester Stallone was rejected over 1,500 times before United Artists offered him $125,000 for the Rocky script. However, the studio didn’t want Stallone to star in the movie. 
  • Back in the 1970s, $125,000 was a huge amount of money, but Stallone still refused. United Artists upped their offer to $250,000 and then to $325,000. Stallone wouldn’t accept the deal unless he was able to star in the movie. 
  • He eventually accepted a different deal that paid him just $35,000 and a percentage of the profits. 
  • Fortunately for Sylvester Stallone, the original movie went on to gross over $200 million. The Rocky franchise, with all of the sequels, has grossed over $1 billion. 

If you’re letting a fear of failure hold you back from accomplishing your dreams, think about all these examples. How different would things have been if they had quit? 

If these individuals had been afraid to fail, they wouldn’t have gone on to achieve the incredible success they enjoyed. Successful people embrace failure because they realize that there is no such thing as success without it. 

If you want to know how you can help yourself eliminate your fear of failing so you can develop the mindset of success, a Human Design Chart is the perfect starting point. With it, you will better understand who you are and how you operate in the world so you can learn to get out of your own way. If you want to make your wildest dreams become a reality, start here today.