Overcome The Fear of Failure To Succeed

As Arianna Huffington, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, said to the graduating class of 2012, “the difference between success and failure is perseverance.” So what if your book is rejected like hers was, an astonishing 37 times, it can be accepted on attempt 38.

Arriana says that we need to understand that “failure is not the opposite of success; it’s an integral part of success.” Her sage advice is that when things go wrong in life, they lead to other things that go right, so don’t let failure get in your way. 


Don’t allow failure to make you doubt your abilities to succeed. Life is made up of ups and downs, successes, and failures. See your achievements for what they are.

You are not an imposter; you deserve success. Here are five reasons why women fear failure and what to do about it.


1. Women Define Success Differently

While at one time we all bought into the male definition of success: money and power, in a recent study conducted by Citi and LinkedIn, only one in six female respondents saw reaching the top of their field as important.

In this context, what may look like “failing” based on the traditional, male-dominated model may be what’s right for you as an individual woman because women define success differently from men. If personal fulfillment takes priority for you over a corner office, that is perfectly fine.


2. Real VS Self-created Obstacles

It may be true that women face more obstacles on their path to career success, but women also have lower perceptions of their abilities than their male counterparts. Men are more confident and ambitious, while many women suffer from “imposter syndrome,” feeling like they don’t deserve the success they have achieved.

You don’t have to be perfect to be successful, nor do you have to be able to handle everything; that is traditional female roles and career. Cut yourself some slack, and you will be content with your achievements.


3. Believing Failure is Permanent

The mindset that sees failure as a permanent state fears it. However, failure does not break you; it teaches you. You should see failure as a learning experience and not an end to your career or dreams. 

Failure need not define you as a woman. Look at other women who have experienced failure before achieving tremendous success. As the saying goes, “Failure is the stepping-stone to success.”


4. Women are More Influenced By Negative Feedback

It has been noted that it is more difficult for women to take criticism and to bounce back from negative feedback and failure. Because women hold themselves to higher standards than males, they take failure personally.

Arianna Huffington describes how she managed negative reviews of the Huffington Post when it was in its infancy. She says, “you don’t have to buy into the negative reviews.” With confidence, you can laugh criticism off and move forward.


5. Upbringing

Women are brought up differently from men. While a teacher will criticize a boy based on his behavior, a girl is rebuked for her ability.

Jessica Lahey’s book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed says that girls are shielded from mistakes (usually by parents), avoid risks, and are more concerned about their image than learning

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