Don’t Let The Fear of Making Mistakes Paralyze You


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How many people do you know who have many ideas regarding products, projects or business that they think could become really successful and profitable? I am guessing dozens, right?

How many people do you know, on the other hand, who actually took action to create those products, projects or businesses? I would guess one or two maybe?

This pattern is pretty much universal.

I am not sure about the exact ratio, but I think it would be fair to say that for every 100 people out there with good ideas there’s one or two willing to take action to implement them. In other words, for every 100 wannabe entrepreneurs there are 1 or 2 real ones.

What separates those two groups?

In my opinion the main factor is the fear of making mistakes and failing.

When you are brainstorming ideas inside your head and talking about them without friends and family you are in a comfort zone. There are no mistakes to be made there. Maybe your idea could fly, maybe not, but no one knows for sure. You can’t fail at that stage.

That’s why most people are willing and comfortable coming up with ideas.

When you decide to take action and implement an idea, however, you are making yourself susceptible to making mistakes. If you make too many of them there’s the risk that your project or business will completely fail.

That’s why very few people end up taking action.

One could argue that there are financial risks involved with pursuing those ideas, but is this the case?

With advances in technology you can get a business running today with less than $1000, and as long as you don’t borrow money the worst that can happen is that you will lose some of your time. And even then it won’t be a complete loss, because you’ll learn a lot of useful stuff along the way.

As you can see the key factor here is your mind. It’s the fear of making mistakes and failing that actually stops you, not the real financial risks.

How to overcome it? You got figure what’s more important to you: achieving your goals and your dreams or playing it safe and staying in your comfort zone.

As Earl Nightingale once said: We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.

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15 Responses to “Don’t Let The Fear of Making Mistakes Paralyze You”

  • HP van Duuren

    Thanks for your post Daniel,

    I do think that it’s all about thinking in terms of Results,
    Just as Edison first discovered an awful lot of ways
    how – Not – to make a Lamp.

    It’s the same thing on my Blog(s), when I started out I was somewhat disapointed about the fact that I didn’t get any people commenting on any of my Blogposts.

    Than in a Forum I discovered that people actually did do their best to write their Comments, and that somehow not everybody could write their Comments even when they wanted to because somewhere in ‘the settings’ I didn’t even allow them to do so without knowing.

    This was one of my first steps in discovering how – Not – to get Comments on Blogposts 🙂 Nowaday’s when I write a new Blogpost I usually actually get Comments, you can see for yourself
    infact, now you can actually write your own Comments.

    ‘Now you can even write Replies
    on Comments from other Commenters.’

  • Emily

    This article, along with March’s article on not giving up, are very motivating and encouraging to those still trying to become established. It can be discouraging to not see instant results but it’s necessary to remind yourself (or be reminded) that mistakes are the way we learn. Thanks!

  • Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio

    There is term in psychology that describes this “fear”. It is called anxiety performance . It is everywhere! Art, business, life.. Do not be afraid that someone will make fun of you if you do something wrong. If you don’t dare, you will never learn!

  • Jeff

    Well said!
    Two thumbs up.

  • Chris @

    This is great advice, Daniel. Often, the fear of “screwing up” is enough to stop you from ever taking action. It is better to make mistakes than to do nothing at all and regret it.

  • NC

    I must say, mistake is always a part of every man’s success. No successful individual was being exempted by this “failure” word. It just depend on a person’s mind set on how to deal that word. One must be strong enough to face it in order to succeed! Thanks for the post, it refreshes my mind set..^^

  • Kate Rawlins

    I found this a few years ago – “with courage greater than your fear, leap into the unknown and you will fly” I have it framed on my desk and every once and a while, I have to force myself to pay attention to it and just fly. It’s getting easier!

  • Rob Start

    I think this is one of 2 major fears in this game. The other one being fear of losing money (especially if doing paid traffic – ppc, ppv etc)

  • Tim

    I really value wake-up calls like this… Evernote is a black hole for my inspiration – so many things go in, never to be seen again.

    I agree with Lee Ka Hoong – I’ve started any number of things and have become distracted or discouraged, sometimes I’m lazy.

    Cheers, Tim

  • Ehsan

    We always learn something new whenever we make new mistake, BTW Thanks for this informative post Daniel

  • Chikara

    This is so true. I’m always afraid to fail! I hate failure. But I do love to experiment, which makes up for it a bit.

  • Leif G.S. Notae

    Failing is always a tough thing to accept. It clouds the mind with doubt, and makes you continue your path instead of exploring what you should to help you grow.

    This is a great little article, I’ll have to share this with my fellows and see what they think about it. I’m sure more than a few will wrinkle their nose at it, but they know you’re right.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  • Manesh @ Pine Red

    only the fittest will survive. Fear a factor that keeps people away from reaching the desired goal. This post will help in realizing the factor that prevents us from reaching success. And realizing this help to take preventive measures. Good post, thanks Daniel.

  • Deborah White

    I think that there are people who have great ideas but do not honestly know how to begin the process of developing them. Or they consider what it takes and the task seems to be too intimidating to continue.

  • Lee Ka Hoong

    It’s not all people falling on the fear of making mistakes, most of the people do have ideas on mind but they are just lazy to implement, I would say this is most of the case too.

    I agree with you that we go through a process, no matter we success or fail at the end, at least we learn something new from the process.

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