To, he Fear of Failure is ILLUSIVE. It HIDES in our lives every day and we easily fall victim to the 2 BIG LIES we tell ourselves about it if we’re not careful.

Learn to OVERCOME the Fear of Failure using these 5 Secrets that I’ve used successfully and shared successfully with others. This isn’t fiction and the Fear of Failure doesn’t respond to LOGIC.

Having more knowledge doesn’t set us free from this fear because it’s not logical. I can’t wait to get your feedback on these 5 (Completely Do-able) secrets that will FLIP your Fear of Failure upside down.

Don’t just beat yourself up. Practice these 5 steps and you’ll find yourself moving beyond Brokenness to Breakthrough.

If Breakthrough is your language, you’re in my TRIBE.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Script from Video

Hi, it’s Greg from Breakthrough Leadership and I am absolutely AGITATED today to talk about a topic that I have struggled with personally and I have watched people I care about struggle … well not only struggle but actually do battle with themselves… as if they were their own enemies…. Because of this one SINGLE issue.

I have written a book about overcoming 10 common leadership fears and you can download that eBook free … you’ll find the link in the description below.     The reason I’ve written and spoken so much about BREAKTHROUGH from these 10 common leadership fears is because they hold so many people… and teams…. From fulfilling their potential and they are the UNSPOKEN, EVER PRESENT ENEMIES we all face… but we don’t want to talk about.

I hope you’ll join in the conversation and you can do that best by subscribing to this channel and hitting the bell to get notifications when a new conversation starts.

It’s easy to just dismiss fear… as if by simply acknowledging it as a point of LOGIC… that will make it go away.  We’ve all done it, right?  THE only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  We know it’s not logical to FEEL the way we do sometimes… but does that actually change how we feel?  Does it change our GUT reactions?      Does it change the dialogue that goes on in our heads?     Not for me.

I am an EXPERT at the fear of failure.  It drove me night and day but it was so well camouflaged… hidden from my consciousness that I didn’t realize it was fear. …   I know that sounds crazy but it’s true.  I didn’t realize it was FEAR.   In fact… I was sure I had NO FEAR.  That was my reputation.. that was what I told myself.  When things got tough, I went HARDER.. I battled, I got emotional and I was determined I would do whatever it took to succeed…        But, the reality is this.  I was TERRIFIED TO FAIL>

The fear of failure was so deeply entrenched in me that if I weren’t actively pursuing something that was beyond my reach, I felt like I was failing.  I had no peace.  NOTHING….  Was ever enough.   I was afraid that if I weren’t succeeding, I was actually.. failing.

The truth about the fear of failure is that it leads us to one of two very big lies, both of which are how we deal with our own ego, our own justification of this fear. We have all experienced both LIES.

  • The lie that if we fail we have no value, so we live in a frenzy, terrified we will fail.
  • The lie about the carefully crafted reason we can’t try so we won’t fail.

But most people… can’t relate to that perspective. And it took me a long time dealing with my own fear to realize I was actually experiencing both sides of this issue… so maybe this is something you’ve felt or seen more often.

I only wanted to TRY something if I knew I could succeed.

Come on… you’ve been there. Maybe you tried something once and it didn’t go as you thought it would so next time…. You really didn’t want to experience that again.

  • A relationship. You gave away your heart and it got trampled on. So next time you’re a little more hesitant.
  • Your TRUST… ouch. We’ve all been there, right?  Next time we decide… I’ll make them earn that from now on.
  • A game or some athletic endeavor….. Oh, I tried tennis and I wasn’t any good at it… so I don’t like it.

Crazy isn’t it?  If we see someone else in that situation we know immediately what to say and what would make them GOOD at it… ..   ok you know what I mean.

  • Maybe it’s something even more vulnerable. Maybe, like me, there are topics yo just don’t talk about because you already know what you need to do but you’ve failed in the past.

OUCH.   Habits.   Nobody wants to talk about habits.

If you’ve watched much of my work, you know I talk a lot about what it means to go from Broken to Breakthrough and the zone I like to stay in is what I call MY Practice Zone.   There’s a reason for that.  Habits are only habits because we’ve practiced them so much, whether we did it intentionally or not.   Just a little side commercial but we all know that intuitively…  we just don’t always know what to do with it.

SO… how many things you don’t like about yourself are really just habits? That’s why our New Years resolution list stays pretty much the same every year, right?

You’ve heard it. I’ve tried to quit smoking before BUT.  I’ve tried to lose weight, BUT….  I’ve tried to stop eating PEANUT BUTTER… but the patterns, the habits, the familiar routines we’ve developed fight AGAINST US in that effort EVERY TIME.   And they fight us hard.

See if this makes you nod your head.

Fear keeps us pursuing ONLY the things we’ve been successful at in the past.

Today your fear of failure will either be a source of FRENZY driving you forward or the loudest voice telling you NOT TO TRY.

The loudest voice in my head is the Fear of Failure.

The fear of failure has led me to self-sabotage in the past. 

The fear of failure creates anxiety in me, sometimes so powerful that the only relief I can feel is when I have found or created an excuse BIG ENOUGH that I can justify my reason NOT TO TRY.

Justify it to myself.  And justify it to others.

….   Have you ever heard someone else’s reason not to do something and wanted to laugh? Often strung-together, loosely connected bits of truth that have become a phantom logic trail leading to the ultimate self-betrayal.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times to say no. LOTS OF THEM. In fact, overcoming the fear of failure often means saying a dozen NO’s to every YES in order to reach success.  But that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the process of building and resting on our own COMFORTABLE barriers that are often masked as horrible maladies.

My dad had a talent for using FEW words to capture truth and I was blessed with his wisdom for many years. He coined it like this. She has enjoyed poor health for years.

We all do it.  WE’ve all BOUGHT IN to our own lies.  Yes.. I said lies.  Sometimes we lie to ourselves and then we choose to believe it even though we know it’s a lie!

Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Isn’t it refreshing when you can talk to someone who politely says, NO, that’s not really important to me… or No, that’s not a place I can spend my time, money, energy in. …   at the moment we wonder if we might have preferred an excuse… but it’s honesty that implies the most important thing in dealing with the fear of failure.

Unless we have a clear Definition of Success, and we are crystal clear about our commitment to reach it, we will live our lives bouncing from one reasonable reason (that’s another word for excuses) to the next. We’ll do it to ourselves and we’ll accept it because there are always 100 reasons to fail and only 1 reason to succeed.

We succeed when we have a clear DoS and we compare everything we do to it.  We make decisions based on it and we figure out even the smallest incremental steps we can take toward it. That is the single  –   the ONLY genuine starting point to success and to defeating the fear of failure that’s running your life.

So how do you flip the fear of failure upside down?  Here are the 3 secrets you need to know.

  1. Stop deciding what you don’t want. Decide what you want.  Build a vivid definition of success that you take the time to visualize and speak to out loud every day. If you want to know how to build a DoS, I spend a lot of time on that topic so stay tuned.


  1. Surround yourself with people who have accomplished what is triggering your fear of failure. You will find people who have faced overwhelming odds and they found a reason to persevere to success. It’s easy to think that someone else had it easy… they were a natural. They weren’t facing MY SITUATION…    there are people who have overcome overwhelming odds and forces against them and you need to hear their story and adopt their beliefs.   The only way that will happen is to surround yourself with them whether on social media or in your daily life.


  1. Be vulnerable. Ouch. I know that sounds hard but let’s think about it for a minute. What if it were ok to fail? What if the only path to success is THROUGH failure? You won’t find anyone who succeeded without failure. We all know that but we don’t want to fail!  Remember, failure is only failure when we stop trying.  When you’re willing to be vulnerable, you actually LET GO of the apprehension, the expectation and the anxiety of the fear of failure. Find someone who is willing to be vulnerable as well, a community that will listen to you and let you share that vulnerability.  There is power in breaking down those walls.


  1. Say it out loud. I wish I could help you understand the power of saying things out loud. Several things happen and maybe you’ve experienced them. Have you ever said something out loud and then thought… you know that sounded better in my head.     But the other thing that happens is that when you decide to say something out loud you have to form the words, the thoughts and say it in an intentional way. Simply saying out-loud what you want and what you are going to do has power beyond imagination.  It doesn’t have to be powerful or even confident at first but just say it. “I am tired of being tired and I’m going to do something about it.”   When your own hears hear your own words they begin to percolate inside you in mysterious ways that work. Start saying out loud the things you CHOOSE to believe and you will adopt those beliefs.  It really works.


  1. Create a practice zone. All of these are topics I dig into great depth on but the concept is very simple. Adopt this mindset. Today isn’t about a performance, it’s all about what I’m practicing. When you’re practicing you don’t expect to get it all right every time because you’re practicing. But guess what… how you practice is how you’re going to perform. Practice in relationships… I’ve found it helpful to even tell people.. listen this is something I don’t consider myself great at so I am practicing right now to get better, ok? The power of practice and of the practice zone mindset is amazing and the more you practice, the more success you’ll have.


The fear of failure doesn’t just disappear but it can be rewritten.  It can be placed in an intentional process of your life where you don’t have to run from it but it can be digested into a reality for you.

I was afraid to attempt one more diet, one more attempt to get my weight where I wanted it to be. I’m just being honest. For years I didn’t want to even say out loud I was trying to lose weight because it felt like there was a connotation there and guilt and duty and fear of failure, even fear of missing out, which we’ll discuss at another time. I knew if I said it out loud, I’d have to actually make commitments and I really wanted to have COMFORTABLE reasons to fail and let myself down easy.  I’m just being honest.

Fear of failure kept me fat. It’s that simple. I had tried everything, I KNEW everything already that I needed to know about it.  Maybe you can relate.  It wasn’t KNOWLEDGE that overcame my fear of failure it was having a clear DoS, surrounding myself with people who had been successful and came from where I was coming from, saying out loud what I wanted to accomplish and beginning to talk about it openly, being willing to be vulnerable and intentionally moving toward a practice zone that could develop new patterns to practice which would have successful outcomes.

Don’t be confused about this, ok?  This is a really important point. I wasn’t successful DAY ONE.  I had to keep practicing and correcting my mistakes and learning form from people who had been there. But once I had a method … a place to PUT my fear of failure… I had the ability to both Call that fear what it was … admit it to myself… and could realistically address it.

See, as long as I didn’t call fear by its name, I didn’t address it because I bought in to my reasonable reasons. Once I identified it as fear, I could begin to move toward success, SET FREE from fear that had been holding me back for years.

This is true in every area of life where excuses have been covering up a fear of failure that is keeping you from being who you were created to be.

Imagine being free from the fear of failure in one area of your life at a time. Imagine the freedom in relationships, in building teams, in abolishing habits and reactions that have been creating BREAKDOWN in your life for years.

You can be free from the fear of failure and I hope you’ll keep growing in this topic as we dig in deeper to the journey from Broken… to Breakthrough.  Subscribe to this channel and check out links to my blog and free resources below in the description.

Let’s pursue BREAKTHROUGH Together.



About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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