When a person is ‘in flow’ and their creative juices are ripe, they don’t bother themselves with thinking about failing. He or she is lost in that magic moment where time stands still, free from negativity, free from struggle, free from the fear of FAILURE. So why is it that we can have moments of brilliance where we simply create – all the planets seem to line up and failure is the furthest thing from our minds?

Fear of failure can stop the most creative person from even beginning. The mind plays tricks with negative self- talk and before you know it your mind is running a sensational B grade movie.

“What if my work is not good enough?”
“What if it’s not perfect?”
“What if I make a mistake?”
“What if, what if, what if…?”


What if … you were ‘awake’ and able to recognise the negative self-talk before the fear of failure took hold? Think about that for a moment…


What if you could break the habit and create your own A grade blockbuster movie where you imagine yourself free of negativity and self-doubt, completely open to the creative process? How would that be for you?



7 Strategies to Overcome the Fear of Failure


  1. Give yourself permission to stuff up and do a great job at it if. (Remember, creativity is often born out of chaos.)
  2. Before you begin, set a clear intention for yourself. For example:
    “I am going to play and enjoy myself, without concern for an immediate outcome.”
    “I enter this time prepared to focus and be productive.”
  3. Step into a positive ‘frame of mind’. For example:
    “I am beginning a journey of exploration, there is no place for failure, only freedom to play.”
    “I am talented and as I move into a place of creativity I remember I have all that I need to create the extraordinary.”
  4. Prepare in advance – this may mean preparing a space, having all the tools and equipment ready and in good working order, clearing your calendar, turning your phone off (yes, that’s right).
  5. Give yourself permission to try different approaches.
  6. Begin with small steps.
  7. Breath deeply, relax, smile and begin.

Some Further Questions to Reflect Upon

How would your creative life (personal and professional) be different if you did not have a fear of failure?

What would you experience?

What would you be doing differently?

What is your experience of the failure and what tips could you share to help others overcome this fear?



Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs. 


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