Fear of failure: apparent certainty and perfectionism

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Similar to the cuddle course, the idea has established itself in our lives, we should be flawless. Especially in professional life, the concept of failure is still synonymous with failure. And everything has to work on the first try. How fatal!


Here writes for you:


Roland Jäger HunterRoland Jäger, known from the show Anne Will, is a business consultant, bestselling author and coach for executives.


From the author:




Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Just risk nothing

A stringent CV without frills is considered a guarantee for professional success. Everything must work the first time: A-levels, Casting and career advancement in the new job. The consequence of this thinking is dramatic: For fear of a “black spot” in your CV, nothing is risked anymore!

The courage to dare to make a decision is already stifled in the bud, the reflection of your own performance is the same. Innovations are thus prevented.

Dead end faultlessness

Also the psychological pressure on the worker increases. Employee potential is braked. What remains is the old, which has proven itself already and which one believes with him a success guarantee.

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Fortunately, the subject of perfectionism is becoming more and more conscious. And with this comes the realization that the flawlessness that is actually positively documented in our society also has its shadow sides - and explicitly also in everyday working life.

Perfectionism - sensible in moderation

Although it makes sense in dimensions to want to act in perfectionist and error-free professional life, but exaggerated perfectionism harms more than he uses. Because perfectionism usually arises out of fear and personal insecurity.

For example, the fear of being criticized or rejected by others. Or the fear of failing in the job or getting more jobs as a self-employed person. And fear can not be a basis for successful work.

How does perfectionism show itself?

The causes of perfectionist behavior are partly due to education - but our society is to blame for this tick. U. a. the perfectionism shows through:

  • Detail obsession and the fear of making mistakes that takes an incredible amount of time
  • Thinking black and white, which leads to a general assessment of situations and thus to make problems.
  • Sensitivity to criticism and pressure
  • Bossiness, because you can not see how to make mistakes
  • The inability to delegate work because you want to control everything

There are more people who surrender than fail!

The desire for security and thus freedom from errors and perfection is understandable - but a mistake! There is no guarantee, no security in life and you cannot expect it from anyone else. The only security you can find is within yourself. I and no one else has my life in hand.

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Henry Ford summed it up wonderfully: "There are more people who surrender than fail!" It is one thing to set out on the road, another to “pull through” the planned project. Stopping halfway or even reversing is a common behavior.

It is to remain as it is

Reversing is convenient. If everything stays the same, we do not have to deal with anything new and we do not have to fight for a new place.

Where we are, we are already something: in the circle of colleagues we have found our place, we have achieved a certain reputation with the boss and in comparison to our competitors, we are quite well there. We do not want to give up this position. We settle for what we have ... sounds good. But does it make us happy?

Failure as an opportunity

You have to see it like this: failure is always only an intermediate state. A milestone after a stage that can be left behind. Failure allows us to reflect on our actions, to challenge ourselves, and to discover new aspects of ourselves. It teaches us to achieve success by other means and by other means, and thus makes us more flexible.

We can react better to difficult situations because we have gained experience and know that there is always a plan B. The actress Natalie Portman put it in a nutshell: “Failure takes away the fear of failure.”

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Only those who are lying down really fail

If a “defeat” is in sight, you should, to put it bluntly, encounter it “sportily”. It is not a natural law to stay put! Earth's gravity may make the fall easier, but it is more important to collect and bundle your own forces to get up again.

Only those who lie will really fail!

The black spot as proof of the re-emergence

The presumed black spot in the CV can also be one: Best evidence that the supposed failure followed a standing up and the person who is going to have the courage and the strength to go on and look forward.

This makes mature personalities. From the viewpoint of work, a characteristic which may weigh more than a striking resume.

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  1. Dennis Seeley

    I'm always afraid of failure too! Very good contribution!

  2. S. Wischman

    Do you also offer individual coaching? That would really interest me.

  3. Herbert P.

    It's funny. Just yesterday I discussed this with someone, today I find your contributions via Google. Great.

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