Are you scared of failure?

Are you scared of failure?

The fear of failure holds us back.

Our inner fear of failure and being viewed unfavourably by our peers, effects decisions in the workplace and in life.

Fear can prevent you from asking someone out on a date, or stop you from taking a risk by applying for a new job.

Fear is also present in the workplace.

Public relations involves regular liaison with the media.

When I joined contentgroup in 2006 I had an inner fear of calling the media, pitching my idea and being told no.

I didn’t want to fail.

Like life in general, however, overcoming this fear of failure is the key to success.

You learn from mistakes and come back stronger.

US comedian and content expert Tim Washer (@timwasher) reaffirmed my opinion in a presentation he delivered at Content Marketing World in Sydney in early April 2014.

Tim was talking more broadly about how your content can be taken from boring to found. He argued that fear leads to boring decisions.

Boring decisions lead to boring content and the content not reaching your intended audience.

Tim’s main take home point – the idea that scares you the most is the one you have to take.

So what are my three tips to overcoming your fear of failure and publishing valuable content?

1. Try something different

Have some fun with the content you are creating and think outside the box. Don’t choose the traditional or easy option.

Just remember it needs to speak to your target audience.

When you are creating your content (video, audio, stills, text, graphics) your end goal shouldn’t be about your end product going viral. It’s about speaking to your audience.

2. Put yourself on the line

Humanising your content and putting yourself on the line is a great way of being noticed. You may have to suffer some jibes from your mates or colleagues, but you’ll also gain a lot more traction.

Additionally, if your personal story has a hidden message behind it, your content will have even more value.

3. Learn from your mistakes

If you make a mistake and fail with a piece of content, don’t give up. Sometimes you will get criticised. Sometimes your content won’t be read, viewed or listened to.

Push your inner critic to the side, brush yourself down and get back to work.

Image: Shutterstock

David is the Head of Consulting at contentgroup and possesses a love of writing. While he could write and talk about sport all day, his focus is now on helping public-sector clients tell their stories.


  1. David Polglase : June 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Thanks Tim! Appreciate it

  2. “Fear leads to boring content” — Amen, David. Here’s to more risk-taking this year.

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