Many of us have probably experienced this at one time or another.

The fear of failing can be immobilizing – it can cause us to do nothing, and therefore resist moving forward.

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To find the causes of fear of failure, we first need to understand what "failure" actually means.

We all have different definitions of failure, simply because we all have different benchmarks, values, and belief systems.

Doors will get slammed in our faces, and we might make some bad decisions.

But imagine if Michael Jordan had given up on his dream to play basketball when he was cut from that team.

Research shows that people who have a fear of failure were often left in a strong negative mood after being asked to visualize goals and goal attainment. Think of these goals as "early wins" that are designed to help boost your confidence.

For example, if you've been too afraid to talk to the new department head (who has the power to give you the promotion you want), then make that your first goal.

Set a goal to talk with a school counselor or admissions officer to see what's required for admission.

Try to make your goals tiny steps on the route to much bigger goals.

These lessons are very important; they're how we grow, and how we keep from making that same mistake again. It's easy to find successful people who have experienced failure.

For example: Most of us will stumble and fall in life.

Imagine if Richard Branson had listened to the people who told him he'd never do anything worthwhile without a high school diploma.