[You do you]: Fear of Failure as a serial Procrastinator

“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” – J K Rowling


Like many I want to succeed in life. To me that means graduating my degree with top grades, maintaining a happy healthy relationship and getting the career I want. My biggest fear in life is to be seen as a failure, it drives me to take on more than I can usually handle and at the same time lead to unrealistic goals and expectations on how things will turn out. However, my biggest downfalls tend to put a wrench in the works. My downfalls you ask? Constant over thinking and procrastination. I tend to get too comfy “working” from home resulting in little work actually being done and many shows being binge-watched in a period of time.


So how do I overcome my fear of failure and my likelihood to procrastinate?

  • LISTS – my life revolves around to-do lists. I have a list of things to complete for the week and have them in order of priority (what needs to be completed first).


  • NOTEBOOKS – because of my never-ending to-do lists I tend to go through many many notebooks they are my life staple and honestly a lifesaver (especially as a student).


  • SCHEDULE – I have a calendar on my whiteboard, it’s right outside my bedroom door so when I leave on a morning I know what I need to do that day it’s split into 5 sections: Exercise, Study, Chores, Meal Prep and Appointments.


  • FRIENDS – I make it a habit to tell people what I have to do that day/week and also meet with friends/fellow students to work together at least once a week. This has made me learn that for me the best way to get a lot done is to be held accountable. If I know they expect so much work done by that session/meeting and I haven’t done it I would feel like a disappointment/failure. (working with my fear instead of against it).

So how do you find the motivation to get things done? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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35 thoughts on “[You do you]: Fear of Failure as a serial Procrastinator

  1. Jasmin N says:

    If I need to get things done I usually create a scheduled to-do list for the day. It has been super helpful, especially now when being on the maternity leave 😀 been feeling so unproductive with all the pain & sleeping issues so I’ve found scheduled to-do lists great for me 🙂


  2. MishyV says:

    I should learn from you! I think I need to start making to-do lists and schedules because I don’t and I see myself not doing enough! I’ll start tomorrow, I promise O:)


  3. nellyslifecom says:

    “My biggest fear in life is to be seen as a failure” – the good thing is: once you get older, you care less what others think of you and life becomes what it is: YOUR personal way of doing things, dealing with it your own way and enjoying the ride 😉


  4. Ree love30 says:

    Well done kitty for doing this!!! So many of us have this feeling. We won’t pursue something for fear of judgement and fear of failing! ! But, you have to take risks in order to achieve. You’re doing it such a good way. I’ve now started posting weekly videos to out love30 page so I can be accountable for pushing our businesses forward. We have to do something because we’re telling the people who follow us that we’receive doing it! Hopefully it will help others in some way too 🙂 Ree love30


  5. Dreamer Achiever says:

    Excellent post! I’m actually doing all of those to avoid failing. I also use reminders app a lot. If there is a deadline there sure is a to do list, calendar notes plus couple of reminders making sure I keep on time and remember to do everything (and a bit more 🙂 )


  6. filliabarden says:

    I understand the struggle. I have 5 years unfinished project because of my fear of failure. Yet, I tried all of those on your list, guess what none of them help. I guess changing my mindset is the only thing I should do, yet not easy :p Thanks for sharing dear. Hope you overcome your fear 🙂


  7. Amra_S says:

    Fear of failure can be quite paralyzing, based on my experience. I saw a quote somewhere “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit” and that’s what I say to myself every day. Sometimes fear of failure prevents a person from even starting something or it makes you give up, so when I say that to myself, it inspires me to go on or to stop being lazy and do something.


  8. Stephanie says:

    I always say, lists are the best way to feel a little bit more accomplished everyday! I make them every morning and there is something about those tick marks that give me a boost of encouragement 🙂


  9. Jennifer Fairbanks says:

    I definitely get things done by making lists. Then I make lists of the lists. And another list. Seriously, I need to go to list-a-holics anonymous!


  10. hellolatoya says:

    Hey there! 🤗 I struggle with the same things.. I really have a fear of failure and sometimes it takes over my mind. I want nothing more to have a career that I want and a life that is successful. I try to do too much and it almost always backfires. Hopefully soon, I can get it right. Thank you for posting this! Take care! 🤗


  11. evenangelsfall89 says:

    I am obsessed with lists. I have about 60 notes on my phone on the go at any one time including the massive to do list and a long term to do list, a meal plan, blog post ideas etc. Does help in some way to prevent procrastination though 😊 X


  12. Prerna Garg Agarwal says:

    To-do lists and calendars are the best way to make the most of your time and do as much as you can. I also think collaborations and working together sees through a lot of difficult work that might be impossible to finish alone. All the best for your goals!


  13. Sarah says:

    I am a day dreaming procrastinator and I also have anxiety, so if I’m not daydream the what could be’s worrying the what if’s… notebooks and calendar schedules are my bff


  14. Selma (@simplyselma_) says:

    That fear of failure can become your worst enemy if you don’t control it. No one likes to fail but hard work, dedication, having clear goals and good organizing skills will, sooner or later, get you where you want to be. Just never give up – on yourself!


  15. Carlota says:

    Thanks for the tips, I am a serial procrastinator and I think in my case it is also because of the fear of failure… I get this “I’d rather not do it than do it wrong” feeling and then I can’t get anything done! Very useful post 🙂


  16. Marleen (The Beauty Context) says:

    The fear of failing can be pretty daunting and I think we all feel that pressure at one point of another. I love this post, it seems very open and genuine and I love your tips. I am a big list making and I recently brought a diary so have been trying to schedule things more often as well.


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