Overcome fear of failure in esports – esports psychology

Have you ever been so afraid of failing at achieving something that you decided that it’s better not even trying? Have you caught yourself at making excuses or undermining yourself in order to avoid the chance of failing? If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, then like many people, you are experiencing a fear of failure. Fear of failure is really common in competition, especially in the professional environment where you are expected to succeed. There are different types of fear of failure and with different people there are different roots of the problem and thus require different solutions. However, in this brief article I will propose five general steps which could help any professional esports player to try to overcome fear of failure.

1. Define what failure means to you

Everyone has different definitions of failure. Your definition is usually shaped by your type of personality, life experience and belief systems. In order for a true definition of failure to be formulated, you have to be painfully honest with yourself. Break down your definition to the tiniest bits. Put failure into context – is it related to a specific upcoming situation or is it a more general feeling?

2. Reframe your mindset towards the outcome

Have a clear vision for what you’d like to accomplish but include learning something new in your goal. Be prepared to fail in the process but most importantly think about what you’ll learn after that happens. This is a very important step, because if you miss it, chances are that you will repeat the same mistakes again in the future which would further discourage you.

3. Track progress and celebrate the small steps forward

Ask yourself what’s the next small step you can take today? Try to focus on your daily progress and preparation. Keep in mind that achieving and maintaining high performance is a process, not an event. It would not happen over a night. In its nature, a process is constructed by small steps, which if left unnoticed would give you a feeling that you are stuck or not doing enough.  When you achieve something, even if it’s of the slightest significance, note it and write it down. Celebrate your progress.

4. Don’t seek perfection

When you track your progress, don’t aim for a perfect daily routine or performance. Most of the time it’s normal not to have a perfect day. If perfection is how you measure progress chances are that you would get disappointed and even worse – your fear of failure would become even bigger.

5. Share your goals with close friends

There is nothing more encouraging than outside validation. It always helps to know that you are doing great when someone else acknowledges it. If you share your goals with friends or people who are close to you, it’s a lot easier to get an outside support when you are doing great and also to have someone to talk to when you are struggling. 

If you find yourself often paralyzed by fear of failure and you know that you can achieve much more, feel free to message me at, and we could figure out a way for you to overcome these mental barriers and build a strong and consistent mentality that would help you feel better and be more successful at your game.

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About George
George Atanasov is a mental performance consultant, currently working in professional esports. He has experience consulting elite athletes and esports players. If you want to improve your mental game sign up for a free initial session with him by messaging at

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