People need to decide to do something and do it to the very best of their ability. They should never say ‘I’m going to try to do this”, because the moment we use the word try, we’re already failing.

The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.”

As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dr. Amanda Foo-Ryland, a TedX and International Keynote Speaker and Author. She founded Your Life Live It in 2008 and she and her team work with thousands of clients around the globe to help them to achieve lasting personal change. Learn more at

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I’ve been in human development since I was 19. My first role was working as the youngest training executive for the Estee Lauder Corporation. I worked with the training department looking at the psychology of purchase, the psychology of service and the type of service we offered our customers at Estee Lauder.

I enjoyed a 16-year long career with them. I started in Rackhams department store in Bradford for two years and then I worked my way up through the ranks. I ended my career with them as Clinique’s Director of Education for Europe, Middle East and Africa. My territory was, as you can imagine, pretty big. Working as the Director of Education meant that my job was to ensure that all our staff were operating at the best level they could possibly operate.

This naturally took me into the world of looking at how we think and what it is that we can alter in order to allow us to make incredible change within ourselves. After 16 years working for the Estee Lauder Corporation, they offered me a promotion to go and work in their Head Office in New York. However, it just wasn’t the right time for me, so I decided to leave and pursue my own studies. It was kind of like, if I’ve turned down a promotion, where else is there to go? So, it was a very amicable disconnect with the corporation.

I started studying Neuro Linguistic Programming back in 2005. And I’m now at the Trainer level of neuro linguistic programming, timeline therapy, and clinical hypnotherapy. In terms of formal studies, I decided to do clinical hypnosis and I am going to do my doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy.

So in 2005, I applied all that I learned in the 16 years working for Estee Lauder and then honed in on how we think really affects how we show up in the world. That then naturally led me into working as a life coach. I did my life coaching diploma with Newcastle University, and started working as a life coach. However, it didn’t really feel as though it was enough. I was able to help people on work-life balance, and help senior executives make the right decisions, but if somebody was operating on something like a limiting belief, I didn’t have the toolbox of skills and exercises to be able to help them with that. This is why I dove deeper into the neuro linguistic programming world — now neural coding. My studies are not finished though. We never stop studying.

That is essentially where the journey came from and we are here now with 25–26 people working with our community, helping people create unthinkable change.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

What I realise is that it doesn’t really matter what business we’re in. Whether it’s cosmetics, an engineering company I’m working with down in the South Island of New Zealand, or whether it’s another company I am working with that produces cookies, or even a management team that runs a world class golf course, one thing that’s really clear is that I’m in the business of people. And therefore, it doesn’t matter what industry it is, as all people worry about the same things. It’s things like ‘Am I good enough?’, ‘Am I going to get caught out?’ There’s a lot of anxiety — and much more since Covid.

I think my biggest lesson really was from Leonard Lauder — the son of Mrs. Estee Lauder. One thing I always really enjoyed and noticed when doing store visits with Leonard was that he was really kind to people. He always caught them doing something right.

After doing store visits in Dublin, I said to him that I had noticed that he always gave a compliment to every single person he came into contact with. One example was him saying to someone ‘Gosh, you’ve polished your shoes today. Thank you so much for doing that. It’s not something we asked you to do, but we really appreciate you doing that. You are a fantastic ambassador for our company.” He told me that it is about catching people doing something right, and ignoring the bits that are not so nice. Of course, if they need support and help, we’ll help them with that. But that was a big lesson for me. It started off as quite a basic observation, but now I’m in the field working with corporations, in contact with lots and lots of people on a regular basis. Whether it is a policewoman, a policeman, or a CEO of a corporation, people have very similar problems. It’s just a matter of really helping them understand how they can reverse and change their limiting beliefs.

You are a successful leader. Which three-character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I think Ed Sheeran said it. He said, ‘I’m an 18-year overnight success’. A lot of people think that Ed Sheeran just popped up from nowhere and that he was this young kid that just got the right break. In actual fact, if you research him he’s been writing songs every single day since he was 12. I feel the same. I believe that is what has made Your Life Live It successful. It is just me finding my passion. It is a daily commitment and is really easy because it’s just what I do and what I love. It is about finding your passion and being committed to it and then literally working on it every day to enhance and improve it.

The second thing is being really open to listen to what people have got to say. I’ve got lots of mentors that helped me with the business. I also believe it is really important to gain feedback on how we can improve. So, I hop on a call with every single student that goes through our ultimate transformational course online, to find out how we can be better for future students. I feel that listening to feedback and really inviting people to share things that might be uncomfortable, allows us to enhance, grow, develop and evolve.

The third thing, I think, is the feedback. If we get a really lovely review on Trustpilot, that absolutely fills my heart. It’s knowing that I have the toolbox that allows clients to do change and reveal their magic.

I think being humble around that and realising the clients are the genius ones and all I’ve got is the remote control. I know how that works and I can teach anyone how to use that remote control.

Just one other point — I’m also very mindful. Back in 2005 when I got my toolbox, I was literally the only one walking down the beach throwing the starfish back into the ocean. Whereas now there’s 26 of us walking down the beach together, collectively being able to throw a lot more starfish back in the ocean so that they can survive and flourish. My objective is to build a community with the right people around us to be able to help us create unthinkable change.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?

I think it’s twofold. A lot of people don’t put themselves in a position of failing. They avoid and they put themselves in what I call the grey bubble. They’lll tend to go to more of a blame mentality. For example, they’ll say things like, “Well, the reason I didn’t set up my own business is because Covid happened,” or “The reason that I didn’t finish my doctorate was because the university was just not up to scratch.” It just becomes a blame mentality, but underneath that is this real fear of failure, which I think has a lot to do with programming and how we have been raised. We’re very performance-oriented and therefore, we think if we put ourselves out there and we fail, then everyone is going to be right. And, we are going to be right about ourselves as well.

I think it stems from them not feeling good enough and not feeling that we’ve got the skillset or the toolset to be able to take us wherever we need to go. But this fear of failure, is it actually could come true. Whereas, it’s helpful for the client to realise that they already believe that anyway, which is why they’re stopping themselves from doing things. If they take a risk and really go for it, they will learn so much about themselves and they will absolutely surprise themselves too.

People need to decide to do something and do it to the very best of their ability. They should never say ‘I’m going to try to do this”, because the moment we use the word try, we’re already failing.

What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?

One of the fundamental beliefs that we work with comes under the umbrella of I’m not good enough. Whatever the terminology the client likes to use, it comes under that umbrella. I feel that it’s so generic and it’s not cultural-specific. It doesn’t matter if I’m working with somebody in Europe, or somebody in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, China or Japan. It transcends cultural differences.

So, it’s almost like as a human being we come pre-programmed with all the apps working, but as we start to grow and evolve before the age of seven, there are these installations of limiting beliefs. I would say the most common one is that I’m not good enough, and what stems from that is, not putting ourselves out there in case people realise they are not good enough. Therefore, it is easier to stay small and safe, so they can pretend they are good enough. However, it is all an illusion, because they just end up keeping themselves small, so they are not good enough anyway.

In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?

In my book, I talk about a client that I worked with who had a fear of failure. What was really interesting was that he had identified it because he was actually a superbly successful entrepreneur. He was just about to celebrate 40 years in business running an iconic brand that’s very well-known in the country of origin. He said to me that because he had a fear of failure, he had to prove that he was successful. So it drove him every single day to be successful.

So there he is, very successful but he doesn’t believe it. Even though he has nice houses and cars, he can travel wherever he wants, he doesn’t necessarily work full time anymore, he said, every single day, he would wake up and think he’s a failure. So when we did the work around that, what that freed him from was a lifelong pain point. It doesn’t mean to say that he has stopped working at all, it just means that he’s taken the handbrake off. He’s not having to pretend that he is successful.

So I think the first thing it does is it just gives people freedom to fully be who they are. It allows them to show up in the space and be really comfortable with that, instead of playing this detective all the time trying to work out what’s the best thing to say, so people don’t find out that they’re not good enough, or they’re a failure.

One of the things I find really powerful to do with a client, is to have them run through a couple of different processes that are super simple, that allows them to identify and really uncover what their limiting belief is. Then we spend some time designing the new empowering belief. It’s not just saying “I am good enough”, I literally get the client to become the architect of the new empowering belief. By having awareness of what the limiting belief is, you can then see it showing up in other areas because you have conscious awareness of it. I get my clients to come with some amazing word code around what their new empowering belief is. They really become their own designers.

Ultimately, the lower down the belief structure we can get to what is the core limiting belief a person is operating from, the bigger the transformation.

We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?

This is something I talk about in my book. I had pre-installed at school that I was rubbish at maths. I had three attempts to pass my Maths O-Level, and so therefore, I naturally avoided any career that involved numeracy.

When I worked for the Estee Lauder Corporation, which is all about numbers, I struggled. I had to camouflage and pretend that I understood. It would take me hours to do the stock books and the numbers, and I wouldn’t tell anybody that was what I was doing. I would probably be diagnosed as discalculia.

How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?

In 2005, when I realised I could do a belief change, that is what I worked on. It was literally night and day. All of a sudden, I realised this it was just a programme that was operating. Going through the ranks with the Estee Lauder Corporation, I was responsible for enormous budgets and so numbers really became my friends. It was something I was very frightened of, to something that I really started to enjoy and realised I was actually very good at. Even now I love numbers and that is 18 years later, belief changes work for life. Powerful stuff.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.

I think the five steps are:

  1. Have the courage to acknowledge there is something wrong.
  2. Take action and do something about it. This could be picking up a book and actually reading it, or connecting with some kind of belief change agent.
  3. Having awareness of what the limiting belief is and becoming your own Sherlock Homes and identifying it.
  4. Being very mindful about what is your new empowering belief, and then what is the drop down menu? Such as, what are the positive symptoms that you’re going to get from that new empowering belief?
  5. Then find a belief change expert to help you do the deletion and installation of your new empowering belief.

The first step is the most important step. Many clients ask why they didn’t do it earlier after realising how simple the process is. They tend to think it will take too long, it will be too painful and might not even be possible for them. When they realise what’s actually involved, the comment I get most of all is, “God, I wish I had done this years ago.”

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?

First of all, I really don’t like the word failure, because I don’t believe it’s true. I don’t believe that people fail. I think people only fail if they keep doing the same thing over and over again, and never learn from it. If we do something and it’s not the outcome we want, we need to modify our behaviour and steer it towards the outcome we do want.

One of the things I always talk about when I’m running my courses is to come with imperfection, as we don’t want perfection. If you come with imperfection then you’re going to learn so much more and just be really comfortable enough to ask those difficult questions that everybody’s thinking. We are all kind of wired quite similar. So, I don’t think there’s any such thing as failure, I think we can learn lots of different lessons along the way.

I also don’t believe success only comes in one dimension. What success looks like for one person, is probably very different to another. I think it is interesting that on the outside we might look at somebody and think they are really successful, but in fact they may be struggling with limiting beliefs. Success comes in many shapes and forms and I think it is having mindfulness and being in the now to capture what those are. It might be the way in which your child comes and holds your hand — that’s successful parenting. It might be the way that your body responds when you’re trying to run through an airport, and you’re able to keep sprinting — that is success in health.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

For me, it’s about children. It’s about empowering children to realise that they are incredible. Any movement that shields children from any kind of mind viruses that are not going to serve them, has absolutely got my vote.

When I am working with somebody from the foundation of New Zealand’s Dyslexia Association, and I’m working with a nine year old, it fills my heart because we’re working with a nine year old that doesn’t believe they are good enough. We are doing a belief change at nine, as opposed to working with somebody at 67 that’s had a life where they have thought they are not good enough. The pain that installed beliefs can inflict on a person’s life is horrible, so for me, it’s about empowering the little ones, generally before the age of seven.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

There are so many, but I think it would be Maria Montessori. Again, going back to the children, what an incredible woman. She became a medical doctor when women weren’t allowed to become medical doctors and was treated very badly by the men in her field.

She just ticks so many boxes — female empowerment, being so forward-thinking and passionate, breaking boundaries in terms of what women weren’t allowed to do and then, completely rethinking child development. I would love to sit with her and ask her anything I wanted.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can find out more here:





This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.  He coaches cancer survivors to overcome obstacles, gain clarity, and attract media attention by sharing their superpower through inspiring stories that make a difference. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. 

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.