Change your perspective: allowing yourself to sit in situations that are completely overwhelming will accelerate any fear of failure you might be experiencing. Widening and changing your perspective can help you to break the hold that the overwhelm has, giving yourself the opportunity to see the situation through a different lens. This then allows you to see that there are other solutions available, and you can choose to move in a different direction.

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 Bronwen Sciortino.

Bronwen Sciortino is an International Author and Simplicity Expert who spent almost two decades as an award-winning executive before experiencing a life-changing event that forced her to stop and ask the question: ‘What if there’s a better way to live?’

Embarking on a journey to answer this question, Bronwen uncovered a simple system to challenge the status quo and use the power of questions to purposefully direct her life.

Gaining international critical acclaim and 5-star awards for her books and programs, Bronwen spends every day teaching people that there is an easy, practical and simple pathway to creating a healthy, happy AND highly successful life.

Sourced globally for media comment as an expert and working with corporate programs, conference platforms, retreats, professional mentoring and in the online environment, Bronwen teaches people how easy it is to live life very differently.

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’m a country girl at heart.

I grew up surrounded by nature, living near the beach in Tasmania, which is an island at the bottom of Australia.

For the first few decades of my life, I lived to roam the countryside, play sport and spend time with my animals. There was a purity to life that can only come from living in pristine surrounds.

Eventually, my career drew me away from this environment and I found myself living in a large city, immersed in the world of finance, working crazy hours and being at the beck and call of everyone around me.

I lost touch with my animals, spent little to no time in nature and was driven by the demands of a highly successful career.

Before I knew it, my life was no longer mine; I got dragged down a pathway that clashed with my personal values and I found myself with no time to figure out how to get myself out of the life that I was living.

So, I sub-consciously put blinkers on and blocked out any ‘distractions’ — so that I could push on and force myself forwards.

That strategy worked until I crashed, and in less than 60 seconds, I watched my life shatter into a million pieces on the floor around me.

In the three years it took me to piece myself back together, I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the way that, as a society, we live our lives.

The lessons I learned in that three-year period opened up a whole new world for me. One where I learned to challenge the status quo and start to question what was really happening in my life.

The more questions I asked, the more I learned about making conscious decisions that directly impact the direction your life takes. The more I made these decisions, the more my world opened, and I began to live a life that was truly aligned with who I AM.

These lessons allowed me to develop a life based on simplicity, that allows me to be happy, healthy AND highly successful EVERY day.

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?

Perhaps one of the most interesting things that has happened to me since starting my health and wellness career has been allowing my intuitive powers to grow.

We live in a world where we’re taught that anything that is even slightly esoteric is either inappropriate, or something to be feared — or both!

As I recovered from my breakdown and started to rebuild and reshape who I AM, I noticed that I began to turn more often towards understanding my intuition — how it works, its depth and the way that I can use it to support myself and others.

I stopped trying to control it, minimise it and/or delete it. Instead, I allowed it to be integrated into my everyday life.

To my surprise I found that it was highly supportive, and the more I allowed it its freedom, the more information it fed me in the exact moment I needed it.

Interestingly, I’m now finding that the articles and books I write are written almost exclusively with my intuition switched on. When I’m working with someone, or a group of people, I literally get fed the information and questions I need to give to them.

Allowing this element of myself to have its place in the light has enabled me to be a lot more powerful in the work that I do in the world.

I’m no longer afraid of having an ability that makes me different or unusual; rather, I simply use it to assist others to make significant change in their lives.

This means that every single day I am consciously and actively fulfilling my life destiny.

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 have lots of character traits that have helped me on my journey to success. Three traits that have played a significant role are self-reliance, intuition and connection.

Being self-reliant has helped me to find the next step to keep going when things have been a bit tougher than normal. We all have ups and downs in life, and sometimes the downs come with an intensity we haven’t experienced before. Being able to rely on myself — and believe in what I’m doing — has made it easier to find my way out of these tough times. Being self-reliant makes it easier to make big decisions and move in unexpected directions when needed.

Having highly developed intuition has meant that I have really strong insights into where my next step is, a clarity around when to take it and a strength of conviction around moving in new directions. Being highly intuitive has helped me to understand what’s happening and to see pathways forwards before they’ve opened. It has opened doorways that weren’t previously there and given me a trust in myself and the steps needed to move forwards.

Mastering the skill of self-compassion — and giving myself the same ‘break’ in life that I so easily gave to everyone else — has made taking life steps so much easier. It has made my life all about fun and laughter, which is a much simpler way to live.

Being connected — to myself, and also to the needs of the Universe — has meant that I have a greater awareness of what is happening, both in the moment and on a larger scale over time. Honing this characteristic has meant that I can surrender to the needs of the time, rather than trying to force something to come forward or struggle with things that aren’t working.

When you’re connected you can tap into the knowledge of what is needed — for yourself, and for others. Having this characteristic has also allowed me to create products and services (like my books and online programs) that give people the information they need for their own connection AND a process they can follow to create their own pathway forwards.

Being connected gives you a sense of knowing that is so strong that you can rely on it and trust what it is telling you, but at the same time understand that you must use that knowing in a way that supports yourself and other people.

Surrendering control and stepping away from trying to influence outcomes is one of the hardest lessons to learn, but trusting in the connection you have to yourself and the Universe allows information to flow.

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?

In a world that is highly visible, failure can be exposed to millions in a matter of minutes.

Failure rules our lives in so many ways.

And we’re being taught from younger and younger ages that failure is a bad thing that exposes you to unwanted attention.

In so many examples, children are taught that it’s better not to try something than to try and potentially fail. The greater this lesson as a child, and the more strongly it is ingrained at a young age, the longer it will be carried into adulthood.

We’re encouraged to ‘stay in our lane’ and plod along so that we don’t stand out. But where’s the growth and development and the opportunity to learn within that?

Then you overlay the inspirational messages of life, like the saying ‘…fortune favours the brave…’ but being brave is something that’s become harder and harder to do.

Our life lessons then clash with the inspiration that’s supposed to see us grow, and we’re left feeling like we’re less than we should be and very confused about the way forwards.

Eventually, we find ourselves face to face with the question: ‘is it less painful to shrink back into our shell and play it safe, or to step forwards into growth and development and potentially experience life in a very different way?’

In the current environment, being brave is something that’s foreign to most of us. The impact of words that come at us from keyboard warriors who say whatever they want from behind the safety of their screens is significant.

One kind word from someone can be overshadowed in an instant by harsh and critical words that can be the catalyst of others joining in and dumping their opinions of you online.

It hurts. And the visibility of it can leave you feeling very exposed and completely overwhelmed.

One of the greatest dichotomies of life is that when we look beneath the surface of our fear of failure, we’re just as afraid of being successful.

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

By definition, fear of failure is an irrational and persistent fear of failing. I think it’s fair to say that nobody enjoys failing, it’s just that some of us have found a way to not let failure hold us back.

Being irrationally and persistently afraid to fail can affect you in lots of ways. It can cause issues in relationships: family, friends, associates, work colleagues, sports team members and so on.

Being afraid to fail can also cause you to limit the goals you set for yourself in life — you’ll never shoot for the stars while you’re worried that things won’t work out.

It affects your confidence — in every area of your life.

Fear of failure can also distort your ability to accurately perceive the truth about your abilities. While ever you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never step up and let your light shine — because that would draw too much attention and allow more people to see when you fall.

It can also hamper your productivity because you become hyper-focused about checking every last little scrap of information before you can get something done. You can also find yourself isolated a lot because you don’t want to talk to anyone about something that might go wrong — even that can feel like it’s a form of failure.

Overall, these things can combine to lead to loneliness and depressive moods.

And, perhaps the biggest downside of being afraid to fail is that on the odd occasion you do fail — after all, we’re all human and failure happens to all of us at some point — you’re more likely to over-analyse the failure and harshly rate your contribution, your skills, intelligence and capabilities … and to see yourself as significantly weaker and more helpless than you truly are.

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

I believe the most important step in overcoming your fear of failure is to find a way to look at the situation from a different perspective.

One of the greatest issues when you’re afraid of failure is that you spend a lot of time being overwhelmed by the possible outcomes of a situation. You go straight to the result, without giving yourself the opportunity to find small goal posts along the way.

Keeping the process simple and manageable is essential to overcoming your fear of failure. Sure, it’s important to have big goals in life, but it’s imperative to create mini-goals that help you to get to the bigger goals, so you can keep yourself out of overwhelm.

It’s my experience that it is always a set of small, simple steps that go together for you to reach bigger goals. When you take small steps towards mini-goals, they don’t seem to be as big a deal. They’re much more ‘low key’, fewer people seem to be watching what you’re doing and you can keep what you’re doing ‘under the radar’.

There’s less to be afraid of, because there’s less at stake.

Living like this — in a much simpler way — makes it easier for you to enjoy the steps you take in life. It also gives you the opportunity to consciously decide what your next step will be, and that allows you to become the director in your own life.

Your stress levels will drop, you’ll be more engaged in what you’re doing, and you’ll find there are less moments when it feels like you have to hold your breath for fear that everything will fall apart.

Life becomes more about where you’re going and what you’re doing than about panicking about what might go wrong.

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?

I like to say that I’m a recovering perfectionist. I spent decades being afraid that anyone would see that I didn’t have everything under control.

When I was in the absolute depth of my perfectionism, breaking down was the absolute epitome of failure for me.

When you’re caught in the perfection trap, you spend every minute of every day expending every last scrap of energy you have trying to make everyone around you believe that everything is under control.

For a long time, I had everyone convinced that I had everything under control. And then I broke. For me, my immediate response was that it was a glaringly obvious signal to the world that I had failed.

I had never been a ‘poor me’ kind of person. I wasn’t a victim; I had everything under control. Until I didn’t.

In those first moments, days and weeks after my collapse, it seemed like I had lost everything and that my failure to hold myself together meant that I would be subjected to a life of mediocrity for the rest of this lifetime.

When you suffer from a mental condition, what is happening on the inside is not visible for others to see. And every individual’s experience with mental health is as unique to them as they are unique in this world.

No one else has ever experienced your mental health journey, and therefore it is almost impossible for them to understand what you’re going through. And in the early stages of your personal experience, you don’t really understand it yourself, so that makes it almost impossible for you to explain.

The worst part of this situation is feeling like you’re completely misunderstood. For me, it felt like everyone came to their own conclusions about what was wrong with me, and therefore what would ‘fix’ me. I didn’t understand what was going on for me, so how could they have possibly known?

Nothing in my life was perfect, and it was all on display for the world to see. I have never felt so lost or alone as I did in those first months of being broken, having no idea which direction to turn for help and of having no control over what was happening.

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?

The most powerful thing I did to help myself recover was to find ways to change my perspective.

I learned to ask questions to help me open up the situation in front of me and be able to see things differently.

I stopped worrying about the things I was ‘supposed’ to be doing and instead, I started to learn about what was truly important to me.

The more I understood about what was important — and why — the more I found myself moving in a different direction. The more steps I took in this new direction, the less I worried about whether what I was doing would work out.

I learned that most of the fear that kept me locked in perfectionism was because I was trying to live a life that someone else had told me was right for me.

As soon as I consciously chose the things I wanted to be doing for myself, the fear of failure dropped away and I spent way less time in overwhelm.

Applying the small steps and creating mini-goals mindset made it easier for me to keep moving forwards and with much less stress and way more happiness.

And that’s the key: reduce the stress and increase the happiness. You’ll find that the fear of failure just naturally drops away because you’re simply having too much fun for it to gain any foothold anymore.

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.

  1. Change your perspective: allowing yourself to sit in situations that are completely overwhelming will accelerate any fear of failure you might be experiencing. Widening and changing your perspective can help you to break the hold that the overwhelm has, giving yourself the opportunity to see the situation through a different lens. This then allows you to see that there are other solutions available, and you can choose to move in a different direction.
  2. Learn to ask questions: questions are one of the biggest circuit breakers available to you. When you ask questions, you allow yourself to consciously make decisions about what your next move will be. For example, when someone tells you that you ‘have to’ do something, you can ask a question like ‘What if they’re wrong?’ or ‘What if that’s not right for me?’ and it will allow you to look at the situation differently.
  3. Reduce your stress: everything is always harder when we’re stressed and tired. The more you can reduce the stress in your life, the less load you will carry with you every day. When the load is less, getting things done, making decisions and enjoying what you’re doing is so much simpler.
  4. Choose things that make you happy: when we stop to have a look at the things we’re doing, so many of us are shocked to see that there are so many things that make us miserable and unwell that are clogging up our day. Make a list of the things that make you happy and then find a way to give yourself those things regularly. The more you do things that make you happy, the more aligned your life will be with your values. You’ll want to get things done, you’ll be more engaged in your life and there’ll be less room for worry and stress.
  5. Create mini-goals with easy, simple steps: overwhelm can only take over our lives when we spend too much time worrying about big, hairy, audacious goals. It’s great to have them, but sometimes they can seem impossible to achieve … so we don’t bother trying. Instead, break these goals down into mini-goals with small, simple steps and then focus on taking the first step. It stops overwhelm in its tracks and makes it much easier to move forward without worry and fear.

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?

Aristotle was a very wise man.

I don’t think it’s about right and wrong. I think it’s about perspective.

The more you can widen your perspective on something, the more opportunities for movement you will find.

And I think that’s the key in life: finding the movement and then giving yourself the opportunity to experience life within different perspectives until you find the ones that are perfect for you.

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. 🙂

I would inspire people to view the world with a filter of love.

We’ve been taught to compare, judge and criticise as the primary way of determining where we are at in comparison. We’ve been taught that competition — and getting to the top no matter what it costs us (or those around us) — is the number one objective in life.

Instead, if we could view everything in front of us as a projection showing us the direction of our next step, maybe we’d see the end of war, the end of greed and the end of a life full of ill-heath and misery.

We’d be aligned with the things that are important to us, and simply let go of the things that aren’t. We’d be happy for everyone else’s achievements while still chasing our own. We’d move to living life from a place of abundance for all, instead of lack and competition for scarce resources.

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 🙂

Monica Lewinsky.

I owe her an apology!

Her TEDx talk opened my eyes to an unconscious bias I was carrying. It taught me a lot about how we form our thoughts on auto-pilot and assign blame in situations we know nothing about.

We may be ‘just one individual’, and we may be entitled to our opinion, but we are also responsible for the consequences that openly airing our opinion may bring.

It’s not good enough to say our piece, and then walk away from any destruction that is caused. It’s not enough to wash our hands and hide behind a statement of ‘they live their life in the public domain … they should be used to it’.

We are responsible for our words. We are responsible for what we do with them. We are responsible for the wounds that they can cause.

I grew up with the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’ resonating throughout my childhood. Perhaps such a statement may have been relevant when the worst public punishment was a few hours in the stockade. But the world we live in now provides platforms for words to be weaponised.

There are too many people being severely wounded because words can follow them everywhere and invade every corner of their world now. There are too many lives being lost — and far too young — because opinions aren’t consciously created and words are flung without any thought.

And worse, those words live on in the digital domain forever. Words flung at one another on the school playground or in the workplace before the advent of social media are mostly forgotten to history … but not anymore. They persist, and they emerge and reverberate over and over again as someone’s weapon of choice.

Monica taught me that the way I was allowing my opinions to be formed wasn’t in alignment with who I AM as a person. Because of her, I learned to consciously form my opinions and to be very careful — and respectful — with the way that they are shared with the world.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I spend a lot of time in the online space and am frequently sought as an expert for media across all channels. I share a lot of my work through my online platforms that readers can access by connecting with me:

Website Link:



Free Email Series:

I also have an online program to assist busy professional women reduce stress and beat burnout that can be accessed 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), #1 Best-selling Author, Syndicated Columnist, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and cultivate resilience in their mindset.

    Savio is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), #1 best-selling author, syndicated columnist, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC. He has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been featured on Fox News, The Wrap, and has worked with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, BuzzFeed, Food Network, WW and Bloomberg. Savio 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. Savio pens a weekly newsletter in which he delves into secrets to living smarter by feeding your “three brains” — head ?, heart ?, and gut ? — in the hope of connecting the dots to those sticky parts of our nature that matter to living our best life.