Redefine Failure as a Learning Opportunity: A client of mine, an aspiring entrepreneur, faced rejection when pitching her business idea to potential investors. Instead of viewing this as a failure, we worked together to see it as feedback. She refined her pitch, learned more about her audience, and eventually secured funding. This shift in perspective turned a setback into a valuable learning experience.

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 Jennifer Perri. .

Jennifer Perri is a Transformational Life & Empowerment Coach, Business Consultant, and 3X Best-Selling Author. Her journey from adversity to triumph fuels her mission to empower women through life’s challenges.Recognized as a global thought-leader and honored with prestigious awards, Jennifer inspires transformation, proving that the human spirit can overcome any obstacle.

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 started my career in a very different field, in personal finance. As my career progressed, I always felt a deeper calling towards helping others achieve personal growth. After experiencing my own transformative journey, dealing with life’s challenges and rediscovering my purpose, I realized that my true passion lies in coaching and empowerment. This led me to become a Transformational Life and Empowerment Coach, where I could use my experiences to guide others through their transformations.

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?

One of the most profound and defining moments of my career, and indeed my life, was intertwined with my personal battle with Guillain-Barré syndrome. This experience was not just a health crisis; it became a pivotal point in my journey and further defined my path as a Transformational Coach.

At the end of December 2021,, I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. It was a time of immense physical and emotional challenge. I went from being an active, independent individual to someone who needed help with basic tasks. The physical limitations imposed by the illness were daunting, but the mental and emotional toll was equally challenging.

However, this period also became a time of profound introspection and self-discovery. Being temporarily confined and having a lot of time for reflection, I realized the true resilience of the human spirit. I began to deeply understand the struggles of my clients who were facing their own battles. This personal experience enriched my approach to coaching, making me more empathetic, patient, and insightful. The lessons I have learned throughout this challenging time have not only enriched my life but have become core pillars in my approach to helping others transform their lives.

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?

Empathy: Understanding and genuinely connecting with people’s emotions and experiences is crucial. For example, a client struggling with self-esteem issues was able to open up and transform once they felt truly heard and understood.

Resilience: Overcoming personal and professional challenges, like the time I had to rebuild my client base after experiencing divorce, taught me the importance of resilience in achieving success.

Authenticity: This character trait has been the most instrumental one in my journey. It has taught me that the power to inspire and empower others comes not from projecting an idealized image, but from the courage to be real, to share our true stories, and to connect with others on a deeply human level.

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 my experience, the fear of failure is deeply rooted in a few key areas:

1. Social Perception: People often worry about how failure will make them appear to others. There’s a societal pressure to succeed, and failing can be seen as a blemish on one’s social or professional image.

2. Self-Identity: Many of us tie our self-worth to our successes. Failure, in this context, feels like a direct hit to our sense of self, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

3. Uncertainty and Loss: Failure is often associated with loss — be it time, resources, or opportunities. The uncertainty of outcomes post-failure can be a significant source of anxiety.

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

The fear of failure can be incredibly limiting in many ways.

When fear governs decision-making, people tend to shy away from taking risks or trying new things, leading to missed opportunities for growth and success.

This fear can also keep individuals in their comfort zones, preventing them from exploring their full potential and stunting personal and professional growth.

A constant fear of failing can lead to a negative mindset where the focus is always on what could go wrong, rather than what could go right.

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

Overcoming this fear can significantly improve our lives in several ways:

Embracing Risk and Innovation: When you’re not afraid to fail, you’re more likely to take risks and innovate. This can lead to breakthroughs in personal and professional realms.

Learning and Growth: Viewing failure as a learning opportunity fosters a growth mindset. Each failure becomes a stepping stone to greater understanding and development.

Enhanced Resilience: Overcoming the fear of failure builds resilience. You learn to bounce back from setbacks, equipped with new insights and a stronger sense of self.

Authentic Living: Being free from this fear allows you to live more authentically. You make choices based on what truly aligns with your values and aspirations, not on what is safest or most likely to succeed.

Increased Happiness and Fulfillment: Ultimately, letting go of the fear of failure can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. You’re able to pursue your passions and live a life that’s true to who you are, without the shadow of fear looming over your decisions and actions.

In my coaching practice, I’ve seen incredible transformations when individuals embrace these perspectives. It’s not just about achieving success in the conventional sense; it’s about embarking on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment, where failures are as celebrated as successes, as both are integral to the tapestry of our lives.

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?

When I shifted my focus to coaching, I launched a course early on that received minimal interest and exposure. However, I took this as a learning opportunity to refine my approach, conduct more market research, and better understand my target audience. This setback was instrumental in shaping the successful programs I have now.

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?

Rebounding after failure is a process that requires resilience, reflection, and a proactive mindset. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel about the failure — be it disappointment, frustration, or sadness. Be sure to give yourself space to process these emotions.

Once you’ve processed your initial emotions, take a step back and assess the situation objectively. What went wrong? What factors contributed to the failure? This reflection is crucial for learning from the experience.

Use the insights gained to formulate a new plan. This might involve tweaking your initial approach, trying a different strategy, or sometimes starting afresh in a new direction. Adaptability is key in the face of failure. Stay committed to your goals, even in the face of setbacks. The journey to success is often a test of endurance as much as it is of skill or talent.

Remember, every successful person has faced failures. It’s not the absence of failure, but how you respond to it, that shapes your path to success.

My advice on the fear of failing is this: Embrace failure as an essential part of your growth journey. Understand that every failure brings invaluable lessons and opportunities for self-improvement. By accepting that failure is a natural part of the journey towards success, you liberate yourself from the paralyzing grip of fear. This freedom allows you to take risks, explore new opportunities, and fully realize your potential. Above all, be kind to yourself in moments of failure; these are the times when your resilience and courage shine brightest.

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.

The fear of failure is something I encounter often with my clients. Here are five steps people can take to become free from the fear of failure:

1. Redefine Failure as a Learning Opportunity:

A client of mine, an aspiring entrepreneur, faced rejection when pitching her business idea to potential investors. Instead of viewing this as a failure, we worked together to see it as feedback. She refined her pitch, learned more about her audience, and eventually secured funding. This shift in perspective turned a setback into a valuable learning experience.

2. Cultivate a Growth Mindset:

A young musician I coached was terrified of making mistakes during performances. We focused on shifting his mindset to view each performance as a growth opportunity, not a test. Embracing imperfections and focusing on continuous improvement, his fear diminished, and his performances improved.

3. Set Realistic and Incremental Goals:

A new client of mine felt overwhelmed by her goal of switching careers. By breaking down this big goal into smaller, achievable steps, the process became less daunting, helping her gradually overcome the fear associated with such a significant change.

4. Practice Self-Compassion and Kindness:

A client of mine who wanted to write her first book feared that her story wouldn’t be good enough. We worked on fostering self-compassion. By treating herself with the same kindness she would offer a friend, she learned to silence her inner critic, reducing the fear associated with failure. She just released her first book and people love it!

5. Visualize Success:

A newly divorced woman I worked with was paralyzed with fear as she took the steps to start her own wellness coaching practice. We worked on visualization techniques, where she imagined succeeding in her new business and gave herself the permission to be successful. This mental practice not only reduced her anxiety but also positively impacted her ability to connect with the people she felt called to help.

Each of these steps underscores the importance of mindset, perspective, and self-care in overcoming the fear of failure. By incorporating these strategies, anyone can start to liberate themselves from the constraints of this fear and move towards a more empowered and fulfilling life.

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?

I believe Aristotle’s quote emphasizes that failure can happen in numerous ways, often out of our control, but success requires specific, targeted effort. It’s a reminder that while there are many paths to take, finding the right one for success requires persistence, learning, and adaptation. In my experience, this rings true. Each client’s path to success is unique, but it always requires focused effort and a willingness to learn from failures along the way.

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 believe a movement we can inspire is one that empowers and honors the resilience of women who have survived domestic violence and have gone on to do incredible things with their lives. This movement would not only recognize their strength and courage but also spread a crucial message: Survivors of abuse are not broken; they are beacons of incredible strength and potential.

This movement would be founded on the principle that every survivor has an untapped reservoir of power and wisdom. It’s about shifting the narrative from one of victimhood to one of empowerment. Instead of seeing themselves as damaged, we would encourage these women to recognize their experiences as part of a journey that has equipped them with unique strengths and insights.

We would create safe spaces for sharing and healing, where women can connect, learn from each other, and build a supportive community. This isn’t just about recovery; it’s about transformation and empowerment. We would offer resources, workshops, and support systems to help these women rediscover their self-worth, set boundaries, and pursue their dreams with confidence.

Imagine the ripple effect of this movement. Empowered women, once seen as victims, now standing tall as leaders, mentors, and changemakers. Their stories and strengths would inspire others, creating a cycle of empowerment that transcends individual experiences and fosters a more compassionate, understanding world.

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 🙂

The person I would choose for a private breakfast or lunch is Brené Brown. The reason I’d love to spend time with Brené is because her teachings align closely with the core principles of transformational coaching. Her emphasis on the power of vulnerability and the courage to be oneself offers profound lessons for personal growth. These are not just concepts; they are practical tools that can help individuals navigate their journey towards self-realization and empowerment.

As a coach, I believe in the power of stories to inspire and teach, and I’m sure that a conversation with Brené would be filled with insights and anecdotes that could enrich my own coaching practice. Her perspective would offer a unique blend of academic rigor and heartfelt wisdom, invaluable for anyone committed to personal development and helping others.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The best way for people to connect with me is through my website at or follow me on Instagram at @jperricoaching.

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


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.