Use gratitude daily to help you appreciate all of the gifts you have. The first thing you should do each morning is wake up and ask yourself, what am I grateful for? List out three things. Write them down. You have so many things to be grateful for. Gratitude can make us feel healthier and happier — it also helps to shift our focus from fear and what we don’t have. Try it daily for 30 days.

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 Kristine Newell.

Kristine Newell is a mom to four, a speaker/author, and has excelled in the real estate industry for over 21 years. She is the SVP for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, the second-largest Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate globally, and oversees 1400 real estate agents in Florida and NC. The company sold 10.7 Billion in real estate sales volume in 2021.

Before a career in leadership, Kristine sold real estate full-time as a single mom. After experiencing several personal struggles as a woman and mom of four, Kristine learned to focus on gratitude and rebuilt her life to monumental success. This journey has profoundly affected her, and she chooses to share it with others.

Kristine is a certified Go-Giver Speaker and Coach. She helps others incorporate the art of gratitude into daily life with a series of accessible tools that can alter your mindset and help you live a happier & healthier life. Her book, The Habit of Grateful, will be released in early 2023 by New Degree Press.

Kristine loves the colors blue and green, usually reads three books at once, and can’t live without ramen (the good kind) and potato chips. Her kids range from ages 25-to-10, and when not working, she loves to spend time with her kids, two dogs, Daisy and Frankie, and her best friend/husband.

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

I am the SVP for a major luxury real estate firm with over 10.7 Billion in annual sales, and I help run multiple regions in two states. In addition to being a real estate leader, I am an author and certified Go-Giver Speaker, and I enjoy assisting others in succeeding by focusing on a positive mindset. About 12 years ago, I was a young mom selling real estate in my 20s, and I struggled and then went through a tough divorce and the real estate market crash in 2009. I almost lost everything. I had to choose not only to survive but to thrive.

I was able to use gratitude to shift into a positive mindset. I was able to rebuild my personal life professional life and catapult into my current role as a successful leader. I am currently finishing a book about gratitude and my journey, set to be published shortly.

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

As a younger woman in a male-dominated leadership arena, I have had to learn to “raise my hand.” Sometimes, as women, we are taught to be polite and “wait” for things to happen. But you have to put yourself out there. I was at a leadership conference and had an idea that I wanted us as leaders to share our current failures and success centered around talent attraction. I waited for a break during the conference and introduced myself to the COO.

It turned out to be a big hit, and I met all of the top leadership within our company. I owe a lot of my career to hosting it.

The opportunity only happened because I raised my hand and volunteered to help the organization. We need to raise our hand, and then we have to follow up. Then we find our resources and make stuff happen. Following up is 99% of everything in life.

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?

Authenticity, Grit, Gratitude

Authenticity — Trusting my gut and believing in myself. Being humble and not being afraid to ask for resources. If you don’t look in the mirror and believe in yourself, others will pick up on that.

Grit — Knowing that I will ultimately succeed, even when I fail. All my failures just made me stronger. It is ok to make mistakes. They are expected. That is how you grow. If you aren’t making some mistakes, you are not trying hard enough. Get uncomfortable.

Gratitude — This is a daily habit. I start each day thinking about what I am grateful for — I then think about who I am grateful. I try to tell those that I am grateful for that they matter. It is an easy way to shift your mindset into the positive. A positive mindset is crucial.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We want 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?

Fear is what holds us back. It’s the voice that says you can’t do this. Who do YOU think you are?

What people fear most is a failure. We all have our own definition of failure.

It was during the real estate crash of 2008, coupled with a tough divorce. I hit rock bottom and struggled financially to the point that I had to seek help to get me back on my feet. But failure was a gift. It allowed me to see that I could always find resources and learn from my mistakes no matter the circumstance.

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

If you only focus on failure and fear, you will feel paralyzed. You will not succeed if you tell yourself that you will not succeed. It’s that simple. Decisions that come only from fear never feel right.

It’s essential to learn how to reprogram your thoughts with positive affirmations. There are many ways to do this. I write them down, speak them, listen to music/thoughts, or have a vision board.

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

If you approach life from a growth mindset that you wish to learn and that you will make mistakes in learning, you can begin to look at failure as a tool. If you recognize that as an infant, you fell hundreds of times before walking, yet you kept going. You begin to understand that you have been “failing” at things since birth. Get over it. Fail freely. Grow and learn from each mistake.

We need to uncover what “failure” really means to each of us. Get to the bottom of it, dig up those fears and unpack your “stuff.” It takes some work.

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?

About 13 years ago, I found myself in the real estate crash of 2009 as a newly single mom of three and struggling personally, financially, and professionally. One night, I realized that I did not have anything to make dinner for the kids. I hit rock bottom, realizing the severity of my financial situation. I had been avoiding this realization. It hit me over the head like a 1000-pound weight.

I remember the feeling of the floor giving out from under me. I could not breathe.

Failure is a gift. Rock bottom gives you few options. So, I chose to go up.

I found resources. I was able to sell my house. I finished my divorce. I started working out. I ate better. I stopped drinking wine every night. I went back to school. I found a new life. I rebuilt myself brick by brick.

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?

I owe my success to those who have helped me along the way and to the practice of gratitude. I now start each day with gratitude and have learned that a positive mindset focusing on abundance is the key to happiness. There is new emerging science on gratitude as a habit and how it can make you happier and healthier.

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

To Be Free of Failure:

  1. Recognize that failure is a part of life. It’s normal to fail or make mistakes. The average two-year-old falls 38 times a day. The average healthy toddler does eventually learn to walk. You failed 38 times a day when you were two years old, yet you kept trying to walk. Demystify failure. It’s ok to fail. Accept that.
  2. What am I terrified of when I think about failure? There is a fear buried here. What is it? What does failure mean to you at this moment?
  3. Uncover the big fears and then start to work on those. Articulate your fear so that you can learn ways to conquer fear and eliminate it head-on. Fear is where the work is. Find your resources and work on those inner fears. Therapy, a friend, a mentor, books, videos- you can work through it.
  4. Use positive affirmations to reprogram your thoughts into a positive mindset of abundance. You can reprogram that voice inside. Use positive affirmations daily to get there. You can control your negative thoughts and instead have positive thoughts.
  5. Use gratitude daily to help you appreciate all of the gifts you have. The first thing you should do each morning is wake up and ask yourself, what am I grateful for? List out three things. Write them down. You have so many things to be grateful for. Gratitude can make us feel healthier and happier — it also helps to shift our focus from fear and what we don’t have. Try it daily for 30 days.

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 accurate? What do you think Aristotle meant?

The best chance of succeeding is to believe that you can and see it happening. If you only focus on the fear of failure, you will never get off the ground. Many people choose fear and never take risks. Ask yourself, what am I most afraid of? What is my deepest desire?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,” Marianne Williamson writes in A Return to Love. “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”


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

Write two notecards a week to people and tell them that you appreciate them. By giving gratitude, you help the world be a better place, and you feel better when you are grateful. It is powerful and is something that has changed my life. I even created a “box of gratitude” to help people get started — my upcoming book “The Habit of Grateful” details this journey.

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

I love Glennon Doyle! Her podcast and books constantly remind me not to make myself “small as a woman.” Her sharing her vulnerability has empowered me not to be afraid to share my failures.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I share my journeys in the real estate world as SVP for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty on my Instagram @kristinewnewell. I also have a website for my work on gratitude

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.