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41 Fear and Failure Quotes by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins Quotes >>  Facing and Overcoming Fear Quotes


“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Paulo Coelho

Defining, Facing and Overcoming Fear

Fear is one of the most powerful human emotions that can either paralyze or push you to unthinkable heights.

You can’t be considered courageous without having gone through being afraid first.

So, what exactly is fear?

It’s a two million of year old adaptation that we have developed for survival. It doesn’t care about happiness, fulfillment, or what you achieve. Its main goal is making sure you don’t get hurt. Luckily as a species we’ve overcome the need for survival so now it’s fixated on not getting hurt. But if we want to live a life that’s full it requires putting yourself out there, having skin in the game, being vulnerable. This is the problem many people struggle with.

The game now is knowing you’ll never get to a place where you have no fear. It’s learning to develop the tools necessary to recognize and overcome why you’re feeling whatever it is you’re feeling.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

Tony Robbins has many failures in business as well as many successes. He’s at the top when it comes to getting on stages and moving ten of thousands of people.

In this post I have compiled the best quotes and lessons you’ll learn on managing fear and understanding failure. These are my notes from listening to hours of his talks. The focus is not on nice to read quotes that won’t have any impact a week out from now but nuggets of wisdom you’ll carry with you for a lifetime.

Tony Robbins Fear of Failure Quotes:


1. Don’t be surprised by failure

“You don’t just suddenly become successful or suddenly have this cataclysmic event that makes you fail. It may look that way, but failure comes from all the little things. It’s failure to make the call. It’s failure to check the books. It’s failure to say I’m sorry. It’s failure to push yourself to do things physically that you don’t want to do.”

failure to push yourself

Tony mentions in the talk,

“No matter what happens to you, you’re more than that moment, you’re more than the story you think you’re supposed to be, and that even when you’re not matching what you think you need to be, maybe there’s a reason for that.

Sometimes failing to get your goal gives you your destiny.

Sometimes not getting your blueprint’s the best thing could ever happen, because the disappointment drives you to find something more important inside of you or not getting it makes you look for another aspect of your life, a spiritual aspect, a family aspect, a physical aspect.”

2. Life happens for you

“If you can just trust that life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you, then you can find in any situation a benefit that can take your life to the next level.”

life happens for you not to you quote

Failure is only when you permanently give up.

If you learn anything and you apply what you’ve learned, failure is a stepping-stone.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “we either win or we learn” there is not failure.

3. I’m not afraid… I’m just stressed.

“Most achievers would never say, I’m fearful. They go, I’m stressed. Stress is the achiever word for fear. If I follow the trail of your stress, it will bring me to your deepest fear. So, if you own your fear, you can figure out where it is.”

stress is the achiever word for fear

In the talk Tony discusses how:

“The brain is designed to make you survive. It’s two million years old. It doesn’t have a saber tooth tiger to worry about. So now it worries about how do I look, what do people think of me.

So, we make up this stuff to suffer about inside of our head because the mind is not thinking happy. It’s saying survive.

Fight or flight.

But you’re more than your mind. Your spirit, when you take it over, is just say this is not tolerable because life is too short. Life is too short to suffer, to feel sorry for myself, to feel lonely, to feel depressed, to feel pissed off, to feel angry. It’s too short.

Fear is your only enemy because when fears no longer there, nothing stops you.

In another talk Tony says, “Stress is the achiever word for fear. So I say to you, what are you stressed about? You say, “I got to do this, I got to make this thing happen.” What if you don’t? They respond, “I got to!”. What if it falls apart? “Then it will fail.” What if it fails? “Then I’m failure” what if you’re a failure? “Then no one will love me.”

This leads us to the next fear quote,

4. All roads lead to Rome

“I can tell you all roads lead to Rome. Whatever you’re afraid of, you’re afraid of failing or succeeding or whatever the case be, it really comes down to a fear that we’re not enough.”

all roads lead to rome quote tony robbins

“And if we fear we’re not enough, we won’t be loved.

Who can produce that fear in you more than somebody whose love you crave, somebody that you really want, and they all of a sudden don’t love you as much anymore? It crushes the soul. So, most people have these plans, like I’ll be successful and then I’ll know that I’m enough regardless of what someone else does to me, or I’ll be strong enough or physically beautiful enough.”

5. What does it takes to be a pessimist?

“It takes no courage to be a pessimist, to say it’s not going to work, to try to find out what’s wrong. What’s wrong is always available.”

pessimism quote

“So, what’s right? I’m not into positive thinking, but I am into intelligence and intelligence is see it as it is. Don’t make it worse than it is.”

6. Q: If there’s one thing you could tell all entrepreneurs, what would you say? Tony response:

“Entrepreneurs out there, here’s what I’d say to you. I’d say don’t be so damn hard on yourself. I know that sounds counter to being an achiever, but when you’re beating yourself up, you’re sucking out the energy you need to move forward.” – Tony Robbins

don’t be so hard on yourself quote

“If you allow your disappointments to create these inner conflicts and fears and you let them run wild within you, they’re going to suck the energy out. You need to go to the next level in your business. You have to discipline your disappointment.

Take your energy that’s all you have in this life and invest it in the things you love, those you love, and in the mission of your business and your clients. If you fall in love with what you do, who you do it with and who you do it for, there’ll be no limit to your impact. But you got to be willing to do it for decades because it’s all bullshit. Maybe you’ll hit the lucky thing and it’ll happen in 12 months.”

7. Why Most Businesses fail:

“Running a business is more than just the art of it. And most businesses are started by an artist and most businesses fail. If you look at that, and say if I’m an artist, I’m going to struggle because I’m going to want to do my art. A great businessperson says it doesn’t matter what I care about. I can’t fall in love, my product or service. I need to fall in love with my client and I got to constantly change to meet their needs. Don’t fall in love with your product or service. Fall in love with your ideal client. That’s a different game.” – Tony Robbins

fall in love with your ideal client

Tony continues, “the artist is not as committed to making money. They want to make money, but they want to do their art. They want to make that dress. They want to write that code. They want to do what they love.”

Jeff Bezos when building Amazon focused on the customer. In the 1997 letter to shareholders he says, “obsess over customers”. His competitors were going to do what they were going to do, he couldn’t change that. He could watch them, learn from them, but the focus should always be on the end user.

8. How to treat fear

“Let fear be a counselor and not a jailer.”

let fear be a counselor not a jailer

This reminds me of the lesson from Steven Pressfield in his book the war of art talks about.

It’s this idea of how we need to lean into our fears.

Whatever we fear the most is the thing we most need to do. It’s almost like a counselor, it’s a calling, don’t let it be a jailer.

9. The greatest decision you can make in your life right now

“The most important decision of your life is deciding you will be happy no matter what.”
be in a good mood right now

“I decided if I can’t find ecstasy in this moment, whatever this moment is, having lunch, talking with you, walking through the forest, whatever it is, if I can’t find ecstasy in this moment, then helping more people, changing more lives, building more businesses, none of that is going to make me happier.”

Tony talks about how the greatest decision you can make is the deciding to be happy right now where you are. You’re lying to yourself if you say how can I be happy now when I got x,y,z. People across the world have much less and can find happiness. It’s not to say your problems are not real problems, it’s all relative but you do have a duty to figure to yourself to figure it out. postponing happiness to a later date seems foolish.

10. The dirt-road to happiness

“Most people are wired for fear, they’re wired for worry, they’re wired for stress. They have a highway to upset and they have a dirt road to happiness. I was one of those people I had to work on me first.”

dirt road to happiness and highway to pain quote

Every morning Tony has a 10-minute morning ritual which is his highway to happiness. He practices finding 3 things to be grateful and has this to say about the practice:

“The reason for gratitude is the two motions that messes up the most are fear and anger. And you can’t be grateful and fearful simultaneously, it don’t go together. And you can’t be angry and grateful simultaneously. So if you literally start your day cultivating that. Creating a highway to happiness.”

This ties in nicely with the next Tony Robbins quote about the relationship with fear and gratitude.

11. Gratitude

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears

12. A lesson on majors and minors

“Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.”

Most people fail in life because they major in minor things

This is like the teaching of Jim Rohn, most people don’t succeed in life because they spend major time on minor things.

Or as Naval Ravikant says, spend time playing stupid games, you win stupid prizes.

Going back to Jim, he says the most important thing in sales is time in front of the prospect.

If you study the day you’ll see quickly very little time is actually spent there. You can be running, running, running but doing what? It’s possible you can be running in figure eights.

13. Concentrated effort and focus

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”

focus and concentration quote

14. The Rule of Three

In the talk tony asks, “why do I have up them come up with three. Someone tell me why?”

“One choice is no choice, two choices is a dilemma, until you have three choices, you don’t really have a choice. That’s my rule in life.”

one choice is no choice

You may not like all the choices whenever you think you have one choice. One choice is no choice. If you got two you’re in a dilemma. There’s always at least three choices. Plus, I’m making that person become a problem solver.”

15. Success without fulfillment

“Success without fulfillment is failure”

success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure

16. The stories we tell

“Don’t buy the story that you can’t do something because you don’t have the time. It’s a lie. You just need to get more strategic. You need to get a little smarter.”

success quote by tony robbins

17. Using and channeling your emotions

“We’re all unique. But you have this gift that our creator has given us called the nervous system. Use it one way. You’ll feel afraid. Use it another way. You’ll be annoyed. Used in another way, you could feel incredible.”

Emotion is created by motion, and the more you use of the gifts that you’ve been given. The more of those gifts you experience, see, this is a gift most of us don’t pay attention to, especially in a world where everything we do is in a box.

18. Test, learn, iterate

“You’ve got to try experiments. Most aren’t going to work. And I think that if you try new experience, you get new voices, you’re asking new questions, you’re going to stimulate new answers. But most people do the same thing. When you start saying, I don’t have the idea, you don’t even look for them anymore. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

self fulfilling prophecy quote

19. Two Motivators

“Everything you and I do, we do either out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to Gain Pleasure.”

avoid pain or gain pleasure

20. Losing your dream

You can get certainty by lowering your expectations, saying nothing ever works. Nothing ever will. Everybody screws things up. You’ll lose your dream. People will give up their goals and dreams, they’ll even give up their own values to meet their needs.

quotes about lowering your expectations

21. Overcoming fear is necessary to live an extraordinary life

“I think what happens for most of us is fear gets our focus and it’s natural. It’s our survival instinct to avoid pain. We’ve got to break out of it if we want an extraordinary quality of life and think differently.”

fear is natural quote

Tony teaches,

“Focus on where you want to go. Like this is a left hand turn we’re going to need to make, don’t focus on the wall in front of you.

If you focus on what you fear (the wall), guess what happens the minute you focus on it, you steer in the direction of what you focus on and your life or your car moves in that direction.

If you focus on what you want, you will automatically steer everything in the direction of what you want. As soon as people start feeling that they’re out of control they’ll focus on what they’re afraid of hitting and they drive right into it. I thought that’s a great metaphor for life.”

22. Life doesn’t wait till you’re ready

“Life doesn’t give things to you, it doesn’t give you challenges when you’re ready for them. Just when everything is going great that’s when life come by and gives you a little test. That’s like when our creator says it’s time for you to grow and you’re not ready for it, so you’re going to grow the most right now.”

life doesn’t give you what you want

23. What made the company Apple win

“Does the best product win in the world we live in today? Which product wins? The best marketed product wins. Now in the long term, the best product and the best marketing wins, that’s Apple.”

24. Anticipation and Adaptation over planning

“The biggest mistake I think businesses make, as many businesses are started by people that you built the product you love. And that may still be true for you. Like you built this great jewelry, or you built this great software, or whatever skill set you have. But the problem is the world changes so fast now.

If you do well in winter, you’ll dominate for the rest of the time. And the way you do well in winter is you fall in love with your ideal clients and then you come up with the irresistible offer for them.”

25. The false narrative of losing something dear to you

“How could you lose out on something you never had? You must have been very confused. Like they have this goal that didn’t happen. People say I lost my goal… you never had it. Or they have this expectation, most upsets are about expectations that aren’t met. So you can’t really lose, but if you want to feel bad, all you have to do is have the illusion of loss, create the illusion of loss. That’s all you have to do to feel bad. So I’ll guide you how to feel bad, step one, feel bad, create the illusion of loss.”

create the illusion of loss

26. Another quote on the idea of focusing

“Focus on what you want and you’ll get more of it. Focus on what you fear you get more that. Bottom line is, almost everybody in life focuses on what they fear, and that’s why they get more of what they don’t want.” – Tony Robbins

focus on what fear quote

27. Guilt is a powerful emotion, use it.

“Guilt is a powerful emotion if it’s not abused, overused and indulged. Any of these emotions are lousy if you indulge in them. Would you agree with me on that? To indulge in your fear, your hurt, your anger. Indulging means you keep focusing on the feeling instead of getting the message and moving on and learning. Guilt can be valuable. It’s telling you, you are violating one of your own standards. You need to do something immediately to be certain you won’t do this again.”

forgive yourself quote

28. Understand fear and turning it down

“If you’re feeling fear, what does that mean? Usually, what’s the message? The message always is that you need to change something. Every negative emotion means I’ve got to change something. Either my perception or what I’m doing.

Fear means that you’ve got to prepare for something.”

facing fear quotes

“You’re afraid because your brain’s message is to prepare.

Now, sometimes we just indulge in emotion and we stay in the fear. We really are prepared. You did the work, but you didn’t shut the emotion off and say, you know, I am prepared. No reason to be afraid anymore. I’m ready. I’m ready. You never told your brain it’s okay, you don’t have to give me a message anymore, I’ve done my work.”

29. Resources and Emotions

“When you realize that your problem is not a lack of resources, it’s not a lack of money or technology or contacts. It’s your psychology because the ultimate resource is resourcefulness and human emotion. That’s what starts wars, that’s what makes a business begin, that’s how you have children, and that’s how we end wars. It’s all emotion. And so what I really learned to do is how to manage my emotions.” – Tony Robbins

ultimate resource is resourcefulness

30. You are not your past

“your biography is not your destiny and you’re not defined by what happened.”

biography is not your destiny

31. How many of your fears became a reality

But overcoming fear because, you know, whatever you’re afraid of, it’s never as much as you’re afraid of. You know how many things you’ve been afraid of? It never happened. Right? And then the things you are afraid of, if they do happen, you just deal with them.

overcoming fear

32. A coward dies a thousand deaths

“A coward dies a thousand deaths, a courageous man only once. I discipline myself, not perfectly, but for the most part, I don’t worry about shit till it happens. You know, I anticipate it, but I don’t worry about it.”

a coward dies a thousand deaths, a courageous man only once

33. What is courage?

“What is courage? Courage does not mean you’re not afraid. It means you’re afraid and you do it anyways. You’re scared shitless, but you do it anyway. And I think if you’re going to succeed at the highest level, you’ve got to face those fears.” – Tony Robbins

quote about courage and strength by tony robbins

34. The need to believe in yourself

“What does believing in yourself have to do with business? Everything. Self-efficacy is the lynchpin of success in your career, relationships and all of life. By learning how to believe in yourself, you’re able to overcome your fears and pursue your dreams.”

overcome your fears quote

35. Standards

“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.”

baseline standard

36. Asking the right kind of questions.

“Questions control what you focus on. What you focus on is what you feel. What you feel is your experience of life.” – Tony Robbins

questions control what you focus on

37. Insanity is doing…

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

if you do what you’ve always done

If you want to know what the next five years look like, just look at the past five. Because unless you change, you will always have what you got. You can’t expect things to be any different when you’re doing the same old things.

38. People are not lazy. Failure comes from setting bad goals.

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals; that is, goals that do not inspire them.”

setting bad goals quote

As Jim Rohn teaches, everyone has goals.

You can be deliberate in choosing them or you can let the world decide your goals for you.

Some people’s goals are, I got to wake up tomorrow and go to work to pay the bills. That’s a lousy goal which will have a lousy outcome.

Can you imagine being excited and full of energy to pay the bills, but you’ll find a way to get accomplish them, won’t you? You can be a hard worker with bad goals and not make any meaningful progress.

39. Avoiding analysis paralysis

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action.”

a real decision is measured by the fact tony robbins quote

Act when the emotion is hot, don’t just get excited and not let it lead to action.

40. Just decide.

“You don’t have to have a reason to feel good you’re alive; you can feel good for no reason at all!”

I don’t need an excuse to feel good

41. Consistent Commitment

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power.

focus and concentration

I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment and life’s greatest rewards is reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.

42. Asking better questions

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

successful people ask better questions and as a result they get better answers

43. The meaning you give it

We assign meaning to everything. “You see, it’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events … how we interpret them … that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.” – Tony Robbins

we assign meaning to events quote

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