No one wants to fail, but it’s important to remember a few things. Failing at something is not at all the same thing as being a failure—your results are not you. You won’t fail if you don’t try going after your heart’s desire, but you won’t succeed either. And, failure can be a learning tool, increasing your chances of succeeding next time. Put this together, and you can see that failure is necessary if you want to keep trying and achieving.

But how can you achieve this fearlessly—stepping boldly into unfamiliar territory and recovering with your confidence intact if you do fail? By working in harmony with your personality type, of course! 

For this article, we’re looking at fear through the lens of the DISC personality system. If you don’t know your type, start by taking the free DISC personality assessment, then read on to discover the greatest strengths you have on your side, as well as what could be holding you back.

Drive Types: Bold on the outside but fear being vulnerable

As a Drive personality type, your strengths are your ambition, decisiveness and confidence. You prefer to be in control of your destiny, love taking risks, and thrive in roles where you can take charge. To others, it may seem like you're not afraid of anything at all.

Why you may fear failure

While Drive types may seem fearless, you care about being seen as confident and successful. You may feel daunted by the idea of appearing weak or not in control—and less worthy as a leader—if things don't go as planned. You project a controlled exterior, but beneath the surface, you may be more vulnerable and fragile than you let on.

How your traits can help you succeed 

If sheer determination can make your objectives happen, you’ll likely meet them. Since you excel at taking action rather than sitting around passively, you’ll likely be fine with going all out to achieve your goals. You're not afraid of taking calculated risks either, so you rarely have an issue with stepping out of your comfort zone. 

How to thrive even if you fail

  • Remember that you are more than your accomplishments. Try to absorb some of the kind acceptance from the more supportive types around you.
  • While you don't usually quit in the face of temporary failure, don’t be afraid to step back and analyze what went wrong. Consider the feedback and allow yourself some time to pause, reflect and make corrections before you try again. Better results happen when you slow down.

Influence Types: Persuasive and popular but fear being judged

Influence personality types in the DISC system value people and relationships over tasks and data. You’re enthusiastic, persuasive and energetic, but tend to bog down if you have to spend too much time on routine tasks or working alone. You thrive on interaction and communication, are good at building relationships and excel at motivating a team.

Why you may fear failure 

As an influence type, you want to be thought well of and help your team succeed. If you try for something big and fail, you may feel like you’ve let others down or that your teammates will have less confidence in you going forward.

How your traits can help you succeed 

Since you’re good at persuading and involving others, you can use the team members’  expertise to help you form a balanced plan and carry it out. Your warmth, energy and ability to cooperate and collaborate will help move you forward in your goals. 

However, you’ll need to watch out for taking on too much at once, or getting discouraged by having to put in the work when it becomes less exciting. You can use your social skills to surround yourself with others who have strengths that you lack, such as attention to detail, patience and willingness to engage for long periods in deep, analytical thought. 

How to thrive even if you do fail

  • Lean into your natural enthusiasm and good relationships to help you move forward with your support system intact. 
  • Remember to slow down long enough to analyze what you could do better next time, and to listen to others’ viewpoints. Rely on your relationships for wisdom to fill in gaps you might have discovered in your first attempt.

Support Types: Afraid of putting themselves out there

Support personality types in the DISC system are great at helping others achieve their goals but not so good at asserting their own needs. You excel at fostering cooperation and helping others around you feel safe. People rely on you as a dedicated team player.

Why you may fear failure

While Drive and Influence types may be comfortable with making bold plans yet fear they’ll be looked down on if they fail, Support types may be more afraid of putting themselves out there in the first place. You’re more comfortable working in the background than grabbing the spotlight.

Since you’re less comfortable with attention, it could feel extra scary for you to put yourself out there by moving toward a significant goal of your own. Then, if you fail, you may see it as confirmation that you should have stayed in the background.

How your traits can help you succeed 

To counteract the discomfort of putting yourself out there, focus on what you’ll accomplish for the greater good. Will this scary project or idea help others around you? Will it inspire others to move out of their comfort zone too? When you focus on what’s in it for everyone, including yourself, that can be enough to carry you through. You can use your track record of being great at supporting others to elicit that support from others in return. 

How to thrive even if you do fail

  • Since you're not that concerned about a showy win, if you do fail, you'll feel comfortable enough to move back into a support role while you gather energy reserves for your next attempt to succeed at what’s important to you. Just make sure that you are gaining self-confidence from this happy place and not getting too down on yourself.
  • Try to focus on the learning you can take from the failure and use it as a building block to be better next time. You can also turn to your network of supporters for help in reflecting on what went wrong, and for encouragement to keep trying.

Clarity Types: Seek perfection and resist change

As a Clarity type, you value precision, quality and attention to detail. You’re comfortable working on your own and within clear guidelines and procedures. You have a knack for analysis and seeing small things others may miss. However, you may be overly cautious about taking risks and trying not to make mistakes. 

Why you may fear failure 

You’re highly conscientious about doing things “right” and tend toward perfectionism. You may feel like working toward a big personal goal is too scary because it means taking risks, trying new things outside of your usual routine, and maybe breaking a few ‘rules’ you’ve internalized about not stepping away from the tried and true. Plus you might—gasp!—not do it perfectly.

How your traits can help you succeed

Make sure you're clear on all the rules and procedures and your objectives. Then trust in your diligent attention to detail, dotting your i's and crossing your t's as you formulate and meticulously carry out your plan. If there’s a way to avoid failure through sheer conscientiousness, you almost can’t fail. And though you may not be seen as a big ideas person, you have your own kind of insight that can show you the way to success.

How to thrive even if you do fail

  • Give yourself a break and move on. Remind yourself that you can feel good knowing you did your best, which is usually as close to perfect as humanly possible, even if the outcome is less than you’d hoped. 
  • You’ve also likely learned the thrill of trying something new and the comfort of knowing the sky really didn’t fall in, though you veered into the unknown, and maybe even ‘failed.’ Use this as an opportunity to celebrate your courage, reframe the failure, and try again.

Final words

As you can see, taking the DISC personality assessment and learning your DISC personality type can help you identify your particular reasons for fear of failure, overcome those fears, and increase your chances of meeting your goals—whether on the first try or the fifth—by taking advantage of your type’s strengths. With the self-knowledge and understanding you gain, you can fail fearlessly, or maybe succeed spectacularly!

Diane Fanucchi
Diane Fanucchi is a freelance writer and Smart-Blogger certified content marketing writer. She lives on California’s central coast in a purple apartment. She reads, writes, walks, and eats dark chocolate whenever she can. A true INFP, she spends more time thinking about the way things should be than what others call the “real” world. You can visit her at or