Fear of Failure – What are You Missing Out On?

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one. Elbert Hubbard

Who loves to fail? Not too many hands going up out there, are there?

According to FreeDictionary.com here are a couple of typical definitions of the ‘f’ word:

-The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends

-The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short.

Ouch to both of them. Failure, of course means different things to different people – your idea of a failure for you, could be a win for me. It’s all relative, really. Nonetheless, it rarely feels great.

Failure is not something we usually plan for, but perhaps we should reconsider.

Huh, plan to fail?

Failing actually has a lot going for it. I think it shouldn’t get such a bad rap. Not being great at something reminds you what it’s like to be imperfect and that can help you in a variety of ways. For example it may:

Keep you humble.
Make you a better teacher.
Show you greater patience.
Grow yourself stronger, tougher and/or more resilient.
Encourage others to try something challenging.
Set a good example for others by your behaviour coming out of a failure.
Insert your example here …

Comedian Aisha Alfa recently did a TEDx talk on where she personified failure – she named him Karl and she delivers her take on what it takes to take on “Karl.” You can see her talk here.

When Connie Lynne says she wrote the book on failure, she’s not joking. Her book Failure is Not an Option It’s a Necessity chronicles her journey through many, of what I would more like to call, setbacks (aka failures). Her aim it to take the shame, failure and regret out of your perceived failure. You can get a sneak peak of her book here.

As for gearing up t take some of the sting out of something that may not turn out perfect, here are a few suggestions:

Don’t take yourself so seriously.
If you may laugh about it after the event anyway – you may as well start laughing about it now
Perfection is highly overrated, so much potential for growth comes from what we do post-failure.
Other people don’t care near as much as you think they do – they are too wrapped up thinking about their own potential for failure.
Chose to do something that is new and challenging to you.
Practice failing on little, unimportant things often.

It really is the perception of failure that holds us back. Failing forward, choosing to grow richer from the experience is the only way to go.

At least, that’s how it looks to me.

Fail on, people!

Steph 🙂

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