Fear of Failure

We’ve had discussions this weekend with our children over success and failure. The girls wrestle in their minds the fact that they want to be happy, but sometimes struggle over what it can take to make a full investment in life. They protect themselves over taking a risk to reap the possible rewards.

Failure isn’t something I think as humans we want to go through. I’m sure when you developed the skills of walking, talking, riding a bike for the first time on through to taking your license test to learn how to drive or even going to your first dance/prom, people want to believe in themselves and their ability to do things right the first time. I believe if you have the right mindset you will view failure in a different light- accepting the challenges placed before you to begin again.

I would like to replace failure with the word feedback- a tip I learned from a training seminar I own through Brian Tracy. The first time someone learns to walk, they may hold onto their mom or dad or steady themselves with a firm object. When they let go, they may wobble on their right foot and immediately head for ground. After a small crying or laughing spell, the feedback says, “maybe I won’t do that again” or “maybe I need to keep both feet steady on the ground” and you’ll attempt it again and again until you conquer your fear of failure.

Other aspects that come into play include encouragement, support, and belief. The power of will and passion has an amazing impact on your ability to succeed. Look at the determination for instance of the Canadian metal band Anvil. 26 years after their initial success in the early 80’s they stuck out their dreams, recording albums on their own and touring wherever and whenever they could until they received a chance to film their own documentary. Over the past year- they’ve gained the chance to open stadiums with AC/DC, play all the biggest festivals around the world and achieve their biggest success to date- all because the power of belief and passion worked in their favor.

If you want something worthwhile, it will take time, effort and the energy to gather the right resources for ideal achievement. I didn’t become a good bowler on my own- I’ve had a team of great parents, great coaches, wonderful teammates and the support of my family along with the desire to practice continual learning at the sport. My friends may remember the times after school growing up when I would keep score for the other students in leagues- then spend 2 hours on my own bowling to work on my craft. In college I would take advantage of specials late at night to once again work on my game.

Have I failed at things? Most certainly. Jobs, relationships, methods of therapy that didn’t work with my children- the list could go on and on. I chose not to dwell on them. I learn from them. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I take the feedback in stride and work on better choices for my future.

Take a chance on something you’ve always wanted to do but have been afraid to do it. Write out what you want, the steps you may have to take to achieve it, the resources and skills you’ll need to gather, and then plunge forward one day at a time. You are going to make mistakes, you are going to correct the course of action and you’ll be even closer to that goal than you think. Good luck and keep me informed of your progress.


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