Skip links

Winning Attitude 19: Never fear failure

 Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try it at all? Or has a fear of failure meant that, subconsciously, you undermined your own efforts to avoid the possibility of a larger failure?

When I was young, failure was one of my biggest fears because I considered failure to be a fatal experience. The older I grew; I came to appreciate the fact that failure is part of life but it is what you do with those moments that makes the difference in your life. Some people see failure as an end in itself while others choose to see it as a learning experience.

The fear of failure is the greatest single obstacle to success in adult life. Note that it is not failure itself. Failure makes you stronger and more resilient and more determined. It is the fear of failure or the anticipation of failure that can paralyze your thoughts and your activities and hold you back from even trying to do the things that you need to do to be a big success. Overcoming fear of failure is crucial for success. For many highly successful men and women who have accomplished great things in life, failure was merely a stepping stone to achieving greatness.

We rarely think about failure as being a part of life and how many success stories have emerged from sheer failure. No one talks about how many times Abraham Lincoln failed at getting elected to office before he ended up becoming president (8); how Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard before becoming a sensation in the computer world, or how Michael Jordan failed to make his high school basketball team before becoming one of the greatest basketball players ever.

We often expect to succeed on our first attempt at a venture and if we don’t, we think we’ve failed. How realistic is that? Just because we failed a test, got passed over for a promotion, or didn’t get a ‘yes’ asking that cute girl/guy for their phone number, does it mean we will never succeed at it? Not at all! Yet fear of rejection, or perceived failure, stops many from trying again.

Rather than giving up when things don’t work out, take it as an opportunity to build perseverance and resolve. Believe that you’ve got what it takes to work through the obstacles and difficult times. Remind yourself how many failures became successful because they wouldn’t give up. 

When you act boldly, unseen forces will come to your aid. And every act of courage increases your courage and capacity for courage in the future. Whenever you take action in a forward direction with no guarantees of success, your fears diminish and your courage and self-confidence increase. You eventually reach the point where you are not afraid of anything.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.