Fear of failure or failure to fear
Sometimes we don’t do things we’d love to do for fear of failure. The very thought of not succeeding or reaching a desired outcome cripples us and holds us back from doing things.
We teach our children to avoid failure too. We say to them “Don’t climb, you’ll fall.” “Don’t run, .” “Don’t touch it, bump into something you’ll hurt yourself.” It’s always one cautionary tale or another so we are raising a generation of people who will not even dare to dream, much less try. Please don’t misunderstand me as I’m not advocating we let our children run riot.
What we fail to understand (pardon the pun) is that failure sets us up nicely for success. Our ability and willingness to recognise failure for what it is sets us in good stead to apply ourselves to success.
It is instructive to realise that failure doesn’t make a person. We must learn to separate our person from the event that is failure. The fact that you failed at something doesn’t necessarily make you a failure and the sooner we come to terms with this, the sooner we’ll work towards accomplishing some of those erstwhile seemingly unachievable goals.
Things left undone for fear of failure are the stuff regrets are made of. There are so many things we will be unable to accomplish in our lifetime but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. We can dream big even if there’s no chance of it coming true, after all dreams are free!
Let’s turn failure around in our favour. Instead of fearing to fail, let’s fail to fear. Let’s look fear straight in the eye and defy it to stop us from attempting to do things we’ve always dreamed of doing. Sometimes the things that look insurmountable before we start pale into insignificance along the way.
It’s time to cut ourselves some slack. It’s time to permit ourselves to fail as long as we don’t let that become our last attempt at doing something. It’s time to assert our fundamental human right to fail. We need to give ourselves permission to make mistakes thereby learn more ways not to do something.
Think about where modern civilisation would be if people of old had given up or not tried at all for fear of failing. Had Thomas Edison not persisted 10,000 times we wouldn’t have had the light bulb today. If Colonel Sanders had given up, there would be no KFC chain. If Alexander Graham Bell had not steadfastly applied himself to his research, the telephone may not have been invented.
What have you been holding out on doing because you worry you won’t succeed? Whatever it is, start today. Start small but start anyway.
I take great courage from this scripture in Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”
I’ll leave you with a quote which succinctly captures all I’ve been trying to say in this post.
“The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed”. Lloyd Jones
Thanks for stopping by and tara for now.
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