Now, why talk about failure? Because failure is a funny thing—it can motivate us to do better or discourage us all together. But we should think big. Failing at a step isn’t failing to get to the destination. Learn to take your blows with grace. Don’t let them define you. Remain focused and make sure you believe you can do it.
~ Anastasia Koutalianos
Failure… what exactly is it? Why are we afraid of it? Why do we allow our experiences with it to define who we are as individuals? When I think about fear, failure comes up as being one of the top three*, which are: the fear of failure, the fear of rejection and the fear of public speaking. The funny thing is both the fear of rejection and public speaking relate back to the fear of failure. You can only be rejected if you failed to be accepted. And the only way a public speech would be as bad as we fear it to be is if we get up there and make a total fool of ourselves therefore being… a failure.
1. Lack of success.
2. An unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing.
failing – fault – fiasco – breakdown – bankruptcy
But why is failure considered negative? Why is it considered the opposite of success? Is it not the means by which we grow, and achieve/find success? Without failure we cannot understand accomplishment. Failure is probably the greatest building block to success, it paves the road. We can say with each failure, “now I know what not to do”. Perhaps failure isn’t the problem at all but rather our perception of it, and the fear that perception seems to instill.
Oddly enough most successful people embrace failure. They view it as the important learning tool that it is. Interestingly, if you go to BrainyQuote.com and do a search on failure quotes you will find that most of the quotes are actually very positive. (I know you are thinking to yourself “really positive quotes about failure?”) But this makes me wonder why we fear failure so much. Why is it that our minds seem to play out the worst case scenario and then use it as an excuse not to try? Is that not the worst case scenario? The lack of trying; now therein lies the greatest failure of them all.
*This list bears no statistical significance but rather is referring to the three big life fears that immediately pop into my head (that is as long as we are excluding spiders).