The F Word – Overcoming the fear of FAILURE

The “F Word”

The “F Word” I am referring to is not the expletive uttered under our breaths in heavy traffic but, rather, to another F-Bomb:


In our “success at all costs” culture, failure is a scary concept. Some act on this fear going to great lengths (lie, cheat, steal) to ensure their successes -or at least to create the illusion of success. Whole industries cater to our need to wear and drive things that signal prestige to others.

Yet, despite all our cleverness and efforts, we all occasionally fail. It just feels lousy: particularly when we sense the world is judging us or (even worse) we become self-condemning. The good news is that it is not our mistakes but how we process our failings that truly create the growth that leads eventually to successful outcomes.

“No wins” can be heartbreaking -particularly when your goal has been long-term and full of hard work. We must allow ourselves to feel what we feel. These emotions can actually guide us; propelling us to seek help and support to move forward and begin the process of overcoming and learning from our mistakes. The event of failure can be a time for tremendous growth. As we struggle to put back the pieces, we should consider studying our unsuccessful goal and ask:

  • Was my goal worth pursuing?

  • Did it lead to other possibilities?

  • Has it enhanced my perception?

  • What did I ultimately learn from my mistake?

We are meant to make mistakes, this is how we learn. There are plenty of opportunities for corrective action if you are willing to take the time to review these mistakes. This process only aids our knowledge-base in the long run.

Try not to play the comparison game with others: this is your eighty or so years on the planet: You are where you are supposed to be on your life’s timeline.

We are all 1. Wonderful 2. Capable 3. Flawed: Make all three awarenesses work for you. Consider finding your sense of self-worth in the “being”, not the “doing.” Work smart and continue to navigate your path while you love the experience along the way.