Fear is a far bigger danger to us than what we are afraid of. Fear can stop us trying. Fear can stop us experiencing. Fear can stop us living.
Everyone is frightened of failure. But the amount we fear it can be paralysing. We can continually worry what people think about us, worry about our abilities, believe we will disappoint people and they will lose interest in us. We self-sabotage by telling ourselves and others in advance that there is no chance of succeeding and often put off our preparation so that we do not perform to the best of our abilities.
This fear is a waste of time. Because however much we fear it, it will not stop us failing. Absolutely no-one gets through life without having failed, without having made a red-face mastake at some point.
But failure is simply the necessary polar opposite to success. What sets people apart is the way they deal with both the prospect and the reality of failure. As Denzel Washington said in his famous speech to the University of Pennsylvania, “To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. If you don’t fail, you are not even trying”.
We can look at all the famous people who have failed along the way. Difficult to believe now that Katy Perry only sold 200 copies of her first album and was dropped by three record companies in a row. Strange that Stephanie Meyer had the Twilight series rejected 14 times prior to publication. Or that Harry Potter was rejected by 12. Incredible to think that Sir James Dyson persevered through 5,126 failed prototypes before making the one that became the best-selling bagless vacuum in the US and one of the biggest world wide. It is extraordinary to think that Steven Spielberg was rejected (twice) by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Inexplicable that Liv Ullmann was rejected by Norway’s state theatre because she “had no talent”. Or that Steve Jobs was once removed from the company he created. Look at any successful person and you will find the failures they have overcome along the way.Read more