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The Fear of Failure


When I was a little girl, I went for a walk to the neighborhood playground with my babysitter. I happily frolicked from one piece of equipment to the next with delight. When the declaration was made that we needed to leave, I pulled the classic kid move and begged for just a few more minutes. Reluctantly, I was granted a bit more playtime. Over and over, I practiced balancing on the beam that was perched just a few inches from the ground. With delicate movements, I went back and forth while my attentive sitter spotted my tiny body. And in an instant, I fell to the ground hitting my head on the metal beam.

I reflected on this memory when I was at my kids’ school recess recently playing on a similar balance beam. How strange, the insignificant life moments that end up having a rather significant impact on us. As it turns out, much of my life was impacted by this one minor failure. Subconsciously, I decided there and then that I wasn’t going to make any choices where I could mess up or get hurt or look silly. Instead, I’d play it safe.

Until now.

In retrospect, I can clearly see that this fall was not a big deal at all. That’s life. Sometimes you fall, sometimes you get hurt. What I should’ve done was stand up, get a Band-Aid, and try again. It’s only failure if you don’t learn from your mistakes. It’s taken me a long time, but I’m finally learning this lesson. So, moving forward…

I will not fear rejection or failure or judgment.

I will keep picking myself back up and trying again.

I’ll practice until I can master my craft. And then, I’ll practice some more.

I’ll love the pursuit and not just focus on the end result.

I won’t blame my spotter for failing to catch me. I’ll accept responsibility for my actions and make the proper corrections.

“Don’t let the fear of what could happen, make nothing happen.” – Unknown

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