“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up.” (Thomas A. Edison)
From our childhood, success is usually rewarded and failure is punished, so some of us develop an exaggerated fear of failure. Such individuals are likely to avoid competitive situations, situations in which they are likely to be compared to others. A strong fear of failure makes us avoid risks. At times, it makes us take excessive risks to have an alibi for failure.
Although some fear of failure is useful in mobilizing us for a task, excessive fear of failure prevents us from acting at our best. The fear of failure mind-set often say to themselves: “It’s never work”; “We don’t have the time”; “It’s not in the budget”; “The Boss will never go for it”; “We’re always done it this way”; “That sounds stupid”; “Let’s see what the committee thinks”; “It’s not our style”; “I’ve seen that before somewhere”; “The last person who suggested that doesn’t work here anymore”; etc. These killer-thought-phrases destroys ideas before they have the chance to prove themselves. Fear of failure avoid risks and thus expelled many new unproven ideas. What a lost!
The acceptance of failure as necessary part of life is the best way to get rid of this block. No child would learn to work if it was excessively afraid of falling. Failure is a necessary as success in learning new skills. Failure simply means that we have to try harder, or that we have to take a new approach. It does not mean we are no good but that we have found new ways not to fail again. “I have not failed,” said Thomas A. Edison, “I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” This way failure can be a tremendous source of information and a powerful spur to growth and improvement. Do not fear. If you fail, try again!
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)
1. Lifelong Creativity: An Unending Quest by Pradip N. Khandwalla (Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, 2004).
2. Breakthrough Thinking: Using Creativity to Solve Problems by Nick Souter (ILEX, 2007)