The Fear of Failure is a MythApr 28, 2020
Have you ever had someone ask you what you’ve failed at? It’s an odd question, I know, but have you ever thought about it? Have you ever sat and wrote down your failures? If you have, and you have a long list of them, I want to tell you, you’re wrong. You didn’t fail.
This morning I opened up my Facebook account like I normally do during breakfast time and scrolled upon a post from my colleague and friend, Scott Perry. He runs a coaching practice called, Creative On Purpose, and does these great talks while taking a walk in his local cemetery. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I’m a cemetery caretaker’s wife and this fact about Scott making a cemetery something normal for people just makes my heart overall happy. Scott’s post asked, “What would you still do, even if you knew it would fail?” and it triggered me to think. “What have I failed doing? Wow, Scott, thanks for the morning push!” As I thought about what I failed at in my life, what it would be that I would do over if I knew it would fail, I couldn’t think of anything. Of course, I’ve had situations where I made mistakes and everyone has pretty much failed a test in school or flopped a recipe, but for the life of me, I could think of something that had tragically failed.
You might be saying to yourself, “Genavieve, seriously? You had to fail at something. You’re in business and you have kids, you’re married, none of that stuff is easy! You’ve even traveled and been adventurous. How can you say, nothing has failed?!”
Believe me, this is what I was thinking. And you know what, almost instantly I realized my mindset on failure has been a myth. I actually don’t believe I have failed at anything. I believe I have grown and learned from each opportunity or circumstance. And if I haven’t yet, I am going to be given that opportunity or circumstance again so hopefully, my thick head will learn it the second, third, or twentieth time around! Do you get what I am saying? The mindset of fearing failure just isn’t REAL!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know some of you are going to send me comments that say, “but Genavieve, I most definitely have failed.” and you’ll share with me where YOU screwed up or made a mistake that made something fall completely apart or not go the way YOU had hoped. But the point here is this, my friend, YOU made a mistake. You didn’t fail, you were given the chance to learn. This realization this morning from Scott’s post is huge and I hope if you are ready to comment on this post you’ll re-read how he phrased the question.
“What would you still do, even if you knew IT would fail?” Not, YOU, not that you would fail! If IT failed…
Such a big difference in just a simple word.
I want you to really take this in because I know you. You'll read this post and you'll go back to second-guessing that idea of yours. You'll make excuses that there's too much going on with the kids or life in general.
You will never fail. Situations fail. Circumstances get out of control. Opportunities won’t always go as planned. That isn’t you. That is life. Life is about learning, growing, sharing, and giving it your all.
I wanted to share this little realization with you because lately, I’ve told myself that I’ve not succeeded at much that still matters today. I’ve allowed this dialogue of “you’re gonna fail at making something that matters” be a mantra that is holding me back. Scott’s simple question today proved me wrong, and I hope me sharing this will prove to you that you too don’t need to be afraid of failure. It’s a myth, a lie, a way of keeping you from seeing all you’ve learned along the way to make the decisions you’ll make for tomorrow.
What will you decide to do today knowing that YOU can’t fail? IT is waiting for you. IT matters enough for you to try.