What Is Failure, Anyway?

failureWhat Is Failure, Anyway?

I have to admit, I’m a little stymied by “fear of failure.” I myself have always been so driven by desire that I just don’t have the time or space to focus on anything else like the worst-case scenario.

So I asked my Facebook friends, “What exactly does failure mean, anyway?” The responses were so wise–check them out:

  • To learn something the hard and unforgettable way.
  • It is only a perception, a thought. Not a reality.
  • Hum, I am not familiar with this word “failure”; I shall ponder.
  • I tell my students “Wrong is wrong, it’s not BAD, it’s wrong. Failure is SEARCHING, and it’s no sin, it’s not by intent. Failure is breakdown of communication, lack of information, missing tools. No more, no less. The sin comes in when you internalize it as a personal lack and stop learning and analyzing it.”
  • Failures are the steps we take on the way to Success. Without them there is no success 🙂 (RS Mallory)

Fear of failure came up at my recent Do-Over! mini-retreat for women. One attendee, particularly stricken by all the possible pitfalls of a reinvention, shared that she had written an email to an old colleague with whom she wanted to make contact about a possible next career. But she was too afraid to send the email. She didn’t want to get rejected. “Hit Send!” became the rallying cry for us that afternoon, and Mary (not her real name) told me first thing Monday morning that she had indeed found the courage to “Hit Send!”

I love this photo I found. What it says to me is that we silence ourselves when we let failure become our focus.

PS–I’m planning one last mini-retreat (May 15) before the fall. It’s such an incredibly beautiful spring out in Wimberley, I couldn’t resist. Click here for more info.

photo by meddygarnet

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