Why is the concept of failure so scary? It’s like the monster under the bed that we all know probably can’t harm us. Yet the possibility that maybe, just maybe it could, and we would be exposed, humiliated and defeated (gasp) in public. After the initial dreaming stage, we often over calculate for the possibility of an adverse outcome, giving it more power. Why is it so much easier to prioritize and focus on what could go wrong?
Perhaps we’ve thought about starting a business, submitting a profile on a dating app, or even a career change. We know that these things could be great for us, offer a desirable reward, and move us closer to our goal and life vision. Change is rarely comfortable or convenient; if it were, we would have already arrived soundly at our intention. When we set an objective and feel that feeling of discomfort, we can rest assured that we are in good company and on our way to a growth adventure.
Failure’s Humble Offerings
What could go wrong? Realistically failure does have consequences, but they never seem to be nearly as bad as our imaginations paint them to be. We, humans, are incredibly resilient creatures; we have documented, seen, and heard of countless others that have succeeded after the rejection letter, bankruptcy, dismissal, and have had setbacks of all kinds. Failure is a very real possibility, but it often brings with it unique and unexpected gifts. Perhaps a person realizes that they may need to take an additional class in some area where they weren’t as strong as they needed to be. This class will likely offer new relationships, connections, and possible opportunities in addition to the original intent, that one may have come to learn in the first place. That’s a gift! Not the one that we may have wanted, but a gift nevertheless, and one that can offer positive and compounding effects. Like the insulated socks or set of jumper cables, we wouldn’t have put these gift items on our wish list; but we might be so glad to have received them.
When things work out just as we planned, this is a cause to celebrate. We got just what we were hoping for, yay! Winning feels good, and our successes often build upon themselves. The Successes and the failures that each day, lesson, experience, and season offer us are the gifts that help us develop and to grow. Setting our focus on the gifts these lessons offer can help free us of the fear of failure.