Stop Fearing Failure

5666327341_0397faaa3d_oSome of the greatest discoveries in modern history were made by the world’s biggest risk takers. Need proof? Just look at the airplane. Those Wright brothers were crazy. Anyone who would strap bird wings to a motorized bicycle sounds like a big-time risk taker to me.

Why did they do it?

Do you think they were afraid? Of course they were.

Was failure a possibility? You bet. In fact it wasn’t until the third try that they found success.

But imagine where we would be today if the Wright brothers had let the fear of failure stop them.

While you and I may not invent the next world-changing mode of transportation, the fear of failure is still something all of us have to overcome at one point or another in our lives. Some failure is OK though. After all, if we never fail, that also means we never take risks, and what can be accomplished without a little risk taking?

So if you start to feel the fear of failure holding you back just remember these three things.

1. No one will blame you if you try and fail. Everyone accepts, and expects, failure to happen sometimes. No one is going to hold it against you if you give it your best and it just doesn’t work out.

2. It is OK to ask for help. One way to alleviate the fear is to include others in on your goal or project. Everyone is braver in a group.

3. Nothing great was accomplished without risk of failure. What do cars, computers and CAT scans have in common? They all took risks and we are better off for all of them.

So don’t let fear stop you in your tracks.  Accept that failure may happen and that it is OK.  I think my favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt, says it best.

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”