Fear Of Failure: Is It Stopping You From Achieving Your Goals?

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But What If I Fail? Great! Why You Should Aim To Fail

BY DR SARAH HUGHES

But what if I fail? Five little words that all too often stop us from going after what we want in life. But why are we so afraid to fail?

Failing to try is worse than failure itself

Failing to try is worse than failure itself

Like some many things, how afraid you are to fail depends on the meaning you attach to it. If you see failure as proof of just how incompetent and inadequate you are you’ll always live cautiously, too afraid of what it will mean to fail. But does failing make you a failure?

Everyone fails at some point, even the most successful people. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination”. The Beatles were rejected by Decca Recording Studios and told they had “no future in show business”. Albert Einstein was told by teachers that he “would never amount to much”. Imagine how different their lives would’ve been had they given up at the first hurdle.

Failing doesn’t make you a failure. It shows you had the strength and courage to take a risk and go after what you want. Not failing doesn’t make you better – it simply means you’ve lived cautiously and failed to try.

Whether it’s a career change or a promotion you want to go after, at some point along the way to meeting your goal you will fail. If you see your failures as proof of your incompetence, failure will always hold you back. But if you see your failures for what they really are – a demonstration of your courage to try and an opportunity to learn – failure will become one of your most valuable tools for success.

Don’t fear failure, embrace it. Live courageously. Be proud that you didn’t fail to try.

Dr. Sarah Hughes is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Think Clinical Psychologists. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults, and specialises in anxiety, depression, postnatal depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and challenging behaviour.