How do we address our fear of failure? How did the others bounced back from their failures to achieve greater successes?  

The Big Fear of Failure       

To most people, failure is a word that strikes great fear in their hearts. They perceive the consequences of any failure to be negative and detrimental to their careers. Thus, they fear failure and chose to ''play safe'' in their work and so achieved mediocrity in their career. This deep seated fear of failure inhibits the growth of the managers and workers in organizations.  

Overcoming the Fear of Failure      

To overcome the fear of failure, these are what we could do:

1.         Embrace Failure

"Do what you fear, and fear disappears." – David J. Schwartz

To overcome our fears, we need to be courageous to go ahead, take calculated risks and simply fail. Only then we realize that our fears are largely unfounded and the consequences for failure are not as bad as we had imagined.  

2          See Failure Differently

''Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.'' – Dale Carnegie

To many people, failure is a very painful, frustrating and exhausting process. However, it is a necessary step because failure imparts important and useful lessons for our success.  We would have read from the media and autobiographies that successful people fail more times than the ordinary folks because they try harder and take more risks.  They also learn a lot from their own failures, improvise, persist and attain eventual successes.  

3.         See Failure as Temporary

''Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.''

– Marilyn vos Savant

When we fail, we have this tendency to see ourselves as failures in life and want to give up our dreams. We would find for ourselves great excuses to give up rather than find strong justifications to continue our pursuits.  Do not give up! See failure as a temporary setback, learn from the mistakes and move on.  

Learning from ''Bounced Back'' Heroes     

Michael Jordan is widely seen as one of the greatest basketball players  – most famous player acknowledged in the history of basket ball game-winning NBA Championship.

He is a positive, dedicated, extremely hardworking individual and is an inspiration to the millions of people around the world. He has also encountered many failures and learnt from his mistakes.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”   – Michael Jordan.

Whenever Michael Jordon encounters setbacks and failures, he used them as fuel to propel himself forward.    

In Conclusion  

On a parting note, I would like to share this quote by Winston Churchill: ''Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.''

Article by Ken Wong, 4G Leadership Coach with ProActive Training & Education. Ken is also the Author of his book “The Enlightened ProActive Manager: Getting the Best out of Yourself and Your Team”.

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