Fear of Failure? That's Ok!

December 27, 2021

Failure. There is so much said about it.

“If you haven’t succeeded yet, you haven’t failed enough”

“There are no failures, only lessons” | “Don’t be afraid of failure” | “Everyone fails”

“Failure is inevitable” | “If you want to avoid all failures you might as well do nothing” |

“I haven’t failed, I just found a thousand ways that don’t work” …

We shouldn’t fear it. Agreed.

We shouldn’t be paralyzed by fear and we should all still be trying. Trying to learn. Trying to love. Trying to find answers. Trying to let go, to succeed, to prove…

But there is something that we rarely talk about when it comes to failure. Namely - failure will perhaps forever remain something that we all would continue to avoid. Despite the advice. Despite the evidence that’s indeed inevitable.

Our behavior is such not only because of social expectations or fear of being judged, laughed at and other unpleasant, potential consequences. No. Social pressures play a role but a relatively tiny one in the grand scheme of things (aka in the grand scheme of our emotions and psychology).

When we are actually afraid of failure and begin to refrain from speaking up, from attempting, from even being hopeful it’s because every failure leaves a mark not on our reputation, but on our hearts. Failures shape us because they are in fact linked to love.

Our ultimate fear is not about failing but about the potential that each failure carries to loose a piece from the love of someone we care about. We fear failures and want to avoid them because we fear having a broken heart. We cannot possibly encourage people to avoid having their hearts broken. It’s unreasonable to push them in that direction and to demand extraordinary bravery, stupidity, hope or resilience at all times.

When we are children we don’t have experience of what it means to have our hearts broken. We jump head first in most things fearing nothing but scratched keens. As adults, however, we accumulate a certain level of heartache and begin to understand that these events in our lives , called failures, cannot and should not be taken lightly. A broken heart is a viable result from a failure and a broken heart, unfortunately, doesn’t mend itself. Perceived or real, a failure can keep us feeling hurt for a very long time.  Is it then worth exposing ourselves to potential failures?

If your heart suffers because you fear some of your actions, decisions or words were a failure… I can’t say anything that will make it all better instantly but this:

You are not alone, I promise. Life is hard. You are doing your truly very best and none of us has all the answers. Live and yes, expose yourself to opportunities of failure because in that same place lies the opportunity of success, happiness, love and more. Nothing can protect you from life happening. What we can all do about it is be active agents in our respective journeys. Choose to be the lead character in your own move and decide the plot you want to be a part of.

Lots of love and respect

From the ILC Team

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