Fear, Failure, and Dreams – Day 39 of 365 Days to a Better You

Fear, Failure, Dreams Lived

The fear of failure is the shortest route to it.
~Ray Davis

Today is the last in this little mini-series about following your dreams. It’s a theme we will revisit before the year is over.

Ellen Johnson once wrote, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” Many people have been taught to avoid fear and failure. They’d feel embarrassed to try and fail. What would their family and friends think? This is an evil trap that keeps many people in the starting gate when it comes to their true dreams.

A few years ago I read an article about a study where they compared Japanese and American students’ approaches to learning. The writer pointed out that it is not uncommon to see a Japanese student fail numerous times on his or her way to learning something successfully. In Japan, there is no stigma to failing along the road to success. It is an expected and accepted part of the learning process.

In the United States, we attach a tremendous amount of stigma to failing. So much so that American students are generally not willing to go through the process of failing to learn. American students tend to focus their attention on subjects where they can be successful and shy away from subjects where failure might be involved.

So instead of going through the failure to learn the process we often hear our children say things like, “I hate math.” They don’t really mean that they hold a personal grudge against math. What they are saying is, “I would have to fail too many times to get math and I’m not willing to do it.”

I’m not here to say that one nation’s approach to learning is superior. However, this fear of failing extends beyond school and impacts our adult lives as well. Many people have big dreams or goals they would like to accomplish, but, again, they are still not willing feel the sting of failure to get there. Instead, they learn to play it safe just as their children do with the math.

That’s where my little aphorism at the top comes in. When fear failure so much that we are unwilling to try, unwilling to risk learning new things and failing a little; we cannot achieve our goals and dreams. Most this revolves around our stigma of fearing to fail.

Recondition yourself to overcome your fear of failure. In an outstanding article, Olimpio Zapanta offers five steps for overcoming the fear of failure.

  1. Divorce failure from your self-esteem.
  2. Failure is not all bad. It can be a great teacher.
  3. Failure and success are intimately linked – failure is often a prerequisite for success.
  4. Successful people fail constantly. That’s how they succeed.
  5. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect before you go for it.

With these five great steps and little determination, you don’t have to let the fear of failure sidetrack you from your destiny! Remember that “A Success” is what we call someone who had the courage to persist through fears and through the failures.

Just accept it. You’re going to have some fear when you step into new arenas. You’re going fail when you try new things. So what!

Joseph Campbell called out the irony of human striving when he said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

Refuse to allow your dreams to die on the sword of inaction.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Here are three fantastic quotes that remind you how important it is to try new things.

 

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Fail Early, Often, and Forward – Day 26 of 365 Days to a Better You

Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.

John C. Maxwell

Ask any successful person how they achieved so much success without failure and they’re likely to look at you like you have two heads. Failure is a vital part of success. In fact, most success is impossible without it.

This is where ordinary, mediocre thinkers get stuck. I know you’re not one of them.

They have been taught all their lives that failure is disaster and so they’ve learned to avoid failure at all costs. Now the math is simple. If most success is the result of failure and you’re afraid of failing, you’re leaving yourself out of the running for most success.

Extraordinary thinkers know that failure is part of the price. Does it mean they’re not worried about it? No. It means they’re willing to risk that discomfort for a bigger outcome.

The world and many of the people around you don’t help either. You’d think when someone puts a dent in the Universe, or even really goes for it, that the world would welcome them as conquering heroes. But, it doesn’t always go that way.

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina December 17, 1903: A group of people gathered to ridicule the Wright Brothers for trying to fly. When they pushed their plane out onto the field, people laughed. A few minutes later no one was laughing. A few years later those people were probably telling everyone how they were there when history was made.

Thomas Edison once replied to a reporter’s question about all his failed attempts with the light bulb with the following quote (later modified to 10,000).

“I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

What history will you make by risking setback? How many times must you fail to taste success on your big dream?

Albert Einstein said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition form mediocre minds.

Every time someone upsets the status quo with a game-changing idea, there is a long line of people ready to say, “That will never work.”

With all that naysaying going on, it’s easy to quit when you meet with early failure. Push through, my friend. Keep on playing to the empty seats. Keep on writing even if no one is reading. Keep on dreaming even when no one else cares.

You’re the one who will be sitting in that proverbial rocking chair one day wishing you had. Failure? Ha! Fail forward! Don’t let your dreams die on the sword of inaction. Take action and let chips fall where they may!

You ARE exceptional!

Ray

Ray Davis is founder of The Affirmation Spot, co-founder of 6 Sense Media, and author Anunnaki Awakening.