Updated: Mar 9, 2019
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." -Henry Ford
Atychiphobia (scientific name for fear of failure) has been ingrained inside of us. In school if we're just shy of the 90's, we're told we are wasting our lives and to pick up the slack. If you don't attain the almighty A or aren't somewhere in the ballpark, people view you as a failure. In the business world, failure is a scary thing, especially if failure has occurred more than once. Because of this fear, we shy away from new opportunities. When you fear failure too much, you're going to focus most of your efforts on staying away from anything that could potentially end in a face-plant.
Many people correlate failure with incompetence. If they fail, that means they weren't good enough, or smart enough, or skilled enough to succeed. No one wants to be viewed as someone who couldn't reach a long sought after goal, so people don't try and they don't take any risks. But, the biggest risk is not taking any risk. Failure is part of being human. The only strategy that is absolutely going to fail, is not taking any risks.
Henry Ford went bankrupt twice before he even made a investable car. By that time people, including his family and friends, had lost faith in him. But, he continued to charge ahead, he analyzed his mistakes, learned from his failures, and began again. He continued to take risks and eventually succeeded. He attributes his success to lacking atychiphobia.
There are really two kinds of failures. The first comes from never trying, never taking any risks. You'll never learn anything and your timidity will cause you to look back on your life with regret. The second kind of failure comes from taking risks and being bold. Failure in this mindset makes you stronger and gives you clarity on how things should be done. Any blow absorbed by your reputation is outweighed by the lessons you learn.
A champion is not defined by their wins, but by how they recover when they fall.
Take risks. Be bold. Fail often.