Fear of Failure

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Have you been to a job interview recently? Have you sat across a table from your prospective employers to face the barrage of questions which seek to determine your suitability for that particular job? Usually you get asked to demonstrate times in your career when you can show that you demonstrated the attributes for the role in question. You relate your successes, explaining how you achieved those wondrous things that your previous employer was so enamoured with.

But how many would-be employers ask you about your failures? How many ask you what you managed to salvage from the wreckage? How many seek to see the building blocks that made you successful in the areas the work demands? How many seek to know what you have learned?

Successful entrepreneurs are not people who have never failed, but rather people who have learnt from their failures and most importantly are prepared to give it a go.

Ken Robinson, the education guru, once told the story of a little girl in a drawing lesson (TED talks) . Normally this little girl was very quiet and somewhat withdrawn but in this lesson she was really going at the drawing she was making. So the teacher asked, “What are you drawing?” and the little girl responded, “a picture of God.” “But noone knows what God looks like?” answered the teacher. And the little girl replied, “They will in a minute.” Mr Robinson’s point was that children will give it a go even when they don’t know how to proceed. They are not afraid of failure.

So often we do not take the chances in life because the result is unknown, or we are unsure if what we will create will be a success. And so we stifle our creative spirit because we are afraid to risk, we become risk-averse. Hence we settle for what is, not because it is wonderful but because we are afraid to pursue what is better, in case we don’t make it. In case we flunk. But isn’t life to embraced, to be challenged.

Christian commentator Tony Campolo, once surmised that risks need to be taken, reporting comments from a group of senior citizens who stated that the consequences of our failures are never as bad as we imagine. I contend that if we do not risk then we destroy ourselves, simmering away in our cauldron of mediocrity.

So the next time you wonder why you are sat in a life of boredom, or tedium then ask yourself are you risking anything to change it? Extend the hand to a stranger or an enemy, go for that job, take yourself out of the house, join that club, become a DJ at the local radio. Whatever it is, don’t fear the consequences. Weigh it up and make that jump. You might find your life takes off and you’re capable of more than you ever imagined.

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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