I heard the title of this post on a podcast the other day. It was so profound. Before I give up the source of the quote, hear me out. The quote in full reads: “Failure casts a long shadow, but the minute you begin to fear that failure you’re done.”
We are trained to fear failure from an early age. Failures are foolish. Failures are different. Failures don’t get it. Failures don’t fit in. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Fitting in? If you really consider your fear of failing I’m willing to bet that it is not a fear of failure at all. It’s a fear of failing to fit in.
A Hall of Fame baseball player will fail at batting seventy percent of the time. Advertising fails at converting prospects into customers ninety-six percent of the time if not more. We tend to magnify our own failures more so than others do. And that magnification is what makes us freeze up and do nothing.
A bit of honesty from me: I still have a bit of the fear too. But I’m working on it. My challenge to you is the same one that I am involved in. Question your fears. What is your fear? Failing at what? What are the consequences of that failure? Instead of saying “failure is not an option” start saying “fear of failure is not an option”. Take that first step. They say (I love quotes from they, their credibility is impeccable) the first step is the hardest.
As for the source of the quote: my favorite comedian Jay Mohr; taken from his podcast Mohr Stories. Comedians are a different breed. I’m guessing they know a thing or two about the fear of failure. After all, they walk the last ten feet. That ten feet from backstage to the microphone and then bear their souls for the audience every night. What if they get heckled? What if they are not funny? They still walk the last ten feet and make it happen.
What are you afraid of? Failure? Or Failure to fit in?