During a recent conversation with my eldest daughter, she conveyed that she had a fear of failure and generally avoided things that appeared to be too challenging for her to succeed at. Being objective, I can understand how anyone would make a point of sticking to their comfort zones and putting their efforts into ideas, jobs, categories, relationships etc. that are percieved to be less challenging. Failing at something can be damaging to your ego, but embracing failure as a vehicle for success is part of the “growth mindset”.

While there are benefits in playing it safe, the same can be said for failures as well. Failure teaches lessons that can only be learned and appreciated from exposing the fragile parts of ourselves and being willing to submit to a humbling experiences. Failure strenghtens our resolve, sharpens our will, and increases our hunger for success. Lessons learned through failure last longer and hurt more (than immediate success), but can pay huge dividends for those brave enough to master the art of failing.

My advise for my daughter, and for you, is to challenge yourself to find (at least) 3 things to fail at in 2020. A hobby you’ve always been interested in, a new relationship, a career change or even something as small as a new restaurant or dish. Fear of failure can paralyze a successful idea quicker than it can mature and blossom. We owe it to ourselves to embrace failure until it’s a familiar friend. Success happens when the fear of failure is replaced by the comfort of confidence.

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