The Paralyzing Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is insidious. It paralyzes you into inaction—the worst action possible—perfectly designed to actually fail every time.

When you’re used to success, or live in a culture that demands it, the possibility of failure becomes the guiding principle. Which means that you never, ever, do any worth doing, since things worth doing are generally risky, unproven, and require a leap of faith.

For success (whatever that actually means, which is a whole other topic) to mean anything, failure must be built in as a possibility. To not risk is to already fail before you start. The fear of failure offers us the cloying scent of safety and stability, masking the stench of stagnation.

Seize the day, don’t seize up.


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