Failures are just steppingstones
"There is no failure. Only feedback.” –Robert Allen
We give too much importance to failure, don't we? We overemphasize it,
seeing failure as the final result — as an undesired outcome of something we fought hard for. We miss the point, though, that failure is just part of a larger process — the process of learning and growing.
2. We can never be a failure
"Failure is an event, never a person." – William D. Brown
3. Failing is part and parcel of innovation
"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." –Thomas Edison
4. Failing is usually not as bad as we picture it
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes" —Oscar Wilde
OK, failure may not be so bad after all, but would I be going too far in saying that you can actually enjoy a lost game?!
Seriously, there were times when I was so afraid to lose that when I lost — as expected — I felt immense relief. My biggest threat had been left behind as there was nothing to fear anymore: my mind was clear again. Failing can definitely set you free.
Have you failed before? Was it as terrible as you had anticipated? Well, here you are reading this article, so it seems you survived all right. Truth is, failure is almost never as bad as we imagine. Fear of failure is usually much worse than failure itself.
5. Everybody is afraid — everybody! Even Kramnik and Anand:)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."–Ambrose Redmoon
Let me tell you a secret: the next guy is as scared as you are. We're all afraid of failing. Yes, that includes even the most prolific geniuses you can think of — In fact, they seem to be the ones who agonize more about failing.
There's nothing wrong about it. Your fear is perfectly normal: if what you're doing is at least minimally worth it, fear of failure will always be part of the process. It will never go away completely.
Achievers succeed not because they're not afraid, but because they overcome fear. Every day. Over and over again.
I first compiled the ideas in this article for my own reference. Although most of them may not be new, this is the kind of stuff I keep forgetting at the times I need them the most — and that's why I decided to share them here. I hope you find them useful.