I’m on my soap box this week because I have seen and heard a lot this past week about fear of failure and people not wanting to own their mistakes.

Let’s start with fear of failure first. John Maxwell taught me MANY years ago now to replace the word fail with learn. He believes there is no such thing as failure, and I have adopted that belief. “Failure” means that you actually got off the couch and did something. You actually tried something- you put effort and energy into something which in my book means you were living life.

If we don’t DO something we can keep ourselves from failing. Or can we? Isn’t doing nothing, when not done mindfully, also something that might be considered failure? All of the times you thought you were failing, what were the lessons? What did you learn?

I don’t know the details, but you probably learned what not to do, what doesn’t work, what level of effort you really need, what timing might be better, what might be better words to use, when your energy might be more supportive, what the person didn’t like, what your customers don’t want- all of these and so much more. Whatever you learned gives you clues to moving forward in the right direction. This should always be celebrated- just as you would want to celebrate any perceived success.

So let the action, preceded by the best plan you can think of at the time, be the win. Let that be your success. Because that is the only way to learn and grow in your life. And growing is life. When we stop growing not only do we harm our spirits, there is also research indicating we are hurting our brains and will eventually move into cognitive decline. Human beings thrive on challenge and learning.

Part two is about owning your mistakes- again, I believe mistakes are only stepping stones to learning which leads directly to growth! Having a life of no mistakes would mean stagnation. And that you are not a human being. We are programmed to be curious. If you are waiting to be perfect, you will wait a long, long time. The secret is- there is no such thing as perfect. Making mistakes is how we learn- make no mistake!

The wrap up is this- there is no shame in making mistakes. If you have trouble with this, you may want to work on it because chances are you are being very hard on yourself and it is a challenge to live your happiest life if this is your habit. Enlist a friend or a therapist to help you to break out of this trend toward pointing fingers at others because you feel it says something awful about you if you actually make a mistake. Remember that when you don’t own your mistakes not only do you short change your learning and growth, you are inevitably hurting someone (or someones) else. That is also a MISTAKE!!! For countless reasons!

Now I ask you- what is the most important thing you are taking from this blog post today? What would you like to work on? Who can help you? Where can you be kinder and more honest with yourself?


What amazing life of yours are you leaving on the shelf by playing small and shortchanging your learning, whether by viewing your actions and failures, period, or not taking action because of perceived failure?

Where is your life do you want to stop blaming others and start being honest with yourself?

How’s this for a lighthearted post?! These are some of the harder things, yet they can lead to such freedom and happiness. Do your personal work and the rewards will come!