The Fear of Failing

Unknown-1Thomas Edison was afraid of the dark. He invented the lightbulb. He took fear and its simple and most basic principle and turned into one of the most important inventions of the last century. Walt Disney was afraid of mice. The thing that launched the Disney brand as we know it today and he was afraid of it. This kind of got me thinking, so I googled “fear of failure.” Almost every single google result was about overcoming that fear. There were sites with 13 step plans to overcome the fear of failing. There were thousands of quotes that all revolved around not being afraid to fail. There were statements saying that people use the fear of failure as an excuse to be average. I think this is all wrong. I’m petrified of failing. Everyday is a step toward not failing at what I’m doing. If I wasn’t afraid I would easily become complacent and lazy. I want to be afraid of failing. I want it to be my motivation every single day. I should be so afraid of failing that it drives me to succeeding. Michael Jordan had a quote that goes like this:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Arguably the greatest basketball player ever and he used failing as a learning tool. Even though he failed it was the constant fear of doing it again that led him to six championships in the 1990s.

Jimmy Lovine, the past President of Interscope Records and most recently brought on board at Apple. He had this to say about fear.

“Fear, fear’s a powerful thing. I mean it’s got a lot of firepower. If you can figure out a way to wrestle that fear to push you from behind rather than to stand in front of you, that’s very powerful.”

Fear, and fear of failure is the ultimate motivator.

Aaron Boma 2012 DTHS Graduate and ISU Senior