Kick the Fear of Failure


“Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence only of trial and error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes.” – Buckminster Fuller

It’s one of those essays that when you read it you will never forget it. Perhaps it was right place and right time, but Terry Bragg’s 8 Steps for Overcoming Fear of Failure, was a transformative document for me. So much so, that I made a point of copy-and-pasting it to my hard drive. And I’ve never lost it. I need to read his advice every so often. The most important tidbit, that has become a maxim of mine, “Fail Faster.”

Here’s an outline of Terry’s fantastic points, in case you don’t have time to read the whole thing. Sometimes all you need are the guideposts.

8 Steps for Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Step 1: Take action. Bold decisive action.

Step 2: Persist.

Step 3: Don’t take failure personally.

Step 4: Do things differently.

Step 5: Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Step 6: Treat the experience as an opportunity.

Step 7: Look for possible opportunities.

Step 8: Fail forward fast.

“Most people self-limit themselves. Most people do not achieve a fraction of what they are capable of achieving because they are afraid to try-because they are afraid they will fail.” – Terry Bragg


John McElhenney

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