I’m not a great writer of motivational speeches…But I am very keen on learning from other people. So this post is a collection of things I’ve found helpful when thinking about how to overcome the fear of failure.
1. “She/he who never made a mistake, never made anything.”
Someone once said this to me a long time ago. It must be derived from Einstein’s quote “A person who never made a mistake, never made anything new.”
I think this quote takes the fear out of making a mistake, because it makes mistakes just part of the process. It’s encouraging that if you want to make or do anything then mistakes are inevitable.
2. “Try in an intelligent way, but try.” Professor Carlo Rovelli
I heard this on Desert Island Discs, a BBC radio program, and it really struck me. Trying is so important, but it doesn’t have to be random, trying everything and anything. Planning and thinking carefully is a part of trying (and will probably contribute to success!)
3. “Fall down 7 times, get up 8.” Japanese Proverb
There are plenty of times where I have fallen down just the once and not stood up again! But the encouragement of this saying is to keep going until you have success.
4. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison
Love this! Such a positive approach!
5. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
I like this very famous, solid, good-sense quote. Whether you have success or failure, life carries on – so keep going!
6. “Your attempt may fail, but don’t fail to make an attempt.”
The idea that you can be open to failing and try anyway is not often my first thought, but this is a good reminder.
7. “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela
This applies to something so much bigger than the fear of making mistakes. But if you practice in the small things in life then hopefully it becomes a habit that can see you through the difficult, life changing things.
8. “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” Thomas J. Watson
I was surprised when I first read the ending of this quote. I would probably have ended it with “…work harder and study more.” Then you are more likely not to make mistakes. But the idea behind the quote is that making mistakes is part of working harder. Interesting…!
9. “You grow up by making mistakes. I’ve made a ton of them, but as long as I keep on failing better, I don’t mind.” Joely Richardson
The phrase ‘failing better’ is my favorite part of this quote. Perhaps sometimes success is just learning how to fail better!
10. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky
If you don’t try, you definitely know you won’t be successful. If you do try, then who knows…?!