Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Fail

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you’ll recall that a few days ago, I shared a brief video of Idris Elba sharing words of encouragement.

If you haven’t watched it, or would like to refresh your memory, feel free to watch it below.

Every week, I think about what I’m going to write. I had actually been going back and forth for a few days about it, but that video – its message – stuck with me.


Failure was the first thing Elba talked about. I’ve found that word to be polarizing throughout my life. I grew up fearing it, doing all I could to avoid it, running away from it as fast as I could. Our educational systems teach us that failure is a bad thing. I don’t remember anything positive about failure, growing up. I don’t remember my parents or my teachers ever telling me that failure was anything but the worst thing possible.

I would dread failing at anything because I was afraid of disappointing people; people I care about, in particular. And so, it was difficult for me to really see the benefits of failure, let alone its beauty.

One day, I hope I will be able to say, in full confidence, that I’m not afraid to fail.

But I’m not there yet.

And yet, what I can say that failure is something I have gradually learned to appreciate. Failure has a renewing power to it; it builds character. I remember going into college so sure I wanted to be a Certified Public Accountant. I had already studied the subject in high school for several years, and had completed internship after internship, building my resume; accounting this, accounting that.

Well, I went off to university, and started to go down that path.

In life, we have battles that we must fight, and lose. The reality was that this was something I would have to go through, and it was something that I had to fail at, in order for me to grow. And it scared me.

I remember feeling so defeated as I realized that something I had been so sure about just wasn’t for me. I had to fight that reality, and fight failure because I didn’t know any other way to go about it.

And yet, I knew that failing was what had to happen in order for me to get closer to realizing what career path I should take, and I knew that it wouldn’t be the last time I failed.

I think that the easiest path to getting what we want is realizing that failure is inevitable. In order to pursue the best that life has to offer, we must be willing to take chances, leaps of faith.

I remember being hesitant to start this blog for a long time because I was afraid to fail; I was afraid that nobody would read it, and that nobody would care what I had to say. So, it really took some time for me to embrace the possibility of failure to do this. I understood that in some respects, I would fail along the way, but I would rather fail working at something I love – writing – than be a punk and not try.

I decided not to let my fear of failure cripple my chances to succeed.

Are you afraid to fail?







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