What You Fear Most
Posted by Mike Foster Since the week around Halloween seems to be surrounded by the theme of fear, let's talk about it. What are you afraid of? What do you fear most? Chances are some of those things aren’t in a horror movie or are found in a haunted house. Some of those things are creeping around inside of you. One of the most common creepy crawly fears we have is the fear of failure. This is because failure is connected to the emotion of shame. Our parents told us we weren’t going to amount to anything. Our teacher slapped a big red F on our paper and told us we weren’t smart enough. We didn’t get the job we’ve always wanted and we were told we didn’t have a chance at a career in that arena. So we’ve taken the fact that we’ve failed and let it shame us into redefining ourselves. We are no longer a good child, aspiring student, hardworking individual, or who we want to be. We are a Failure. A capital “F” Failure.
However, failing doesn’t make us a Failure, it makes us human.
Thomas Edison, considered one of the greatest inventors in American history, is the definition of “failing doesn’t make you a Failure". After so many mistakes and flunked experiments, Edison finally created the lightbulb. When he was asked if he would give up he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Whether you’ve figured out 20 ways your marriage won’t work or 50 billion reasons why you shouldn’t be living life this way, failing isn’t something to be afraid of. Failure is a setback that is actually a setup for finding faith. Faith in yourself to try again. That second chances aren’t so scary when you are radically loved. That you can't do this alone and someone will pick you up if you fall.
If you have given yourself the capital “F” Failure title, erase it and replace it. There may be failures in your life but you are more than your mistakes. You’re right on the verge of discovering the light inside of you. You're forgiven and free. So shake off the shame and keep trying.
Mike Foster is the founder of People of the Second Chance and the author of Freeway: A Not So Perfect Guide To Freedom. He lives in San Diego with his family and fluffy dog.