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Failure. Fail.

During our recent Toastmasters meeting, I was given an impromptu question, "Describe one thing about yourself that you would like to change." Although I answered differently, one thing that has been on my mind recently is fear of failure. Due to fear of failure I have hesitated, second guessed, disbelieved, denied, and stopped myself from doing many things.

First of all, what is failure? Is expressing a sentiment only to have someone strike it down, a failure? Is buying an expensive pair of shoes only to discover that they are horrible, a failure? Is signaling to get into a lane just to have the adjacent car speed up, failure? Is throwing caution to the wind and taking a chance, only to have people tell you, "I told you so," failure? Is failure being last in your hiking group?

I recently completed an inspirational (IMHO) book, "Fear of Failure" by Ralph Read and in it, Read quotes Mary Pickford, "If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." In part, I believe this is failure. I also believe that complacency and the unwillingness to reach YOUR OWN potential because of fear of failure, is failure. Everything else, is just an unwanted outcome and a lesson.

Now if I could only remember this in the face of said unwanted outcome and lesson...

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