Fear of Failure

Just as the tumultuous chaos of a thunderstorm brings a nurturing rain that allows life to flourish, so too in human affairs times of advancement are preceded by times of disorder.  Success comes to those who can weather the storm.

– I Ching, No. 3

When we view failure as deprecating events we feel unnecessary anxiety, tension, and pain.  Everybody will experience failure at some point in their lives, including the highly educated, wealthy, and greatest of the great.  A famous Buddhist saying states, “The arrow that hits the bull’s-eye is the result of hundred misses.”   We must see failure as a learning experience and an opportunity  for self-improvement.  Viewing failure in this light will help us relax and determine how we will enhance our performance.

Image source:  www.holykaw.alltop.com
Image source: http://www.holykaw.alltop.com

Affirmations for Reframing Failure

  • Failures are lessons from which I learn and forge ahead.
  • Success does not guarantee happiness; failure need not guarantee misery.
  • Performance is a dollar coaster.
  • Adversity leads to inner strength.  I am a better person because of it.”
  • Tomorrow’s another day.
  • I silence my need to control outcomes.
  • I act, I don’t react – I learn from failure.


Al Huang, C. & Lynch, J (1992).  Thinking Body Dancing Mind: Tao Sports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life. New York, NY: Bantam Books.


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