Fearing Failure

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“If you have no tolerance for failure, you will not create anything new.”
~ Brené Brown

Fail. Failing. Failure.

Words many, if not all, of us fear or have feared at some point in our lives. As humans the fear of failing is one of the greatest we face. I once believed if I failed then I was a failure. I allowed it to define me. To take me down. How did I overcome this catastrophic fear in my life? By failing.

There are different ways to fail. There is the failed business venture, a failed relationship, an idea or dream that didn’t quite work out. There are varying levels of failing. Some are mere mistakes. Some can take us down for a time. But failure can only take us out if we let it. How we choose to approach the situation will make or break us.

We’ve all heard the cliché, “Failing does not make one a failure.”
The question is, do you believe it?

Personal Experience

A while back I was terminated from a position for the first (and actually only) time in my life. At first, I felt humiliated. I felt like a failure. I felt like a loser.  I sat alone in my living room processing all that had transpired. I learned years ago that feelings are very real. However, some feelings are based in lies while others are based in truthI asked myself two key questions:

  • “What is the truth in what you are feeling?”
  • “What are the lies in what you are feeling?”
A Change of Perspective

The answers to those questions changed me. Because of my willingness to be honest with myself I saw what happened as an opportunity. While I had no idea what my “next” would be I now had all options open to me. I gave myself time to process how I arrived in my situation. I accepted the role I had played. I forgave myself and those who had wronged me. I used the situation as an opportunity to learn and to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually.

Today I say with full honesty that I am better for it.

Maybe the “new” that needs to be created in your life will come through failing. Maybe your “next” will be found through something painful and difficult to go through. Don’t fear failing. Expect it.

Success happens when we are brave enough to take the risk to fail.

Keeping it real,


About Author

A lifetime Clark County, Washington native, Cheryl has dedicated her life to empowering others. Whether spending her days (and sometimes nights) with youth looking for direction in their lives, opening her home as a place of refuge when they needed somewhere to live, or going to the homeless camps throughout Portland, Oregon to provide supplies and unconditional love and acceptance, Cheryl’s life purpose is to serve others. She is a firm believer in the power of vulnerability and authenticity to provide healing and purpose. Cheryl holds a BS in Human Development and is certified in the Genesis Recovery Program. She held a key role in developing the LifeChange for Women and Their Children program at Union Gospel Mission in Portland, Oregon where she served as the Lead Case Manager for five years. Cheryl lives with her husband Mark in the Cascade foothills in Southwest Washington. She currently serves as the Executive Director for Camp Hope of SW Washington, a camp focused on equipping youth for the unique challenges of the current generation.

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