Let's Talk About Failure And How Mentoring Can Help

Failure and the fear of failure is something that we all have likely experienced at some time point in our life. For some, it is a daily occurrence and difficult to manage on your own. I want to spend a few moments to talk about fear and failure and how mentoring can help with managing these two challenges.

The first step in our journey today will be to look at “failure”. Failure is defined as the “lack of success.” That seems fairly simple. If you are not successful no matter the degree then that would be failure. We have experienced a “lack of success” whether it be personally and/or professionally. How you choose to deal with that “lack of success” is up to you. You can choose to allow it to take over your being and as a result you can and will become complacent. In the corporate setting you become that employee who becomes disengaged. You would rather wait to be told what to do as then you are not accountable for the outcome and the “lack of success” is not your issue. If the truth be known it is your issue and you have found a way to justify not addressing it or owning in order to feel good about the situation. But do you?

Also read: Mentoring and Finding Purpose

Fear by itself is a monster that we need to wrestle to the ground. Fear can create all kinds of turmoil for our inner being and how we interact with others. Fear touches on our mind, body, and spirit. Without these being solid we can and will experience fear. With fear comes the possibility of failure.

Is it really failure? I suppose you can say that it is but what if we were to look at it from a different angle. What if failure was seen as an opportunity for learning? If we make a mistake we must look at it from the point of 1) what went well, 2) what didn’t go well and 3) what will I do differently next time. Reflection is a powerful tool and can help us properly position situations as learning opportunities.

Fear and failure can be worked on through the mentoring process. It is a journey and not one that we can accomplish overnight. Sometimes it requires us addressing other opportunities such as self-esteem and self-confidence before we can go any further. All of these steps are part of the journey to addressing the opportunities presented by failure and fear.

I want to share with you an acronym that I read the other day. The word “fail” is “first attempt at learning”. Mentoring can help you with your journey to begin to manage your fear and your fear of failure. Embrace the power of “The Gift of Mentoring.”


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