Green stop sign with the words "DON'T GIVE UP" on itFailure can be a scary thing. Most of us sense it lurking at the edge of anything important we try to accomplish. It also has a particular sound to it, our own voices forming the words, “What if I can’t…” or “Who am I to…”

We try to shrug it off and move forward, but its weight sometimes slows our inertia until one day we aren’t moving forward any more. For some, they stop trying at all. Those people often awaken near the end of their lives to find themselves mired in mediocrity.

I don’t want that. I’d rather go down trying than give up. But as a recovering perfectionist, the fear of failure still taunts me. And sometimes I respond by avoiding actions that will carry me toward my life’s intent. I will surf the internet instead of writing. I will clean a closet versus creating. My mind will justify both avoidance techniques, especially since I read a lot of improvement articles on the internet, but I’m still wasting valuable time.

Maybe we should shed our adult brains and look to the young. If you’ve ever watch a toddler learn to walk, you know the tike fails a lot. Step, fall, step, fall… until one day: step, step, step. (Ever notice that “fail” and “fall” sound similar?) I’ve watched the learning-to-walk process a few times and have many friends who’ve witnessed it too. In all my conversations around it, I’ve never heard of any kid who quit.

Why does failure have such stigma? Too many in society view it as a dirty world. But there is one segment of society who doesn’t: the successful. What some call failure, the successful call experience. Which viewpoint do you want?

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