Thought for the Week

10 Jan

This was the weekly reflection that I emailed out this morning. Leave me a comment if you would like to sign up to receive it weekly. It was based around some pondering I was doing during the last week.


I once lead a group work session with some teenagers around the theme of fear. I asked the group to come up with 3 things that they were scared of. I wasn’t expecting the response that I got however.

You might expect a number of arachnophobics or claustrophobics or even my favourite phobia hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (the fear of long words). What came out as number 1 was however the fear of failure.

Now an interesting reflecting would be according to what criteria or what people they would judge their success or failings upon. For many I would guess they would point to parental expectations of academic success, others the self imposed need to be seen as successful because of the nature of award driven nature of our society. It should be said that it wasn’t just the teenagers who came out with this fear or failure it was also the adult leaders myself included.

The problem with the fear of failure is that it can cause a sense of paralyses. Fear of failure means that we take the safe route, the easy option, the non-risk and quite often the thing which will keep up the status-quo and not upset the apple cart.

The people who inspire me are those people who have taken risks. Real creativity and new ideas it appears to me comes from that willingness to try, fail, learn and to get up and go again.

In this new year we have the option to ‘keep on keeping on’ or we can take that risky option and go for the new thing! Or perhaps the risky option would be to keep on and not giving up! What would this mean for you in 2011?

“Success builds character, failure reveals it” Dave Checkett


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