Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diagnosis: Atychiphobia

Growing up, the rule at the dinner table was you had to try everything. Don't even try to get out of it. My brother tried it once, by covering his mashed potatoes in pepper, creating this mushy gray mess. Our evening entertainment that night was watching the tears roll down his face with each agonizing bite.

We can have the same reaction in life to trying new things. Let's face it, we don't like to fail. Think back to a sports coach, or maybe even a boss that said, "There is no room for failure." This may be true if you are trying to pick between the red wire and the blue wire, when defusing a bomb. Outside of that, fear of failure kills innovation.

We can get stuck in what has worked, our past successes, and hold on mercilessly until extinction. Ultimately, people stop trying new things, because "failure is not an option", or they hide their mistakes, hoping no one ever finds it. Think of all the lost potential, as we create a culture of mediocrity.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -Robert F. Kennedy

Like crabs in a pot, there will always be those that tell you "you can't." If you listen to them long enough, it will become true.

Why is it that the fear of failure is greater than the hope for success?

5 comments:

Mom said...

Being required to try things at the dinner table taught you to try great things in your later life:)

Daniel said...

Trying new things in an unfamiliar environment takes most of us outside our comfort zones. Profuse sweating, and yes fainting spells, have been known to occur. As for the dinner table, slipping things to the dogs worked well most of the time for me, unless they decided to spit it out onto the floor in front of everyone. Bad Fido!

jake (to the) holla said...

why did sushi have to be one of those new things I just "had" to try......

dad said...

Just think how uncultured you would be if I had not encouraged you to eat brains & eggs.

dp said...

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