Is the fear of failure killing your creativity and hindering your success?

philmckinney | July 7, 2014

Article

Fear that your idea sucks

If you look at any of your favorite creative projects, you will see a polished gem staring you in the face.  And this is where most people stop.  The final product is so amazing that it intimidates them.  Fear and doubt paralyze their minds, their thoughts become jumbled.  And they forget the most important factor in any creative endeavor—failure.

Failure is the driving force behind creativity.  That gem you’re amazed by?  It was once stuck within a rock waiting to be weathered by the waves of failure.  Yes, failure is what propels us to greatness.  Why? Because failure is a learning process.  Humans are imperfect beings.  No project or endeavor will be perfect at first.  Most people miss this truth.  They can’t connect the idea that failure is what they need in order to progress.  So they throw down the project at failure number one and declare the end result impossible to achieve.

The world seems to be under the delusion that instant gratification is possible in all endeavors.  This mindset is mistaken and couldn’t be further from the truth.  Artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt spent years honing their skills.  The works that you see in museums took years of training and dedication to produce.  And many, many failed drawings before them.  If they had stopped at that first butchered drawing, they would never be known today.

Boundless examples exist in our society to drive this point home.  Look at any successful business and you will see a pruned machine.  A machine that’s been through failure after failure and is better for it.  Methods and profits were only optimized after knowledge and information gained from failures.

The most important fact and the one that most people miss is this: fear of failure is fear of success.  You have to fail forward in order to reach your goals in life.  So why not just start the failures and begin the learning process?

Still stuck, then think about working with an innovation coach to help you get over the fear and achieve the success you deserve.


Book on innovation and creativity by Phil McKinney

To take your ideas and transform them into cutting-edge innovations, read Phil’s book,Beyond The Obvious, on his rule-breaking approach to innovation. To stay up-to-date on the latest ideas and approaches to innovation, subscribe to the blog and receive the latest posts and podcasts without needing to check back.

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