Should we fight the fear of failure head on? There’s a better way.

Twist the fear of failure into a pretzel of caring

The fear of failure can knot us into stagnation.
Twist the fear of failure into a pretzel of caring
sprinkled with our own flavorful uniqueness.

Let’s take a look at John’s fear of failure.

“I joined Toastmasters because it’s a great place to learn public speaking.” That’s what John told me when I met him. This was his third Toastmaster’s meeting. I should have been more curious because he was about to truly amaze me.

I responded, “My boss was nice. He gave me the choice of joining Toastmasters, join Toastmasters or get laid off.”

John laughed.

The president of the club started the meeting and we took out seats.

The president introduced the first speaker. He walked to the front of the classroom and gave an interesting speech about learning how to scuba dive. He even brought all of his scuba gear in. He entertained us with amazing pictures of fish and coral as he explained what all the gear was and how he learned to use it.

The second speaker engaged us with great tips on how to save money for retirement.

Both speakers were very entertaining.

Then came the portion of the meeting that I will never, ever forget – impromptu speaking. That’s when the audience get’s asked an impromptu question. Then they have to walk to the front of the room and answer the question in two to three minutes.

Today’s question was, “If snow had a flavor, what flavor would it be?”

We had answers like snow reminds me of my childhood. It tastes like good memories, strawberries, and even planter’s punch.

John walked slowly up to the front of the room. We laughed when he told us to not eat the snow because it was yellow. But, he didn’t stop there. And, we didn’t stop laughing.

Fast forward many months and after John had delivered seven great speeches.

We wondered why John had joined Toastmasters. What we didn’t know was that John was terrified of public speaking – enough so that he had blacked out when he gave the answer about what snow tasted like. John didn’t even remember his answer. A pity, because he won for best answer.

As John put it. “When I tried to fight my fears head on, I couldn’t get out of my seat. So, I had a choice. I could sit in my seat and be terrified, I could have just sat in my seat and never discover my sense of humor. Instead, I looked away from my fears and to how much I cared. Then, with time and the help of my friends in Toastmasters, I overcame my fears.”

John amazed me. And, he taught me a great lesson about not letting my fear stop me. He taught me that the reason that I fear is because I care about it. He taught me that when we conquer our fears, we will always have a great message that will help to inspire others.

What’s even better is that all of us have unique stories of overcoming our fears because of our unique skills and experiences.

Thank you John.

The fear of failure can knot us into stagnation.
Twist the fear of failure into a pretzel of caring
sprinkled with our own flavorful uniqueness.

“Together, we are stronger.”

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