Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A book Review: Fear of Failure


I saw the book The Fear of Failure by Wilda Hale and I knew I had to read it.  It should come as no surprise to anyone that has been reading my posts....I've talked a lot about failure recently!  To read this book, was a no brainer decision!

Anytime you are reading a self help book, you can't help but hope that it will solve all the problems in your life and the world.  I was no different as I picked up this book.  I would love to overcome my fear of failure.  I would be tickled to live a full life that does not include holding back out of fear.  This book was not the perfect solution but it really goes into why we fear and what that fear does to us.   As I read I could see myself and I could see why I  am afraid of failure.  I could see how I'm afraid to reach for things because of failure. The book emphasizes the fact that failure is something EVERYONE deals with.  It gave examples of various failures, sometimes multiple times of  people that are hugely successful.   The book reminds us that what we sometimes only see the success and not the years of failure that proceeded the success.  The difference between a successful person is that they are not afraid to fail.  They accept the failures and the rejections as part of the process and keep going.  We see the success and think that it is all success, so we beat ourselves up over our failures. The ultimate example of a successful person was shown in an iceberg picture.  You see the iceberg above the water and that symbolizes success.  What we don't see is the huge mass of iceberg UNDER the water and out of sight.   The out of sight part of the iceberg is the failures that it took to achieve the success.    The person that is afraid of failure will either never try because they don't want to fail, or they will try once fail and give up.   

Feeling like a failure has such long arms as it wraps around us.   The author sited a study/experiment that was completed.  In this experiment they gave a group of people the same size slice of pizza..just one slice to eat.   The group was split into two groups.  Those that thought the slice of pizza was huge and those that thought the slice of pizza was small.  After the participants ate their one slice of pizza they were given access to cookies.  They were not limited to one and could eat as many cookies as they wanted.   The group of people that believed that they had eaten a small piece of pizza as a whole ate LESS cookies than the group of people that believed that they had indulged in a super big slice of pizza.....even though the slices of pizza were the exact same.  The difference was that the people that ate the slice of pizza  that they perceived as huge thought that they had failed and threw their hands up in defeat and they ate cookie after cookie.  The group that thought that they have kept in line and been successful with their 'small' piece of pizza felt empowered and strong and successful and they ate fewer or no cookies.   The size of pizza that each group ate was the same....what was different was the feeling of failure!    Woah....can I ever relate to that one!!!!

This book ended each chapter with take away concepts and it included some activities to do.  (Honestly, the practice of 100 days of rejection...even 10 days of rejection scared the living daylights out of me.  This challenge was to LOOK for rejection at least once each day.  You can do this by asking a stranger for $1.  Or asking a restaurant to do something crazy with your food.  Things that will usually elicit a rejection.   Through the challenge a person will supposedly learn that rejection isn't a bad thing.). 

All in all, this book was a good one for me to read.  I am still afraid of failure and rejection.  I'm still afraid to try.  But the book, The Fear of Failure gave me some hints and tricks to try to overcome those fears and at the very least helped me to realize that what I fear is a normal part of life.