The easiest way to avoid failure is to never start...anything. Of course, this is also the same method used to avoid success.
When we are afraid to fail, we procrastinate.
When we are unsure where to begin, we procrastinate.
In his remarks at the University of Pennsylvania commencement in 2011, Denzel Washington reminded the audience:
Reggie Jackson struck out 2600 times in his career, the most in the history of baseball. But you don't hear about the strikeouts. People remember the home runs. Fall Forward. Thomas Edison conducted 1,000 failed experiments. Did you know that? I didn't either-because #1001 was the light bulb. Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You've got to take risks. If you don't fail...you're not even trying.
So what does this mean for each of us?
It is human nature to procrastinate on projects and ventures that are overwhelming, difficult, or risky. If we break them down into smaller tasks, large undertakings become less daunting. And if we remember that some of the world's most successful individuals suffered through many failures, we can hopefully reduce our fear of failure as well.