I have the privilege of chatting with change agents from all over the world! I’ve been doing so for over a decade. I mentor emerging leaders one by one. What I have found is that I end up addressing the same set of challenges over and over. One of the core ones that emerges is Fear of Failure.

Unfortunately, most of us have been taught a “Fixed Mindset” vs. a “Growth Mindset” approach. Let me explain.

Failure can be such a beautiful thing. First, if you have the courage to move forward and give something a try–you should be proud of yourself. Forging ahead with an idea and trying to implement it takes focus and energy. And, usually, things do not work out as planned! Failure doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us!

Yet, too many people have been taught that if you fail YOU ARE a failure. WRONG! That’s a lie. See this image and look closely at the difference in thinking between Fixed and Growth Mindset: Which Mindset do you currently have? Which mindset would make you more successful as a change agent? Which Mindset do you currently have? Which mindset would make you more successful as a change agent?

Think of how much more empowering it would be to understand that failure is just an attempt at doing something that didn’t work out the way we had hoped. So, we take our learnings and go back to the drawing board. Then we leverage our growing knowledge and wisdom to try a new approach. If we fail again, we learn and grow and guess what? If you keep at this process for long enough eventually you will fail INTO a breakthrough. If you saw failure from this perspective, how would you feel? How might your approach to trying and learning new things change? The world needs bold change agents willing to forge ahead and get to work.

The world needs change agents who are willing to take risks and experiment with new solutions. Failure is MEANT to be part of that process. That is how we fine-tune, hone, and create solutions that eventually DO SOLVE challenges. The process the change agent goes through AS they work on solutions is meant to GROW us! Smile. Take heart. Have fun giving things a try and making a mess.

Don’t give up. Be determined to take your learnings and try again! The process can be exhilarating and fun as we see it in this way.


I've been working with business and government leaders for 20+ years as a Senior Executive Coach (PCC, ICF) and Leadership Development and Positive Psychology Consultant. I help leaders apply positive psychology to awaken to their highest potential and leave a lasting positive impact in their own unique way. Learn More


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