Fear, Criticism, and the Real Monster

In a conversation about risk-taking, creativity, and failure, the question was asked, “Risk-takers have to be comfortable with failure as a potential consequence. How do leaders ‘get comfortable’ with failure?”

I’d argue failure isn’t real.

It’s criticism that’s real. That’s what we really fear.

We all know failure is about learning and reiterating. Failure is a stepping stone to the next version. The update will come as a result of the glitch. There’s never really a complete destruction of anything.

We fail. We reflect. We recover. We recreate or simply move on.

So it’s not the failure that we fear. It’s our ego and the predicted damage it will receive. That’s what we fear.

Criticism is the real monster.