“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
It’s one of my favorite quotes. It’s one of the few quotes that I’ve ever printed out and hung any place where I can see it repeatedly. A reminder that I am not here to succeed; I am here to fail and learn from those failures. Learning is the key of course. I have this strange belief where you stop growing up when you stop wanting to learn, or you give up on learning. Have you ever seen adults who act like teenagers? That’s what I mean. They stopped learning back in their teenage years and that is where they stuck.
It’s also where success stops, when an individual decides to stop learning.
What is fear of failure then? I feel it is almost akin to a fear of learning since failure is a great and wise teacher. I can see that in myself, particularly in my writing. I want to get continually better at writing, at story telling, and yet I fear not being good enough. I fear failing, believing that my worst works should just be instantly successful, offering nothing to consider to improve upon. Where’s the fun in that? (Besides being able to afford a Porsche.) No seriously, where’s the fun in success without failure? If I did find all of my work flying off the shelves tomorrow, what about my writing would that teach me? What about improving my writing? I’m sure I would start losing touch with the art of it. And even with any measured success, I don’t want to lose the art. I’d rather fail.