Failure is a bitter flavour in the mouth that feels toxic across your entire body and can drive you mad with despair. Why? you ask yourself, and then obviously you can’t help but just hate. Hate yourself, or hate your actions. And then your day is a vice-like grip on you. You’ve nowhere to go. Everything’s black. It might even feel like a darkness is closing in on you. And you’re stuck in its iris, stuck in the mess you landed in, with no apparent hope for anything or anyone to pluck you from your predicament.

But then again, failure is often an unwillingness or some kind of inability to move, take a step, take a risk. Even a failed test is often, not always but often, the result of an unwillingness to go the distance and study properly. A failed relationship will usually be an unwillingness, sometimes an inability, to communicate, to rediscover or, unfortunately, to actually discover the person you’re with. A failed career will come of a missed opportunity, though sometimes it might be the opposite; some people do fail due to great risks taken, in which case I applaud their fearlessness but marvel at their foolishness. It’s not bad, in truth. The world needs more movers and shakers. But failure is a bitter word on the tongue, one that scares most.

And why? Why are we afraid? We grow from our mistakes, don’t we? All mothers worth their salt tell us this as we grow up. The best teachers tell us this. It’s okay. You learn from your mistakes. It’s like everyone wants everyone else to make mistakes! But when it comes to us, personally, in our own lives, we’re all even somewhat afraid to jump. Don’t deny it. We all cringe a little at least at the idea of making a mistake, because then our little world of people will know, and may judge us for it. And we all like pleasing others sometimes. Even just a little.

The prospect of failure is daunting. It’s a harmless monster that nevertheless scares the bejeezus out of many. But why? Because it forces us out of our comfort zone. And who ever excitedly said “yes!” at the possibility of jumping out of a warm, cozy bed and into an ice cold shower?