What’s one of the most powerful ‘F’ words?

by | Feb 22, 2016 | Emotional Intelligence, Relationships (Self and Others), Time Management


We often give failure the wrong kind of power by thinking and behaving like it’s a permanent state that can keep us down. Rather than seeing it as a temporary condition that we can learn and grow from – often to extraordinary heights. There are many well-known figures, like Edison, Ford and Lincoln who all share a common trait… They each failed (and spectacularly so!) in their respective fields before rising to greatness. Let’s learn from them this week and take Key Steps to realise that...

There is power in ‘failure’

  1. When have you ‘failed’? The first thing we all need to do is be prepared to take the ‘skeletons’ out of our closet and note the times in our life when we ‘perceived’ that we failed. Name your ‘top three’ now. And if, like me, you tend to fear failure in a way that it can sometimes prevent you from moving out of your comfort zone… ask yourself, if you had the courage to break out of it and you failed – what’s the worst thing that could happen?
  2. What have you learnt? As you look at your ‘top three’ (and more if you can think of them now – most of us sit with hundreds of failures – big and small – that we berate ourselves for), what the most important lesson you’ve learnt? Whether it’s failing to keep your paperwork up-to-date, failing an exam, failing to secure a job you wanted, failing to stick to a diet… there is a lesson for you. Maybe it’s to put a system in place, ask for help, change your CV and up your credentials, etc.You can also overcome the fear of failure. I know you can because I do it often and witness others do it time and time again too. It’s up to you. Right now, I am busy getting out of a pretty big comfort-zone and there have been so many fears and uncertainties that go with it. Years ago, I would have stayed in the comfort zone (as my life is great, I am happy and things are working). Today, I am able to make a list of all the things I could learn if I did fail and make sure I use this knowledge to give me the power to succeed. It doesn’t take the fear away but it does help me to acknowledge it, work through it and see ‘failure’ as the asset it really is. And sometimes the only way to succeed is to acknowledge that the road will be paved by many lessons learnt through making mistakes. Let’s enjoy the journey, dust ourselves off and get up again and…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’