Byron's Babbles

In The Midst Of Our Failures

Posted in Educational Leadership, Failures, Fear, Global Leadership, Growth Mindset, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 12, 2023

You all know I love rock music and enjoy studying the bands made up of incredible artists. Yesterday, I heard Archetypes Collide for the first time – AWESOME! This is a band I am going to be paying attention to and would love to meet and have a conversation with. The song I heard was ‘What If I Fall’. It was a great song with some super-meaningful lyrics that really made me think about how we deal with failure – our own and the failure of others. The chorus is a leadership lesson: “What if I fall and waste away the life that I have made?; What if I fail and let down everyone who trusted me?; Why does holding on feel so wrong?; It’s weighing down on me; What if I fall and lose everything?” Listening to this song really made me think about my own fears and have me contemplating how to remove those fears from others. We all encounter obstacles, fall/fail, and need to learn how to rise again. We also need to teach those we serve the skills required to pick themselves back up after reaching for a major goal but falling short.

Frontman of the band, Kyle Pastor, said of the song, “I’ve always had a deep rooted fear of letting my friends and family down… Even though I know they’ll love me in the midst of my failures, the anxiety of it all buries me and pushes me further away from them. I hope this song can be an anthem for those who feel that same burden” (Paul Brown, Wall of Sound). This really is a burden for most of us. If we’re honest we all have anxiety for failing. We need to be careful not to equate failure to being less worthy to ourselves and others. We need to create growth mindset cultures where falling and failing is seen as learning and growing. That culture also needs to embrace falling and it not be letting someone down.

There is actually a name for fear of failure: atychiphobia. One of the signs of this is partly what the song is about; fearing people will think differently of us if we fail. We also worry we are letting others down. Again, though, if we create a growth mindset culture, failure won’t be seen as letting anyone down, but as a learning moment. We need to adopt an attitude of failure being an opportunity to learn. I realize it is a whole lot easier to say all this than actually put it into practice, but I love that this song calls out our anxiety. Fear of failure is very real for each of us. It can can us to avoid risk, lose our creativity, and our ability to innovate. We must all make sure all those in our care know that their stumbles will not let us down. And, give ourselves grace for our own moments of learning.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: