Voice & Speech Newsletter

Accepting Failure

It’s Essential for Success

As a speech coach and presentation trainer, I have a front row seat, watching people deal with failure. While I’m the last person to claim mastery over this challenge, my work gives me an ongoing and close-up perspective on the typical reaction to failure and how it affects learning, growth and change.

If you’re like most people, you try hard to avoid failure. It’s frustrating and discouraging. Frustrating because it represents a delay or setback in reaching your goal. Discouraging because it seems like a bad sign and a poor reflection on your self-image. You’d rather not experience failure, thanks anyway. But failure is part of your existence—life and death, light and dark, success and failure—you can’t have one without the other. Avoiding failure actually diminishes your chances of experiencing success.

Resisting failure creates paralysis. In the larger sense, when you’re worried about failing, you avoid risk and don’t take action, so nothing is achieved. Everybody knows that. But it’s also true at a physical and mental level. When you’re afraid you might fail, you literally get tense and don’t perform as well as you could. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Recommended Video

9 Lessons from Rock Climbing

In this brief talk from TED University 2009, veteran rock climber Matthew Childs shares nine pointers for rock climbing—and living well. These handy tips are relevant for speakers and presenters, too.

Featured Product


Overcoming Stage Fright

If you fear potential failure, in business presentations or public speaking, this innovative audio program delivers a multi-pronged approach for managing nervousness and performance anxiety.


Focus on the next opportunity. Don’t get stuck on what feels like a failed attempt. It’s rarely your one and only chance. Take a breath. Learn something from what happened. Decide what you’ll do differently. And go again. There’s always the next time.


Voice & Speech

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416-922-6384 | www.VoiceAndSpeech.com

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