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Is It Fear of Failure or Fear of Losing Success?

Is It Fear of Failure or Fear of Losing Success?

I was watching the TED Talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert on Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating (Elizabeth is the author of Eat, Pray, Love ).

In her talk Elizabeth said something that I thought was quite profound – tremendous success or failure can cause you to have the same emotional response – one that causes you to become quite disoriented.

A significant difference between the two however is that society values the successful outcome but tends to look negatively on a person’s failures.

As I thought about this, I began to think more closely about how success and failure are related.

When you think about it, many people spend their lives looking for success – whether it’s financial, career, love – and once they find it they then spend their lives trying to maintain it – to hold onto it and in some cases even going as far as believing that their success is what actually defines who they are.

I think the longer we have what we believe is our success, the greater our attachment to it grows and in turn our willingness to attempt anything new can be lost – even if our perceived “success” no longer makes us happy.

So could it be that it is not just our fear of failure that holds us back but possibly also our fear of losing what we believe is our success?

What do you think?

Here is Elizabeth’s TED Talk;


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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.