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May 6, 2020

Overcoming the Fear of Failure

By Craig X. Cecilio

Let me ask you a personal question: Can you really call yourself a leader if you are afraid of failure?

Here’s a follow-up question: Can you really lead people if you don’t believe in yourself 100%?

One of the responsibilities of being a leader is to overcome your fear of failure. If you take risks and attempt to do something big in life, you will face adversity and there’s a chance you will “fail.” It’s what you learn and how you respond to these so-called failures that makes all of the difference. Do you give up at the first sign of trouble? Or do you channel the disappointment into positive energy?

You’ve heard it said that, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I believe that. You must overcome your own mental obstacles and see a clear path ahead to accomplish your vision. Especially if you want to inspire those who work in your organization to join you on the journey.

One of the reasons we fear failure is that we are afraid of what other people will think if we fail. Listen. Never ever let someone tell you that something can’t be done. Don’t look for approval. Instead, ask yourself what you want the epitaph on your tombstone to say. That may sound morbid, but it’s a helpful mental exercise. For me, I want it to say, “Here Lies Craig, he had one life to live and he went for it.”

I don’t allow “what ifs?” in my thinking. I want to make all of my dreams come true and live my life with no regrets. If you play it safe, it’s unlikely that you will accomplish anything that makes a real difference or leaves a legacy for those who come behind you.

This is a great time to mention that I am hosting a new podcast especially for leaders called, Xponential Leadership. On each episode, I will be interviewing outstanding leaders across various industries and business sectors. We will discuss what they’ve learned along the way and share those lessons with our audience. Stay tuned for more information on the release of our first episode!

Great leaders build great teams. Great teams make great companies. Great companies make great products and services that improve peoples’ lives in a meaningful way. That’s what living “Xponentially” is all about.


Craig X. Cecilio is the co-founder/CEO of DiversyFund, a husband, and a father to three daughters.

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