Should We Fear Failure? A Conversation with Gary Ware

Apr 4, 2024



Should we fear failure? If failure has value to it, why are so many people afraid to fail? Get detailed answers in this podcast with Gary Ware

✍️ EPISODE OVERVIEW - Should We Fear Failure

In this captivating episode of "Should We Fear Failure," we sit down with the profoundly insightful Gary Ware, whose life's work revolves around the transformative power of play and creativity in overcoming personal and professional hurdles. Amidst a society that often views failure through a lens of dread and defeat, Gary Ware offers a refreshing perspective that challenges this narrative.

This discussion aims to dismantle the fear surrounding failure, highlighting it not only as an inevitable part of the human experience but as a necessary stepping stone on the path to personal excellence. Through personal stories and expert insights, Gary and our host Will Moore delve into how adopting a playful mindset towards failure can lead to growth, innovation, and a fulfilled life. Gary answers the most frequently asked question "should we fear failure"? Whether you're paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes or looking to shift your mindset towards a more growth-oriented approach, this episode promises valuable takeaways for embracing failure as a powerful learning tool.


The Paradox of Failure - Should we Fear Failure? [0:00 - 3:00] The episode kicks off with an exploration into the paradoxical nature of failure, where Gary Ware dismantles the common fears associated with failing. By weaving personal narratives with empirical evidence, this segment sets the stage for understanding failure not as a pitfall but as a pivotal element of personal growth and innovation.

Stories of Setbacks [3:00 - 6:00] Diving into the heart of overcoming adversity, Gary shares compelling stories from his own life and those he's observed. These narratives underscore the transformative power of setbacks, illustrating how what initially appears as defeat can be reframed as the foundation for future and personal success.

Overcoming the Fear of Failure [6:00 - 9:00] In this insightful chapter, the conversation turns to practical gamification strategies for conquering the fear of failure. Gary provides actionable advice for listeners, emphasizing the significance of mindset shifts and the role of play in transforming fear into a catalyst for change and achievement.

Embracing Failure as a Learning Tool [9:00 - 12:00] Here, Gary delves deeper into how failure serves as an indispensable learning tool, advocating for a culture that not only tolerates but celebrates mistakes as opportunities for learning. He highlights how this approach fosters innovation, creativity, and a resilience that's crucial for personal and professional development.

The Role of Resilience - Fear of Underperforming [12:00 - 15:00] Focusing on resilience, this chapter examines its critical role in navigating failures. Gary discusses how resilience, cultivated through embracing setbacks and maintaining a playful approach to challenges, enables individuals to bounce back stronger and more determined.

Mindset Shifts for Growth - Don't Fear Failure [15:00 - 18:00] A pivotal moment in the episode, this segment explores the essential mindset shifts required to perceive failure not as a deterrent but as a growth opportunity. Gary provides insights into transitioning from a fixed to a growth mindset, where failures are viewed as steps towards mastering life's game.

Building Resilience Against Setbacks - Fear of not achieving goals [18:00 - 21:00] Gary offers practical tips for building resilience against setbacks, emphasizing the importance of small, playful challenges that gradually increase in difficulty. This approach ensures that when larger obstacles arise, individuals are better equipped to tackle them head-on.

A Playful Approach to Failure [21:00 - 24:00] Concluding the chapter summaries, Gary reflects on the significance of maintaining a playful approach towards failure. This segment reinforces the episode's core message: viewing life's challenges as games to be played, not problems to be feared, can transform our relationship with failure and lead to a richer, more rewarding life experience. This will ultimately allow to gamify your life.

πŸ”‘ KEY TAKEAWAYS - Should we Fear Failure?

  • Embrace Failure as a Stepping Stone: Fear of not achieving goals should not stop you from accomplishing your goals but embraced as an integral part of the journey towards success. It provides invaluable lessons that pave the way for growth and improvement.

  • Shift Your Mindset: Viewing fear of underperforming through a growth-oriented lens allows us to see setbacks not as insurmountable barriers but as opportunities for learning and development. Adopting a playful approach to challenges can significantly reduce the fear associated with failure.

  • Constructive Dealing with Setbacks: If failure has value to it, why are so many people afraid to fail? Individuals fear failure and feel like a failure due to societal pressures, personal insecurities, and the misconception that failure is a negative reflection of one's abilities. Constructive strategies such as reflecting on what went wrong, seeking feedback, and adjusting your approach can turn setbacks into springboards for future success.

  • Build Resilience and Embrace Learning: Cultivating resilience through exposure to small, manageable failures prepares us for bigger challenges. Acknowledging that failure is a crucial component of the learning process encourages continuous growth.

  • Celebrate Failures and Encourage Openness: Creating a culture that celebrates failure and fear of not achieving goals as much as successes fosters an environment of trust, openness, and innovation. Sharing failures and the lessons learned from them can inspire others to take risks and experiment.

  • Playfulness as a Strategy: Incorporating playfulness into work and challenges not only makes overcoming obstacles more enjoyable but also stimulates creativity and problem-solving skills.

  • Overcome the Fear of Making Mistakes: Should we fear failure? Recognizing that the fear of making mistakes is a common human experience can help in developing strategies to overcome this fear, turning it into a force that drives performance and personal growth.

  • Leverage Failure for Performance Improvement: If failure has value to it, why are so many people afraid to fail? Understanding that failure can serve as a powerful motivator for improvement encourages a more resilient approach to challenges, where every setback is viewed as a learning opportunity.

  • Seek and Foster Supportive Relationships: Surrounding yourself with allies, mentors, and a supportive community can greatly enhance your ability to bounce back from failures and maintain momentum towards your goals.

πŸ₯‡ GOLDEN HABIT - Should We Fear Failure?

Golden Habit: Proactively Scheduling Play and Reflection Time

  • UNDERLYING PAIN POINT/CHALLENGE: The prevalent fear of failure stifles growth and creativity, locking individuals in a cycle of stress and productivity that neglects the essential human need for play, reflection, and learning from mistakes.

  • RELATED CORE: This habit primarily taps into the Mindset Core, emphasizing the shift from viewing fear of not achieving goals and failure as a negative outcome to recognizing it as a valuable learning opportunity. It nurtures a growth mindset, critical for overall personal development.

  • WHAT MAKES THIS A GOLDEN HABIT: Integrating scheduled play and reflection into daily routines serves as a transformative practice. It not only combats the fear of failure by reframing setbacks as essential to growth but also enhances creativity, problem-solving, and emotional well-being. This habit reinforces the idea that embracing and learning from failure is not just beneficial but necessary for achieving success and happiness.

Check our Podcast on How to Grow as a Person

πŸ’Š PAIN POINTS ADDRESSED - Fear of Underperforming

  1. Fear of Failure Limiting Potential: The episode tackles the pervasive issue of how fear of failure can paralyze individuals, preventing them from taking risks and pursuing their goals. Gary Ware's approach emphasizes the importance of reframing failure as a necessary step towards growth, thereby mitigating its paralyzing effects.

  2. Difficulty in Embracing Setbacks Constructively: Often, setbacks are seen as final, insurmountable barriers to success. Through a discussion on constructive ways to deal with setbacks, listeners learn to view these moments as opportunities for learning and pivotal points for redirection and innovation.

  3. Overcoming Fear of Making Mistakes: The societal stigma attached to making mistakes can stifle creativity and risk-taking. The episode provides strategies for overcoming this fear, advocating for a culture that not only tolerates but celebrates mistakes as invaluable learning experiences.

  4. Building Resilience and Shifting Mindset: One of the key discussions revolves around building resilience against setbacks and shifting from a fear-based mindset to one that sees failure as a growth opportunity. Gary Ware's insights into adopting a playful, experimental approach help listeners develop resilience and embrace a growth mindset.

  5. Lack of Support and Community: The episode acknowledges the challenge of navigating failures in isolation and underscores the importance of seeking and fostering supportive and deeper relationships. It highlights how allies and a community of like-minded individuals can be powerful resources in overcoming fear of failure and promoting a culture of innovation and openness.

πŸš€ READY PLAYER ONE to Let Go of Fear of Failure?

The journey through the labyrinth of life is fraught with challenges and setbacks, but as Gary Ware eloquently reminds us, it's also filled with endless opportunities for growth, learning, and joy. If failure has value to it, why are so many people afraid to fail? The question isn't whether we'll face failure; it's how we respond to it that truly shapes our path forward.

Are you ready to shift your perspective and see each setback not as a roadblock but as a checkpoint on your path to greater resilience and success? It's time to embrace failure, not with fear, but with the excitement and curiosity of a player in the most exhilarating game of all: life.

  • Step into the Game: Should we fear failure? Start by identifying a small area in your life where fear of failure has held you back. Commit to taking one playful, low-stakes action towards overcoming this fear. Remember, the goal isn't to avoid failing but to learn and grow from the experience.

  • Join the Conversation: Share your stories of failure and growth on social platforms, tagging us and using the hashtag #EmbraceFailureGrowStronger. Let's create a community that is not afraid of fear of underperforming and celebrates the lessons learned from setbacks and supports each other in turning obstacles into opportunities.

  • Level Up with the Moore Momentum System: Dive deeper into transforming your life with our science-backed, gamified system designed to make personal growth fun, engaging, and rewarding. Take our core values quiz and discover in which areas of life to focus your efforts for maximum impact.

  • Download Our Gamified App: Ready to take your growth journey to the next level? Download our weekly habit tracker app and start leveling up your life, one habit at a time. Let's turn the challenges of today into the victories of tomorrow.

Ready Player One? Let's play the game of life with courage, resilience, and a dash of playfulness. The world is your playground – let's make it count.

Podcast Episode Website Page CreatorMoving forward, let’s draft the GUEST BIO section to give listeners a brief overview of Gary Ware and his credentials, enhancing the credibility of the insights shared in the episode.

πŸ«… GUEST BIO - Gary Ware

Meet Gary Ware, the esteemed author of "Playful Rebellion" and a fervent advocate for integrating play into our daily lives as a means to overcome obstacles and unlock our fullest potential. With a background that spans over a decade in the realms of improv theatre and corporate training, Gary has honed his expertise in leveraging play as a powerful tool for personal and professional development.

His innovative approach focuses on disrupting traditional narratives around work and productivity by infusing them with creativity, joy, and resilience. Through his book, workshops, and public speaking engagements, Gary empowers individuals and teams to embrace playfulness as a strategy to navigate life's challenges, enhance creativity, and foster a growth mindset. His mission is clear: to transform the workplace and beyond into spaces where play is not just welcomed but celebrated as a key to unlocking success and happiness.


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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