Nobody is as afraid of being labelled as a failure as I am. I hate to fail, in all aspects of my life.

Whether it is my career or my personal life, I have always wanted to come out as a winner or at least be on the path of winning. It is my Chinese blood to emerge on top. However, realistically it is not possible. You know I love to always aim for win-win situations and solutions but sometimes you need to fail in order to learn.

Yes, I have failed before. Who hasn’t? But the difference is that I don’t brandish my failures proudly on my sleeve, instead, I wear my battle scars proudly. My battle scars represent what I managed to learn from the failures and how I came back from the rising ashes like a fire Phoenix.


As an employee, I was declined for a promotion that was right in front of me. Instead of feeling indignant over it, I surprised everyone by humbly asking the person who took the promotion from me, to give me advice. I saw what I was lacking, tried to make improvements in those areas by taking more projects and upgrading myself outside of work. The following year, I was offered the same promotion because I have shown passion, hunger and willingness to change.

As a freelancer, I do get clients who think my work is not up to their expectations. Instead of huffing in anger or crying in a corner, I clarified with them, combing through their details as long as they are willing to show me. These clients usually ended up being my best clients who give great ratings as I learned from them and apply what I have learned in their projects.

Clients who are willing to teach will almost always hire you the longest as long as you listen and apply.

As a daughter and a sister, I always felt I haven’t given enough time to my family. I failed to care enough or be there for them when they needed me. Whenever I’m back with them, I tried to allocate as much time I can to spend with them. As absence grows fonder because I’m not in the same country as them, it is easier to pick up where we left off the last time. They are much more forgiving because of the distance.


As a friend, I truly fail in that area because I’m seldom back and whenever I’m back, my time is mostly with my family. As much as possible, I meet up my friends but it is hard when the time is so limited. Instead of losing friendships, my friends have one by one come up to Kuala Lumpur to visit me and as a form of gratitude, I will set aside time to be their tour guide, showing them around, bringing them to savour good food.

As a mother, I am no longer afraid of failure. In fact, I have to set an example for my 8 months old daughter that failure is nothing to be fear of but to embrace it as a part of life, as a teaching tool to allow one matures.

There’s a saying in Mandarin “要跌倒才会长大。” It means only when you fall, you grow up.

She’s growing up fast. She used to fall on her back, bumped her head and cries for attention. She learned now to fall on her sides instead and roll onto her back.

Failure is nothing but a life learning tool if you don’t let the fear crippled you. Learn from failure and turn it around to benefit you. Now, please excuse me as I am going to learn how to fail in baking cookies.

Ps. My cookies bounce. I’m a total failure in that!

Do you fear failure? Have you failed before? Share with all of us and make us feel better that we are not alone in failing one thing or another.

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29 replies on “Fear of Failure

    1. You’re beautiful too, Thia! Things have been busy because I’m traveling around. I’ll be sure to pop by your website, that’s the first thing I’ll do once I reach home.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Remarkably candid. Nothing ever worth having comes easily. The road to success in any human endeavor is always fraught with peril, and the trenchant sentiment expressed in your article goes a long way towards reminding us in an age of entitlement, before any great achievement there must be struggle, and yes, even failure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In my opinion, it is much more satisfying when you overcome obstacles and failure to achieve where you are today. Just like fairy tales, there is the witch or the dragon before the princess meet the prince.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh yeah, yeah, Failure is BIG in my life! I remember one major instance: when I first made my attempt to become chairperson of the English department in which I worked. I failed miserably and got laughed at and not a few sneers. The new chair snubbed me every chance he got, but I stayed the course and in one year, the new chair was put out by the school dean, and I got the call: Paul do you still want the chair job. “Yes!” I said. I got the job and held it for ten wonderful years.

    Now, that particular effort and failure and eventual success happened but it isn’t the norm. I failed at many things and the ultimate result was gained knowledge…which as it turns out is, for me at least, one of the best rewards ever. Sometimes it is–as others above have already stated quite well–necessary to fail and simply learn from the mistake and don’t do that again!

    Great post Kally, thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love it that you did not let fear overtake your capability. Your 10 years says a lot about your ability. Snubbing and sneering are bullying so I’m so happy that you didn’t let them stop you from achieving what you meant to do. I believe you are awesome in believing yourself and staying true. Thank you for sharing your story. If you like to share your journey in detail, I love to feature you in a guest post. You can drop me an email at to connect.

      Thank you for being an inspiration to us!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great blog post Kally! I agree that fear is a great tool to grow as a person (in terms of personal development). In light of Paul’s comments, what tips would you give to someone who is experiencing bullying at work? and how can you overcome these problems to achieve your goals?

    Dave 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Dave! Great to hear from you. As for bullying, as much as there are different extent of abuse and harassment, it should never be ignored. Depending on the situation, I would definitely confront the bully. And I will put my facts very clearly that if the bullying continues, I won’t hesitate to take drastic actions like going to HR, voicing out to my superiors and his superiors. You see, bullies have a tendency to hunt for victims. If I retreat quietly, someone else might be the next target due to my inaction.

      Liked by 2 people

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