What Does The Letter ‘F’ Mean to You — Fear, Failure or Fortune

uche orjinta
5 min readOct 27, 2019


Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

“The first place we must win the victory is in our own minds. If you don’t think you can be successful, then you never will be.” — Joel Osteen

The sweetest victory requires that you will yourself to fight; mentally, emotionally and physically with yourself, your beliefs and the world’s perception of the quantity and quality of your desired victory.

This article is my effort to dig deep within to identify the root of Fear and analyze it as a catalyst for success. Before we get into the need to embrace our fears, let’s take a look at where it all starts…with the letter ‘F’.

The Letter ‘F’

Our mind is the first weapon we train ourselves with, and this training begins in school; where we first learn about the letter ‘F’.

While growing up; the world imprints the letter ‘F’ in doomy & gloomy colors, in schools the ‘F’ is a brand on its own; always in the color red and known to paint you as an outcast.

The feeling doesn’t just end with you seeing the ‘F’ on your test sheets; it begins with the teacher’s un-interested glance at you, which spreads to hearing the in-sensitive jests from your peers, and then finally to your family who seal this feeling on you with their words of disappointment.

And unconsciously the first 20 years of your life is spent being taught to never associate yourself with the letter ‘F’.

How does your mind react to this letter ‘F’……FEAR

Fear of the Letter ‘F’

This leads to an almost irrational phobia for the letter ‘F’ as we begin to associate it with invoking unpleasant emotions, so naturally, we do all we can to avoid becoming the outcast.

The impact of this fear affects the way we think, and our decision-making process, leaving us susceptible to impulsive reactions.

The most common fears include fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of public speaking, fear of losing, fear of the unknown, and also fear of success.

Let’s note some of the benefits of Fear:

1. Heightened Awareness

Fear heightens your senses and awareness; it keeps you alert and helps in better preparation.

2. Focus and Concentration

Fear keeps you alert, it keeps you surviving and progressing, it is a thermometer that lets you know you are moving into a hot area and doing something beyond the normal.

3. Choices, Analysis and Evaluation

Fear prompts one to identify choices and options, analyze them and evaluate your best course of action.

4. Breaking Routine

The presence of fear when undertaking a big goal tells you are stretching yourself and getting out of your comfort zone. Breaking routine involves re-imagining things and processes, identifying new patterns and possibilities to aspire for, taking risks, exploring and being adventurous.

5. Activating Championship Mentality

Turn your fears into a personal competition where you set a target for yourself and seek to break your own records over and over again. Compete with yourself. Assess what goals and targets you have set for yourself in the past, take stock of what you have achieved and areas where you have fallen short. Set moonshots for yourself.

How should your body react to this fear? ..By pushing through it; overcoming fear is done through action.

Fear Of Failure

It’s natural to be afraid of failure. The key is to ensure that your fear of failure is in proportion with the odds of the worst-case scenario actually happening.

Of all the things we are fearful about, the idea of failure might well top the list. We are wrong about what it means to Fail. Far from being branded as a sign of intellectual inferiority, the capacity to fail is most crucial to human cognition.

But instead, we limit our moonshots; repeating the same safe choices over and over again. When we do make missteps, we gloss over them, selectively editing out the miscalculations or mistakes in our life’s résumé; believing that if we play it safe no one will give us an ‘F’, or be disappointed at us for failing.

At the heart of fear-of-failure is… RISK. Facing fears and building the fear muscle requires an appetite for risk-taking.

Personally, I’ve always been an over-achiever; I think it’s my way of fighting back and taking control of my fears, I hold myself accountable for my actions and strive for moonshots professionally and personally in all my relationships. This gives me in-depth insights, perspectives, and experienced knowledge to fuel my desires.


Failure is life’s greatest teacher and a stepping stone to fortune. Such is the case with Thomas Edison, whose most memorable invention was the light bulb, which purportedly took him 1,000 tries before he developed a successful prototype. “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” a reporter asked. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” Edison responded. “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

In truth society celebrates failures unconsciously too; one way it does this is by providing a podium for now-fortunate people to share their stories; because hearing someone else’s challenges will most likely positively impact your life. The fact that these now-fortunate people faced fear and persevered motivates and encourages us.

Their success stories are already splashed all over the internet, of course, most people listen to them talk in the hopes of finding and replicating the exact road-map used by these now-fortunate people, but the core value from really listening to these personal-stories are the failures, and in these failures we seek acknowledgment and enlightenment to fuel our journeys.

In conclusion when next you think about the letter ‘F’, let it encourage you to persevere and push through your fears because this out-casted letter’s sole purpose is to instill in you a willingness to someday become one of the now-fortunate storytellers that the world celebrates.

“An entrepreneur never expects the entrepreneurship-world to be easy, for if he thinks this, the challenges will almost-always seem difficult. But if he/she accepts that challenges will occur, then fear of failure is kept at bay and fortune becomes the only vision to be achieved.”- Uche Orjinta



uche orjinta

Chemical engineering graduate, entrepreneur (self-employed; innovation & Product M consultant, business developer, Creative writer & UX designer).