[Wise Wednesdays] Yoda’s 7 Powerful Insights on Fear and Failure

Written by Gilberto Rosas on December 27, 2015

3 min  read

Hands down, Yoda is one of the most iconic characters that has lasted decades. He’s like the short green Dumbledore of Star Wars. Regardless, his wisdom shines through and leaves an imprint of impactful advice for those seeking it.

Here’s 7 of the most powerful quotes by the Jedi master himself on something that every person has faced at least to some extent in their lives: crippling fear and ego shattering failure.

Here goes…

1. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

It is believed by the Buddhists that attachment is the root of all suffering. Similarly, when we put so much strong emotion like fear over a circumstance, it creates nothing but suffering.

I know for me, when I feel the fear of doing something and I end up not doing it, I feel anger towards myself but I’ve realized that it hurts me more than it helps me. Instead I forgive myself for not having taken the action because I understand I am only human and instead use that initial anger to fuel my action. When this circumstance occurs again, I remember the feeling of regret and anger and use that to push me into doing what it is I need to do.

Bad emotions are often great ways to propel yourself away from unwanted circumstance because the pain of not having done the thing is great than actually doing what it is you fear. 

2. Luke: “I can’t believe it” | Yoda “That is why you fail”

More so than we’d like to believe, we eliminate our chance for success because we simply don’t believe its possible. If you don’t believe that you can be a millionaire, then the chance of that occurring is absolutely without a doubt 0%.

You open yourself to a plethora of possibilities when you simply start believing in yourself  When your focus is purely on not believing that something is possible then your mind will show you all the ways that it is not instead of all the ways that it is.

Those who win find a way. Those who lose find excuses.

Be very careful on what you focus on.

3. “Do or do not, there is no try”

Decide you will go after your dream, and then DO IT. There is always some action step you can take towards your goal. Often when we are afraid of failure, we hesitate to commit and dive right in. Successful people, for the most part, do what they say they’re going to do.

There is no wavering away from their decision.

This habit doesn’t even have to stem from confidence but a desire so strong that the outcome doesn’t matter because they’ll KNOW beyond a shade of a doubt that they went after what they wanted full force with everything they had.

With that mindset, they win either way. It becomes a win-learn situation instead of a win-lose situation because you better believe that person will bounce back wiser and stronger as a result. 

4. Luke: “I won’t fail you, I’m not afraid” | Yoda “Oh you will be, you will be”

For most of my life I thought the most courageous people were not afraid. I thought that they had absolutely no fear. This is far from truth. In fact, it is courageous people who understand how to control their fear and do what they are most afraid of anyway.

Similar to Luke, I’ve often caught myself in a pattern of thought where I believed that motivating myself would eliminate the fear but found that this too was false. I still felt the fear regardless of how pumped I might have felt beforehand. 

5. “You will only find what you bring in”

Another great quote that is hidden in plain sight similar to the cliche “you only get what you give.” This law of reciprocity can be found everywhere and it completely applies to the topic of failure. I always hear people talk about deserving certain rewards and luxuries without really having put in the work.

You only get what you deserve. It’s the cold truth. Everything you have now, you deserve. This statement could either be a pleasant surprise or a rude awakening depending on your circumstance.

Having said that, it only makes sense that if you expect a certain outcome, then your actions must be in alignment with that as well. You can’t expect to lose weight if you only go to the gym once a week for 30 minutes and binge on junk food for the rest of that same week. It’s simply not going to happen. 

6. “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”

James Baldwin once said “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” Indeed, the man who has no attachments has the freedom to do what he wishes in this world. He can be reckless in destroying whatever it is he seeks to eliminate or he can be relentless in achieving a goal worthy of an honorable legacy.

Regardless, he is a force to be reckoned with.

He cannot be ignored.

He’ll have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

7. “Will he finish what he begins?”

Fear of failure stops us dead in our tracks. When we strive for a worthy goal, failure flaunts its claws in our face but like our good friend Rocky said, it’s not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get up that truly counts.

Some of us let a couple setbacks get in the way of getting what we really want. But if you want something bad enough, why stop the minute you see resistance or experience failure? That’s SUPPOSED to happen.

No successful person ever has encountered no rejection or failure.

It’s simply part of the process.

It’s a requirement necessary to achieve your dreams.

Finish what you begin, PERIOD.


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