"The moment we’re willing to say that we’re not afraid to fail, fear dissipates and it loses its power over us."

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
July 27, 2020
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Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Fans of Fixer Upper have long known that Chip Gaines is bold, slightly rambunctious, and all about pushing the envelope in life and work. Whether he's roaming about his family's farm in Waco, Texas, teaching baby Crew a new skill or training for his first marathon, Gaines is all about pushing himself to improve as a father, friend, husband to Joanna, and all-around renaissance man. Now, Gaines has opened up on the important role risk has played in his life in an article in the summer issue of Southern Living sister publication, Magnolia Journal.

"Risk is my default setting. It’s part of my DNA to want to tackle the world and see how far I can climb. Even if just to taste the thrill of walking that edge. Sure, it’s meant that I’ve had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. I’ve been knocked down more times than I can count. On many occasions to the point where people have questioned my ability to get back in the ring and have any sort of fighting chance," he writes, reminding us that even the biggest of stars who seemingly have it all figured out struggle on their road to achievement.

Gaines goes on to explain that he views setbacks and failures as a tool for growth, using his flops to gain more confidence as he forges a new path forward. "The moment we’re willing to say that we’re not afraid to fail, fear dissipates and it loses its power over us," he continues.

Gaines then proceeds to recount a New Years' trip to New Orleans with friends to watch the Sugar Bowl game of his beloved Baylor Bears and the Georgia Bulldogs. At a group dinner, Gaines wanted to stir up the conversation with his friends so he asked them, "If fear wasn’t part of the equation, how would your life look different?" After sharing how things shook out at their dinner table and reflecting further on taking risks, he poses that very question to readers.

So go ahead, let the power of that query sink in and resonate with you: "If fear wasn’t part of the equation, how would your life look different?"

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While what the answer looks like is different for every individual, as Gaines coaches, ditching our fear of failure can free us to live a meaningful, fruitful life—that we never knew was just around the corner.