Readings & Theme Plan – Courage, Vulnerability, Perfectionism, Fear of Failure, Willingness to Fail, Taking Risks

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Theme Readings Overview

In this curation of readings, we explore the related subjects of courage, vulnerability, perfectionism and fear of failure.


Be prepared to guide students in an exploration of courage and vulnerability, particularly as they relate to perfectionism, fear of failure, risk, avoidance, and “staying small.”


Provide a simple (but powerful) definition of courage. Explain how risk is related to opportunity. Provide a metaphorical example using a strong oak tree. Describe a perspective that relates fear to death and to life. Describe the relationship between rejection and “staying small.” Define “vulnerability.” Explain typical consequences of avoidance. Share how Donna Farhi describes “staying open and something that Ana Forrest advises we open our mind to. Explain how successful people relate to failure and the consequences of fearing failure so much as to avoid risk. Speak to the “right time” for taking a calculated risk. Recite the quote by Robert Schuller that begins, “Problems are not stop signs.”

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