Failure is one of the most dreaded things in our lives – why is it so? Why are we so afraid to fail? I feel that it’s all because of the inhibitions we have in our mind, that if we fail – it’s the end of the world, people around you will be disappointed – consider you a loser and you may think that there’s nothing that can be done once you have taken the wrong path. I beg to differ here and feel that all such thoughts are roadblocks to your path to success. Such thoughts prevent you from pursuing your dreams or something which you’re passionate about. 

I’m sure all of you must have heard success stories of famous personalities. When I was a kid, even my father used to narrate various stories of people who became famous in different fields. Such stories inspired me a lot and made me ponder on what I can do to make a difference to the people around me. My question is – have we heard or know the complete story? Most of us haven’t – we just focus on the end success and forget the untold tales of years of hardships, defeats they must have faced and lessons they must have learned the hard way to be where they are. It’s only after overcoming their inhibitions or fear to fail, were they able to pursue their passion and contribute to the society. So how do you stop being afraid of failure? How to stop being reluctant from taking a step towards your dream? 

One of the things which really helped me mellow down the voice in my head which said ‘this will never work’, was to bring back the enthusiasm I had when I was a child. As a kid, I really enjoyed experimenting without worrying about the end result. All I liked doing was keep trying, learning and striving to be the best on anything that I laid my hands on. This child-like enthusiasm, unadulterated spirit to constantly keep trying is something we shouldn’t let go of even when we grow older. It helps you focus on the here and now, fills you with curiosity and keeps you worry-free from the failure. Thus, making you look at the positive side and enabling you to be a step closer to your dreams. 

Once you have a dream, a purpose to be passionate about – ask yourself the right questions. You need to have an optimistic attitude to be successful. Hence, instead of thinking about ‘what ifs’, focus on the ‘how’ and ‘what now’. Doing so, helps you with a solution driven mind-set rather than brooding over the problems/hurdles in your path. Throughout my career and even on personal front, I’ve had my doubts, I was unsure about what to go ahead with when given options. There was always a path which was safe to take, well within my comfort zone, but didn’t quite help me completely achieve what I wanted. On the other hand, there was another unknown risky path which promised results. To be very honest with you, I have taken both paths depending on the situation I faced. However, I can tell you that over a period of time, I started becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. We need to face the negative results – there will be defeats, failures but our focus needs to be on the lessons from such circumstances which don’t paralyze us, instead equip us to become stronger

Lastly and more importantly, stop worrying about what others might think. We’re humans, it’s common for us to seek affirmations and know what others feel about us or what we’re doing. However, don’t let it become a barrier to your dreams. There will always be naysayers, but instead on focusing on what they feel, do what you feel is right. You are what you are – and what other’s think doesn’t make you any different. I firmly believe that strong self-belief is the first stepping stone towards success and achieving your dream. If you have faith in yourself, you won’t have any inhibitions. During my career, there were various projects or initiatives which I thought would truly make an impact, but they were different and unconventional. Many were against it and tried to undermine my confidence, instead of giving in to the pressure of failure which they highlighted, I focused my energy to try and never once did I have self-doubt. I thought about what’s the worst that could happen, prepared for all the repercussions – I failed sometimes, but learnt from the failures and emerged stronger eventually succeeding and achieving what I wanted. With this, I’m not asking you to avoid criticism. It’s always good to accept constructive feedback and improve upon what you’re doing. However, don’t let such criticisms affect you emotionally, doubt your capabilities and make you duck into your shell. Know that the ones who trust themselves are the ones who succeed in achieving their dreams.   

I feel that, if you truly want to achieve something there are no hurdles which you can’t overcome. They are all but excuses to cower down behind, if you are not ready to face the consequences if you don’t succeed. So don’t worry about whether you’ll succeed or fail, be courageous enough to try, learn from your failures and trust yourself – then there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams.    


  • Tapan Singhel

    MD & CEO

    Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

    Tapan Singhel has a rich experience in the insurance industry of more than 30 years. He has been with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for over 20 years and is the Company’s MD & CEO for close to 10 years. He also chairs the CII National Committee on Insurance and Pensions. He has been the President of Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and is now a board member. Under his leadership, the company has emerged as one of the largest and the most profitable private general insurer in the country ensuring growth, profitability and customer-centricity. In Mr. Singhel’s decade long stint as the MD & CEO, the Company has achieved a cumulative underwriting profit of more than ₹ 350 crore, grew its revenue at a CAGR of 16 %, grew its net profit (PAT) at a CAGR of more than 30% with a double growth in solvency ratio from 156% to close to 350%. Customer obsession and passion to do good for the people are what drives Tapan and his success in the industry. A scientist by education, but insurer at heart he works towards making a difference in the lives of people in whatever little way he can. Tapan has not only transformed the company, but has also been a trendsetter in the insurance industry by always taking the first leap towards innovating to enhance the customer service standards. Under his able leadership, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has transformed the distribution of insurance by being the first company in the country to start Bancassurance. He also envisaged and implemented, Virtual Sales Office, which is a 100% digital office. Addressing customer worries is what drives him to ideate and implement innovative products and services. For instance, settling motor claims in a matter of minutes with the help of Motor OTS, taking care of new-age cyber risk through Bajaj Allianz Individual Cyber Safe Policy, industry’s first Pet Dog Insurance policy and introduction of Health Infinity, a health insurance policy with unlimited sum insured. His leadership has been recognized across the globe. He was honoured as the 'Personality of the Year' at Quantic’s BFSI Excellence Awards 2021, India Insurance Summit & Awards 2019, 22nd Asia Insurance Industry Awards 2018 and Indian Insurance Summit 2017. He was also awarded the title of Best CEO at Insurance Asia Awards and was recognized as the Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia 2018 by The Economic Times. By always imbibing the principle of empathy towards customers and employees, he has been instrumental in the organisation being recognised on various forums. To name a few, Best Digital Insurer in Asia for IDC Financial Insights Innovation Awards 2021, Non-Life Insurer Provider of the Year by Outlook Money Awards 2020, Best Motor Insurance Provider of the Year at the prestigious Business Today-Money Today Financial Services Awards 2021. The Company has also won the coveted Porter Prize award under the category of Creating Distinct Value in 2019. Tapan is known for his ‘Communicative Leadership’ style, where he believes in engaging regularly with employees and customers through social media.