Following the death of her mother and a crumbling marriage, Wild author Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. With no prior experience, she made the impulsive decision to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone, over the course of three months.
Many would consider Strayed to be fearless -- so it's no surprise that when she appeared on OWN's new series "Help Desk" to field questions from viewers, many were looking for advice on overcoming the thing that scares them most: failure.
"You will never get rid of fear," Strayed says in the above video. "I think a better way of looking at it is how to live with your fear. How do you make fear your companion? How do you turn this thing that has held you back into something that’s right there beside you?"
She reminds 24-year-old Siri, a woman who says fear rules her life, that it's OK to fail. "What bravery looks like is saying, 'I'm really scared that I'm going to fail at this, but I'm going to do it anyway,'" Strayed says.
We admire people for their successes, but Strayed says it's important to look at the path they took to get there. "Every person who I can think of who I admire, failed," she says. "Every success is built on 10 mistakes, 10 wrong turns."
A specific area where Siri says fear holds her back is in dating and establishing new friendships, so Strayed offers her direct advice on how to move forward.
"Maybe what you should think about saying is, 'OK, I am going to fail. I am going to find someone who will love me and who will accept me for who I am. I am going to find someone I love.'"
By telling herself that message, Strayed says Siri will start to see changes. "That's a subtle but radical shift," she says. "You just have to tell yourself the happy message instead of the bad one."