Quote Origin: The Greatest Mistake You Can Make In Life Is To Be Continually Fearing You Will Make One

Elbert Hubbard? Apocryphal?

Question for Quote Investigator: Anxiety about making a mistake can cause inaction and paralysis. Moving forward inevitably leads to some errors and imperfections. Yet it is necessary to make choices, take action, and fix the accompanying mistakes. Here is a pertinent adage:

The greatest mistake is continually fearing you will make one.

This statement has been attributed to U.S. writer, publisher, and philosopher Elbert Hubbard. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Reply from Quote Investigator: Elbert Hubbard was the chief writer of the periodical “The Philistine”. The November 1901 issue contained a collection of miscellaneous quotations which included the following three items from Hubbard. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:1

Not only does beauty fade, but it leaves a record upon the countenance as to what became of it.

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

The more one knows the more one simplifies.

QI believes that Elbert Hubbard deserves credit for the quotation under examination. Hubbard sometimes used quotations from others without listing an ascription, but QI has found no other substantive candidate for authorship of this quotation.

Additional details and citations are available in the article on the Medium platform which is located here.

Images Notes: A broken plate from CHUTTERSNAP at Unsplash. The image has been cropped.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to My Peak Challenge who tweeted this saying with an attribution to Elbert Hubbard. Great thanks to Jane Bella who subsequently inquired about the tweet which led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.

[1] 1901 November, The Philistine, Volume 13, Number 6, (Untitled collection of miscellaneous quotations), Quote Page 187 and 188, The Roycrofters, East Aurora, New York. (Google Books Full View) link