Failure can be devastating, and I'm not going to pull out that 'everything is going to be alright' mantra. What I'm talking about is when you choose failure rather than it choosing you. Some simple examples include playing board games - once you know you cannot win and you have the opportunity to influence the outcome of the game use that to your advantage.
When playing monopoly it is one of my favourite sub-games - the 'takeover'. Start a bidding war for your most prized properties and watch the competition level rise. Of course you will not be able to play anymore once you've been bought out, but you will have your hopes in another player.
The same selfless motivations drive parents and individuals interested in making their communities better. Make it safer, more affordable, easier to stay, easier to leave. I describe this to most people as 'real freedom', when you have nothing to worry about except which pair of socks to wear or what to put on your food. You have the freedom to leave a job amicably and find another one within a week (which we don't right now - people are taking financial burden too seriously). If it's not a perfect world find the one major problem and dedicate yourself to that. With enough people on the same fail train the momentum could carry a community to 'success town'.
Have a contingency plan. Do some risk management. Measure yourself and compare to your goal. There are a lot of ways to prepare for failure, but only one way to be sure. Stop.