Going to karaoke with friends. Trying out for American Idol.
Registering to do extra work. Submitting for principal work.
Posting video of your cat on YouTube under the name "pinky743". Submitting your film to festivals.
Telling your family jokes. Participating in Open Mic Night.
From the title, you might be thinking I'm going to tell you which are successful activities and which are failures. You would be wrong. Each of these activities can be successes or failures. It is a matter of degree within the activity.
If you mess up doing karaoke your friends might give you a momentary bad time, but millions of viewers are not watching. If you mess up on American Idol... But record labels are probably not hitting karaoke venues looking for people to sign.
This in no way means those who dominate at karaoke should feel they are not living up to their potential if they do not try out for American Idol. Unless, of course, a singing career is on their list of things to accomplish.
Want the high reward successes? Then you have to do the activities with equally great rewards for failure because the rewards for both are always measured equally. So, instead of looking at all the ways you could possibly fail, look at what the result of success will be.