It’s tough, but we can do it.
Addressing the Fear
I often have the feeling that life is quickly passing by, while I watch from the sidelines, too scared to jump in. Like many people, I have always been deeply afraid of failure. This fear has held me back from trying my best at things, and from taking risks when I couldn’t predict the outcome. I am afraid of shame and humiliation that comes with taking a leap but missing the ledge. I am also afraid of being bad at something I enjoy.
It embarrasses me to think that someone might look at me and judge me as anything less than talented or successful from the start. But why have I spent my life caring so much about what other people think?
Getting Over It
Fear of failure often boils down to a couple of things: fear of the unknown, and fear of being judged. We can’t control the future, and there will always be an “unknown,” but we can control how we react to other people. We can also curb the shame we feel about being judged, and learn that it is what we think of ourselves that matters.
It is easier said than done, but we have to stop caring what other people think. If you continue to fear what others will think of your failures, you will waste a lot of your life being too afraid to do what really makes you happy. You are your own worst critic, and how would you judge yourself if you go through life and never do your thing?
Making Your Move
Here is the truth: you just have to do something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It will never be perfect. But whatever you are thinking of- the end goal that you are imagining- it won’t happen if you don’t make that first effort. And after that, you may have to make a LOT of effort, just to work something out. And your thing, the product of all this effort you make, it might fail. You might go through two-thousand more ideas and five more business ventures before you ever have a modicum of success, monetary gain, or recognition.
And that is okay. When it doesn’t work out, there is always the next time. And every single failure is a stepping stone on your personal path of growth, clarity, and confidence. All of these traits help to make you a better person than you were before. Once you realize this, anything feels possible, and it becomes a whole lot easier to make a move. Failure won’t be the end of your story, just a chapter in your book. It isn’t something to be embarrassed of or ashamed by. Failing is just one part of a well-balanced, fulfilling life.
Stephen McCranie once said: “The difference between a master and a beginner is that the master has failed more than the beginner has ever tried.” Don’t be afraid to go out there and start failing at something today. Before you know it, you will be great at your thing.
People are not quick to advertise their failures, but everyone has them. On social media, you don’t see the struggles everyone faces behind their successful accounts, happy posts, and curated images.
The people that you look up to have tried many different things many times to get where they are, and that ambition and courage is a part of why you venerate them. Next time that you feel frustrated or like giving up, remember that you are not alone. Please try again! You won’t regret it when you do.