The Power in Confronting the Fear of Failure

If you are a living and conscious human being, chances are you have already failed in life. Many times.  Allow us to explain.

From kindergarten all the way to big corporate jobs and projects, human beings can and will mess up and miserably fail at what they’re doing at one point or another. That’s just how we’re biologically designed…Flawed and very far from perfect.

And since we are conscious of that fact as well, we are fully aware of this. As a species, we’ve collectively written millions and millions of self-help books, made inspirational songs and movies about how it’s impossible to be perfect, yet the majority of the population is still chasing something so poetically inexistent.  And then there’s the fear of disappointing others, as well as the fear of failure and procrastination.

“While the general population contains approximately 30% perfectionists, the percentage of perfectionists among the gifted population is close to 80%.”

That’s a rather terrifying number, wouldn’t you say?! 

Fear of failing is very closely tied to seeking perfection, which we’ve already deemed as impossible…Therefore, failure is somewhere in the stars, having your name written all over it. So, let’s dismantle this issue and learn how to accept and live with the fact that failure is a very common and normal part of the seemingly abnormal and extraordinary human experience. 

Success is an Abstract Concept

When asking a 10-year old what they want to be when they grow up, the answer is not going to be centered around what’s universally considered “successful”, but what’s internally thought to be “happy”.  Young adults, especially in the last 10 years, have centered their success around money and everything money can buy and display on the internet.  Somewhere, in the middle of all of that technological and digital revolution, we’ve lost touch with what cannot be won, earned, nor posted…Inner fulfilment

Source: Pexels

So, to put things in perspective, success is entirely subjective and somewhat abstract. Sure, there are universal concepts and practices, but they create but an illustration and not at all an inner picture of peace and serenity.  Furthermore, you can’t really fail at searching for your own success because you know taking the ladder would be less than anything indifferently acceptable.  Ask yourself…what is it that you’re “failing” here? Your personal dreams and wishes or what everyone else is ‘’effortlessly’’ succeeding at

Maybe you’re not even afraid of failing but bear this fear of embarrassment.  There’s some fresh-out-the-oven warm food for thought.

Don’t Go Against The Inevitable

Failure is inevitable. No matter the industry, job, or last name – you will fail, miserably even. But that’s what makes the best songs, films, and stories.  The best learning experiences lie right in the middle of that painfully sad and tragic collapse of ideas. But don’t roll the movie credits and curtains just yet, the audience isn’t clapping and the story isn’t over.  The end is inevitable, yes, but not before the tale’s climax, a Fenix born from ashes, a.k.a, an idea born from defeat. “Why am I such a failure” is more of a beginning than anything else. 

You lost that job, that boyfriend or girlfriend, you’ve realized your major isn’t really for you halfway through Uni, fear of failure in college students is so last season…Blah, blah, blah, the world has seen it all before. That’s not the end, silly…That’s your story’s plot! The failure itself is irrelevant in comparison to what you decide to do after the collision. Since the food has somewhat cooled down, it’s maybe time to put that food for thought into action…

 

Have A Little Faith…In Yourself

Some people fail more, some less, but each failure although a lesson is also unwanted and somewhat feared territory. With each burn also goes a piece of your trust in yourself, as well as what life has to offer. Eventually, we develop this fear of work. After a while, we tend to become overly cautious about taking necessary risks in life, no matter the industry.

Fear of failure is normal, but not going towards what you want DESPITE that fear is what will end you, not the failure itself. Some people are so afraid of failing that they stay in the same position for their life’s entire movie. No ups, no down, only one straight line of seemingly nothing but a failure comfort with lust for something better and more exciting. And although safe, that’s no life worth living.

Follow the White Rabbit

Every fear, no matter how small, has its root cause, or moment of impact if you will. Every traumatic experience has left a piece of itself in our minds, but just like any seed, with time, care, and gentle doubtful watering, that seed will grow its roots and branches so big, that fear will become a huge portion of the life. Only then will the “can’t see the forest from the trees” saying make full sense to us. Where did this seed come from, who planted it there? Fear of falling is caused by something else, and that something is different in each person. 

The rabbit hole might be hard to track or even go through but it’s oh so necessary. What are you afraid of exactly? Disappointing yourself or dissaving someone else’s expectations and boundaries?

via GIPHY

We are often constructing our whole lives based on someone else’s recipe for success that in the middle of all that fear of failing the only thing we’re actually failing at is being happy. So, in order to get over the fear of raised eyebrows and lost friends, we have to choose our own happiness instead of the traditionally portrayed one in the media.  Speaking of media…

Social Media is A Double-Edged Sword

Hustle culture, as well as, “success” has a very distorted image on social media. What you see isn’t always what you get…Nor is it obtainable in real life. All these “life coaches” and 401k Ghandis of Instagram have no actual value outside of social media feeds and Stories. In other words, don’t compare yourself and your “fails” to photoshopped half-truths. There’s no point to it whatsoever. 

Additionally, keep things lowkey until you have concrete and achieved goals. It’s better than blasting everything all over social media. Sometimes, well, most of the time, keeping your plans away from the digital spotlight is better in the long run. Remind yourself that what you see online isn’t the full truth, success isn’t one concrete recipe everyone has to follow thought like in Ratatouille. It’s winging it kind of thing if you haven’t noticed already.  

via GIPHY

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”

Despite the very visible century difference, not much has changed since Socrates said that. The premise is still very much alive and breathing. Just because you’re busy 24/7, doesn’t mean you are succeeding, nor does it equal any sort of value. You can be average at 10 things, but exceptional at one…Why not take the ladder then? Because that one exceptional thing needs time, effort, and a whole lotta practise and talent. But in the end, doing less in quantity and more in quality has always shown to be worth it.

Just ask, Oprah, for example, whose show only took off when she was half past 30. Or anyone who has experienced an epiphany and success after the age of 25, which this generation has deemed as “old”, for some reason. Keeping busy to make it look like you’re successful just keeps you distracted from something more valuable you should actually be doing. 

The Moment You Actually Fail

It’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of time. The fear of failing is but a concept that you’ve probably seen in coming of age movies where they had to pick one plot that’s not overbearing for the younger audiences. And just like that, we have a whole generation fearing the inevitable, which is rather stupid for such an intelligent species.

No need to go all atychiphobia-like on yourself, at not in this lifetime. No, you are not failing at life, but the moment you do fail though, won’t be as bad as you think. You’ll be sad, maybe cry a bit and then get angry at the world and yourself – all normal. But after a few sad songs and depressing Twitter posts later, you’ll already be back on your feet, thinking of alternative ways to succeed at what you want in life.

Do things happen for a reason or do they not, we will most likely never know. But, what we can influence is how we react to the things that do end up happening to us. We give them meaning, not the other way around. So, if you’ve already failed at one thing, chances are something much better is waiting for you just around the corner.  

 

 

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