Afraid to fail

January 17, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Raise your hand if you're afraid to fail. Not too long ago I felt that way. Even though I know that you learn from failure that doesn't mean that I actually want to fail. Failure can mean being embarrassed but in the grand scheme of things that means nothing. Being embarrassed is hardly something that will cause you bodily harm or make you ill. It's something that happens, makes you feel "funny" but not in the ha-ha sense and then you (hopefully) get over it.

Not too long ago I started giving myself permission to fail. For some odd reason, I used to feel that I needed to be perfect. I think it started in my childhood. I thought my parents were perfect, especially my dad. I thought he knew everything and since I was his child, I felt that I should know everything too. I guess I was using child logic, which actually is an oxymoron when you're five. I have always been rather secretive because I figured if no one knew what I planned to do they wouldn't know what I meant to do. They wouldn't be able to uncover my failures. To be honest, that was exhausting and in no way fun.

So for a while now I've been trying new things and throwing caution to the wind. Putting myself out there for all to see was very difficult for me, but I had to grow. My business had to grow. How were people going to hire me if they didn't even know that I or my business existed? I finally came to the conclusion that if I failed, I failed. I'll just try something else and keep trying until I succeed. For instance, last year I planned and announced that I was having a photography summer camp. I advertised and told people about it. I even had people tell me that they were interested. Well, when the time came no one signed up for my camps. Was it disappointing? You bet. But I learned a lot from that situation and figured out where I went wrong and how I can do it better next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. 

I think a lot of my irrational fear of failing came from me being a shy child. I didn't like to stand out or be noticed and you can't help but be noticed if you fail. To me, failure always seemed to be magnified more than success. Nowadays my challenge is getting my son to realize that it's okay to fail, as long as you learn from it. On the flip side, I do let him know that failing school is not okay. That usually happens because of laziness, not caring or not listening, but I digress. Trying to find the right balance to keep him motivated and unafraid is rather difficult. He's so like me when I was his age. The only good thing about that is that I understand where he's coming from and how he feels. 

There are other examples I could share with you as to how I have failed, but I don't want to bore you. Besides, I have grown as a person, business owner and an artist from those experiences. I strive to continue my growth and do the best that I can. I put my all into it and don't worry about failing. If I do fail, what did I learn? What can I do better? I'm sure there are many people out there struggling with the same thing. It's okay. Just let it go and try something new. Now there are some things that precipitate a legitimate sense of fear, like skydiving. That is something you definitely don't want to fail at. But in the realm of everyday things, the activities you attempt or plans that you make will not end in your ultimate demise if you fail. That should at least remove the fear out. If it doesn't kill you then you'll be fine.

 


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