The Fear of Failure
This is something I have struggled with for several years. I’ve been afraid to fail in all aspects of my life from athletics, to academics and to personal relationships. I have spent more time worrying about what is going to happen next than what will happen in the moment. I have spent more time worrying about if my answer will be wrong than raising my hand and trying my best. I have spent more time worrying if people will see my mistakes as failure rather than focusing on the people that would help me fix these mistakes.
Last year I wrote about how I wanted to stop worrying about those who have hurt me and continue to live my life the way I want to. I wrote about how I have stayed surrounded by negativity rather than leaving the negative environment. I wrote how I’m going to change the way I am influenced by others.
I didn’t stop being influenced by others. I didn’t learn to trust my instincts and let my voice be heard. I didn’t raise my hand in class because I was afraid of how others would judge my answers. I didn’t try as hard as I could at my job, my schoolwork, and my friendships because I was afraid of disappointment and failure.
I wear a bracelet everyday with the words “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t” engraved in it. I used to wear it just to wear it, but now I wear it to remind myself that I’m the only person who can tell me “I can’t”. I’m the only one who can tell myself this, but I have to stop. I have to stop saying that I can’t do something or that I won’t be able to do something. I don’t know my own capabilities and the fear of not knowing and not trying is worse than failing and working to fix it.
This semester I have already seen a huge difference in myself. I raise my hand in class, contribute to class discussions, put my energy in working out at 5:30 in the morning, enhance my writing ability, and expand my friend group. I have branched out of my comfort zone and worked on things that I can control in my life. I know that this fear of failure is constantly in the back of my mind, but I am working on keeping it from having control over my life.