Thinking some more about my previous post, I felt that I wanted to clarify something about this whole fear of failure thing.
If you’re like me, you have come across this idea many times around the self-help-circuit. In fact, only last week, I was reading a Tiny Buddha blog post about taking risks to follow your passions. There is always a part of me that resents the type of advice that says the only thing holding us back from our ideal life is fear. Of course I’m afraid, because for many important things the cost of failure is not one I’m willing to pay – or, at least, would be unpleasant to have to pay. I am quite reasonably afraid of failing an assignment, not having enough money to pay my bills, injuring myself and many other things. I haven’t suddenly realised that fear is impeding me from some important things, because those fears are reasonable. I might wish I was the kind of person who was happy to leap into the great unknown and not mind if it meant living on bread and butter for a year until I found my feet, but I’m not. I like to know I’ve got a secure base, I like to think things through and have plans.
What I hadn’t realised was how much I’ve been letting fear hinder me when it comes to unimportant things, and how I often make them feel important. This is partly because even a small failure can be embarassing (and, as I said in my previous post, I’m over-sensitive tend to get excruciatingly humilated over very little things) and partly because my mind rushes on to all the serious possibilities of taking a small, unimportant step. What I am realising is that these things are not important and that failure for these unimportant, everyday things has a very low cost – usually, no real cost at all. What I realised is that I avoid things because I imagine that there will be big consequences if I fail (or even if it is just more challenging than I anticipated) and so I lose out on opportunities, which is a failure in itself.