Facing My Fears: Failure


Today was a particularly challenging day for me so I wanted to share something that is a very personal challenge I face in my own life.

The fear of failure.

There are plenty of things in my life that work against the more positive moments. Few are as effective or difficult to manage, however, as my fear of failure.

I sometime wish I was more confident in myself and my abilities. I would like to pretend that I have an optimistic view that allows me to tackle anything that comes my way without hesitation.

In fact, I worry about a lot of things. I worry about being good enough in a lot of ways. It's a constant in my life, in just about everything that I do.

I worry about being funny enough.

I worry about being attractive enough, fit enough, healthy enough.

I worry about being smart enough or clever enough or talented enough.

I worry about being successful.

I worry about achieving my dreams.

I worry about being happy.

I worry about making others happy.

I worry about failing in every conceivable way to accomplish the things I want in life.

And if I'm being honest, it's exhausting.

Fear of failure for me is more than just wondering if I'll pull off what I set out to do. Sometimes it's a nigh unstoppable force that can stop me in my tracks in an instant. Why? Because the one thing that's easiest to do when I'm worried about accomplishing something is doing nothing at all.

That's right.

Nothing.

Because you can't fail if you don't try right? You'll never not achieve your goals if you never reach for them in the first place. Why would you even bother doing something so crazy?

Failure is scary.

Failure is daunting.

Failure...isn't the end.

This is the piece I have to tell myself every day. Some days it takes more than a time or two of telling myself that failure isn't the end to remember it's true. Some days it takes someone far stronger than me to make me believe it.

Because failure will happen. I will fail. Probably a lot.

And that's okay.

Because I can try again.

And again.

And it's going to hurt sometimes. It's going to be really rough. It already has been plenty of times. And there are still going to be a lot of things that try and stand in my way. There will be a lot of people who might try to bring me down too.

But I can't be one of them.

There are already so many hurdles to clear on any path to success. It doesn't make sense for me to actively be one of them.

But admittedly, I'm not always good at following my own advice. I'm actually pretty terrible at it more often than not.

But that just means saying it one more time and another and another if that's what it takes.

Because I don't want to fail. It's a terrifying thing to imagine.

But giving up is so...so much worse.

No one is a bigger critic of mine than I am. No one knows how to break me down better or faster than my own mind.

But no one can ever be more on my side than I can be, either.

So what do I do when it all gets to be too much? When I can't take any more?

I might break down.

I might struggle.

I might cry.

I might realize my greatest fear and fail.

I might fail...

I will fail...

But that's not the end.

Because I'm still here.

And I can keep going.

Because I'm strong.

Because I have to be.

Because I choose to be.

I might live my whole life failing to achieve the things I want most.

I might try a thousand times and fail a thousand to match.

But I'll try again.

If for no other reason than to show myself I'm not done.

I'm not finished.

I can keep going.

I'm still going.

My efforts may be all I ever have to show for myself.

And that's okay.

Because some day...

Some time...

One of my tries will be a success.

And that shot all on its own is worth every failure it takes to get there.

I can't choose if I succeed or fail.

But I do choose to try.

Because the fear of failure is almost more than I can handle, but I can handle it.

What's worse than failing? What I simply can't do no matter how hard things might get? Is to stop.

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