F is for Fear of Failure

a-to-z-letters-f

Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.
Will Smith as Cypher Raige in After Earth

One of the things that hold us back from realizing our full potential in this life is FEAR. Fear can paralyse us, immobilize us, it can be irrational and it can be overwhelming. We need to recognize it in our lives and ask ourselves “What are we really afraid of?” A lot of the time we are afraid of failing. We don’t want to risk what we have in life, we rather play it safe and go with what we know.

A televangelist Robert H. Schuller once asked “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” In other words think about what you really want out of this life and go for it. Don’t be held back by your fears of failure. I’ve always known I want to write for a living, but as a young adult and even as a kid I was too afraid to put my words on paper for fear that they would not be perfect. How silly is that?

Failure is not the end of the world. We learn a lot from our failures. I failed out of my first year of university from a program I wasn’t well suited to. While I wouldn’t want to repeat the process, the failure did teach me a lot about myself and what I was better suited to.

With the wisdom of a middle aged adult I now encourage any young people trying to discover what they want to do with their life to really think about what it is they love and to try to do that. I only recently discovered Alan Watts (1915-1973) a British philosopher who had the same philosophy about life. See this video below that was made to a famous speech of his.

It is also nicely summed up in this beautiful poster by ZenPencils.com

Its advice that I am still trying to apply in my life and in my writing. Don’t let fear hold me back. Keep moving forward. Life is too short.

7 thoughts on “F is for Fear of Failure

  1. Alan Watts is was an amazing philosopher. My brother turned me onto him years ago and I listen to him on Pacifica Radio quite often.

    So true–this fear is a construct of our mind and is so destructive of our ability to more forward. We are in this life to learn. failures are inevitable. Learning from them their power.

    Thanks for the thought provoking blog, Andy.

    Christine London

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    • I never thought of it like that before. I guess you are right. It could also mean, stop doing what you think is what you should be doing and start doing what you want to do but were afraid to admit you wanted to do in the first place.

    • I hear you. I try to confront the fear in my life as it arises, and it helps with a lot of anxiety that I used to deal with, but as far as the bigger picture stuff, I still find it hard to open up to the universe and let go and just be the person I want to be.

  2. I remember someone telling me all learning is trial and error, which seemed alien, and yet we cannot know before knowing, and failure will be involved.

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