I used to have a crippling fear of failing. It would stop me doing many things. I then realized my fear of failing was actually worse than failing. I asked my Dad how he dealt with failing, and he said nonchalantly (as if he had never heard of the word failing before): “failing? Really what’s the worst that can happen? If you fail. You learn and move on.”
Today I had the epiphany that I am actually EXCITED to fail for the following reasons:
1) When you fail, you learn. I previously thought if you fail once, you give up. Apparently this isn’t the case. It took Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts to make the light bulb. If you didn’t know this, it’s probably because you don’t care. People generally focus on the end goal which here was the awesome production of the light bulb. Every time you fail it teaches you what not to do, then you try a different attempt, and move on.
2) Everyone learns differently. Don’t copy anyone else if it’s not working for you. If you continue to fail, look at why. Are you trying to copy someone elses methods? I learned from beginner snowboarding that I couldn’t get up off the ground how 99% of people usually do, but I kept trying the same method and failed the ENTIRE FREAKING day. The next time I went snowboarding I got fed up and lifted myself toe side up (facing the mountain) and did a 180 degree spin to toe side down (facing the bottom of the mountain). This made no sense as it was a lot harder than the regular way people get up, and even my instructor was confused, but he said: “wow i’ve never seen anyone who can learn the hardest part of snowboarding first, but can’t do the easier stuff. But do what ever works! I am pretty impressed.”
3) Even if you fail at something, you will know if you are going in the right or wrong direction. I have tried many career paths. At first I was very distraught when I tried something and didn’t like it. But now I realize I had to try all these things to get me where I am today. Everything I tried pushed me into a different direction. If I liked something, I did more of it. If I didn’t, I cursed the day I did it, then gave up on life for a day but then moved in a new direction.
4) Fear of failure can be a mask for something else. I used my fear of a failure as an excuse to stay still. If I didn’t fail, that meant I would have to do something awesome. And I was scared to do something awesome. Now I am freaking excited to do awesome things.
FAILURE bring it on. I AM EXCITED FOR A 2013 FILLED WITH FAILURES AND SUCCESSES.
What are some ways you get over fear? What are you afraid of?