“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have and should have.” – Unknown
For years I battled a deep sense of insecurity. Whether it was my appearance, my talents or my masculinity, I was always left with a continual road-block, which often seemed easier to turn away from than try and get over.
But with the aid of a wonderful counselor, I was able to alter how I perceived myself and eventually come to appreciate the person I am in all facets of life.
However, just because you learn ways to combat your personal struggles, does not mean you’ve completely overcome them. You’re provided the tools you need in order to rationalize your feelings and compartmentalize internal condemnations, but it’s impossible to completely eradicate behaviors still stored in your mind – though now dormant.
Therefore it’s not surprising from time to time to find yourself reverting back to those old behaviors – especially when faced with difficult realities you find yourself unable to process.
Of late I’ve come to understand that the fear of failure may very well be limiting my personal and professional growth. While my life is certainly not void of success stories, I feel that far too often I “play it safe” in order to prevent myself from having to deal with the possibility of failing.
Anyone familiar with my cross-country move from New Jersey to Colorado a little over a year ago knows it was anything BUT playing it safe. It meant leaving the comfort and security I’d known for over three decades for a very uncertain future. Yes, failure was always a possibility, and it wasn’t always easy to find positives in this life-changing commitment.
But eventually it brought my life new opportunities and countless individuals to share them with.
Sometimes we put so much effort into fearing potential failures that we forget about our legitimate successes.
Eckhart Tolle once said, “Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
Reverting back to your past behaviors is not only understandable but common. The important thing however is not to let it consume you, but rather to remind you just how strong you really are. For only then can you look your fear of failure in the face and say, “There’s nothing to be afraid of”.