By Aleisha Henry
Have you ever wanted to step out of your comfort zone and do something outside the box? Have you ever tried but got stuck in thought because of questions such as “what if I fail? “What if it doesn’t work out?”, or, “Maybe I’m not good enough.”? These are questions that plague my mind ever so often whenever I feel like trying something new – something different. It took me a long time before I even considered to apply for this internship. I weighed the pros and cons, and trust me, I thought the cons would devour me! Exiting your comfort zone is one of the most difficult things you will ever encounter, but it is necessary for your growth. Failure is considered the state of not accomplishing a projected objective. It is also known as the opposite of success.
“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.”
– Ellen DeGeneres
People tend to refrain from starting new businesses, sharing their work, or traveling the world, for instance, due to a fear of failure. Picture being in the middle of a hallway with two doors at either end. One door is yellow and adorned beautifully with “success” marked on it. While the other door is red with a big padlock and “failure” is marked on it. Which door would you open? I know I would open the yellow door because just the thought of the red door scares me. Without success there would be no failure— think about it; take your time.
If we could not win, then we would not know what losing feels like. But on the other hand, if we could not lose then we would not know what winning feels like. Isn’t that amazing? I want you to understand that just because you stumble upon some obstacles along the way, does not mean you are a failure or that you have failed. “Failure” is inevitable in our life experience. It is part of the learning process. We need it to grow. However, if failure is the first thing that we think about whenever we are going to start a new project, then our mindset needs to be altered.
Do you remember in my recent article, Laws of Attraction, where I said whatever you think about is what you attract? It applies here as well. If you incessantly think about failure, then that is what will greet you every time you open the door. Labeling yourself as a “failure” negates any chance of being successful, which will result in an increased number of failure. That is exactly what we do not want to happen!
Keep in mind that minor achievements are just as important as the major ones. If your aim is to go an entire day without drinking juice, and you accomplish that goal, then you deserve praise. If you go half a day, don’t beat yourself up. It is still a big step and should be seen as an accomplishment. We need to change our thought process to understand that it is okay to not achieve our goal on the first or second try. Once we start to take minor accomplishments into account, then we will approach our greater goals differently.
While doing some reading, I came upon the quote, “Rock-Bottom is a foundation, not a conclusion” and trust me, I did not know it was something I needed to read. You see, a lot of times we go through things and we believe it is the end of the world; that there is no way out and nothing can be done. But that is not true. Many of us have expectations of things just happening at the snap of our fingers, but a house cannot be built without a foundation, neither can it be built in a day. Just like us, to grow, there must be a foundation. We must start from somewhere, to get to where we need to be.
Think of it like this: failure is a method of deception. It is a tool that blinds us from new avenues that may be opening for us. Have you ever been to a place where you felt significantly low? You felt like this is it, the end is nigh. And somehow, in the nick of time, before you could throw in the towel, something great happened and a new pathway was made for you. Stop. Picture your rock-bottom. At that time, did you think you would make it out of the abyss? I know I did not.
There is an ironic cloak of comfort that failure wears. The thought of failure can prevent us from doing something new, or even trying at all. It can prevent you from doing your best at school, out of fear, just as it can prevent you from rekindling a relationship between you and an estranged relative because of what-ifs. Sometimes, we go through things that come to break us and let us feel like we are wasting our time, but with a renewed mindset, we will realize that these obstacles are what will make us successful.
Fear of failure is something that everyone goes through, some might just be better at disguising it than others. My suggestion for overcoming this fear is simple. Whenever you feel like you have encountered a roadblock or that you have “failed” take a break and just breathe. Do not overexert yourself trying to fix the problem because nothing will come out of it… something about diminishing returns. You all know how much I love my pen and paper, so that is the next step. Start writing all the things you need to get done to succeed—it will give you a clear perspective on the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Lastly, bury your pride. If you need help, ask for it. Closed mouths don’t get fed 😊.
This article was originally published on Witted Roots.