Fear of Failure

What would life be without it?

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Well, that was quite a process. When I asked myself what I would leave behind, a veritable waterfall of possibilities showered down on me. But then I asked myself what I would choose to keep, and I nearly drowned in the multitudes. I feel lucky!

But – leave behind – do I have to choose just one? Hmmm – blame fear of failure procrastination over-scheduling too much time online guilt laziness self-centeredness… how about fear of failure? If it walked out tomorrow, how many ways would my life change?

I would hop right out of bed in the morning because the day would be a wide-open mystery waiting to be explored, and
I would say what I think, and
I wouldn’t be afraid of what others might think, and
I would write more articles – or poetry, and
I would extend lots of invitations, and
I would belt out a song, and
I would sit quietly with myself, and…

Ok, I’m convinced – fear of failure it is!

But how in the world will I do that? No way! What if I tell my friends that I want to leave it behind, and then fail miserably? I could never face them, or myself! No, I’m not going to try THAT! (Just kidding – sort of.)

Seriously, I have an idea of how to start. I’ll try to look for it – to spot the fear just as I start to feel it. If I can see it right in the beginning, when it is first intruding, maybe I can just say no. Maybe I’ll remember the last time I faced my fear and how exhilarating that was, and then I’ll go ahead and confront that paper tiger.

One thing I know that will spur me along is that the world needs more people who aren’t afraid of failure! What if Gandhi had let the fear of failure get in the way of non-violence? What if RBG had let that fear discourage her from pursuing law school? What if Martin Luther King been afraid to tell anyone his dream? And what if a child were afraid to try anything new, or a bird afraid to sing? So many have gone before me. If I can face my fears, one by one, my capacity for courage can only grow.

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