Do you have a fear of failure? Umm…just going to put it out there, you probably do. Unless you’re some alien with no feelings, you’re probably terrified of failing. Hey, I’m right there with you. I mean, that’s what we’re taught in school growing up — failure is bad and should be avoided at all costs. Nothing good is ever associated with failure.
I think my fear of failure is why I’m such a perfectionist if that makes any sense. I’m so focused on not failing that nothing ever seems to be perfect enough. My fear of failure has also stopped me from trying new things. New things that could potentially help my career and make me more money.
I did a pretty crazy thing 2 years ago by leaving everything I knew for a fresh start in Toronto. That was a huge risk I took, and I could have failed miserably. But for some reason I wasn’t afraid enough not to try. I think my desire to fulfill a dream trumped my fear of failure in that instance. Then again, it wasn’t all roses.
It was a tough first year as I’ve written about many times. And before my first visit back home to Vancouver, I was really worried that I would look like a failure. I didn’t get my dream job; I wasn’t making an amazing salary and I didn’t come back a huge success which I kind of thought I would. This was definitely an irrational fear (and yes, I had some unrealistic expectations too), but that’s just how powerful the fear of failure can be.
So why am I talking about failure in this post? Because I don’t want to be afraid of failure anymore. I know my potential, and for the past several years I’ve felt like I wasn’t really maximizing it. When I read about those leaders out there who are starting their own businesses or inventing new technologies, they aren’t afraid of failure at all — in fact, they embrace it. They learn from it and become stronger because of it.
For instance, I set a financial goal for myself back in January to start another stream of passive income not related to this blog. Have I started this yet? No. Why? Because I was afraid of starting something new and failing at it. I’ll actually be talking a bit about this in an upcoming podcast episode with Sarah Peterson from Unsettle, and honestly my conversation with her really helped me get motivated again to try out a new business venture. It’s not going to be anything big. I’m just thinking of selling some stuff on Etsy. But still, I think just trying something new is a big success in itself.
Hell, I was terrified to start a podcast, but I did it and I’m so glad for it. Listeners are really responding to it, it’s still up on iTunes’ New & Noteworthy section and I’ve been able to create a platform that lets me talk to the most interesting people.
So, to end off on a positive note (and quote):
What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable? – John Green
I want to do something remarkable with my life. And if I don’t do something remarkable, I want to at least be able to say I tried.
Are you afraid of failure? Is it holding you back from starting a new business, creating a new stream of income or living the life you’ve always dreamed of?