What happens when we are paralyzed by the fear of failure? And how can we get past it?
Henry Ford said that “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”
Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”
In the article on Saturday, February 20th, you read about a question designed to motivate. What would you attempt if you knew you could succeed?
Today, I’d like to take a look at the fear of failure. Obviously, nobody likes failing or the feeling that comes with it. When you give your best and fall short of the mark, it is not a good feeling. And it’s a feeling many people shy away from and try to avoid completely.
This fear of failure can manifest in a few ways.
· Intense worry about what others think of you
· Doubt of your ability to achieve your goals,
· Physical pains (such as headaches and other similar pains)
In the spring semester of 2018, I faced something very similar to this. I was enrolled in a college algebra class, and to say I felt overwhelmed would be an understatement. I was so certain I would fail, I was considering a change in college majors to avoid college algebra. One day, there was an exam in that class, and about two hours before the exam was to start, I started dealing with a horrible headache. The stress made the headache worse, and the headache made the stress worse. I could not study, and I just knew I would fail.
This ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy as I did fail the exam and the course. I had to take college algebra again in the fall. But failing the course taught me something. When I looked at the grade at the end of the semester, my world did not end. Nobody looked at me as a failure. Anyone that knew simply said, “You’ll get it next time!”
And I did. In the fall of 2018, I took the class again and passed with an A. From an F to an A. Failing the test wasn’t the end, nor was failing the class.
I wish I could say you’ll never fail again. We both know better. But I can say this. Or better yet, I’ll let Sir Winston Churchill say it. “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
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