Have you seen my recent Fear Conquering Challenge on Youtube? Every week for 16 weeks I am embracing my biggest fears in the pursuit of becoming a braver, bolder version of myself. I’ve recently quit my job, and some of my biggest fears lined up including getting my first tattoo, going bungee jumping, and public speaking lined up.
Fear of failure is an interesting fear.
There’s a combination of disappointment, embarrassment, shame, rejection and even the idea that you’re not good enough associated with it.
It’s a fear we regularly go out of our way to avoid but something that we all probably experienced growing up quite frequently.
If you’ve ever played a sport then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Did the idea of losing a tournament stop you from entering? from playing? from trying?
No. At a very young age we accepted the fact that sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. And when we did lose, we kept going, kept practicing and kept trying.
Sure at first, the world seemed like it was going to end. Feeling of anger, sadness, frustration and disappointment take over. From the change room to the car ride home and perhaps even that night you find yourself sulking.
But then reality sits in and you realize what the team did wrong and how you could have done better. You realize how well the team did the whole tournament, how hard you worked and all the great times you had.
And you carry on like normal.
You practice harder for the following tournament, train harder and strategize for next tournament.
You see, this is how failure works to our advantage.
It’s an opportunity to learn, to grow and to challenge yourself for the next time.
But outside of sports, we seem to take failure personally. Like we’re less worthy, less strong and a disappointment.
Thus, holding us back from even trying.
If we just applied the same mentality like playing on a sports team then people wouldn’t be as afraid of failure. They would try more. They would be more open to losing and open to growing.
During the summer of 2019, I set out on a mission to accomplish 16 of my biggest fears. I documente each of the experiences and share them on my youtube channel.
There was no part of me that thought I would ever fail. It didn’t even cross my mind.
Then one week, I completed failed my challenge.
And I reacted the exact same way as a sports team losing a very important game would react.
I was devastated.
I was donating blood for the first time. I dislike needles but even more so the deep red liquid that comes out of you. And to be in a room surrounded by people connected to a machine (including myself) and having it taken out of my blood was the absolute worst.
But I was on a mission. Mind over matter right?
Well I think my mind got the best of me. 3 minutes into the donation I had to pull the plug. I was seconds from completely passing out.
And before I knew it the needle was out, my bed was titled back, the fan was on and I had wet cloths all over my face and neck.
As I sat there regaining consciousness I immediately felt ashamed.
Had I really just given up? failed?
The feelings lasted for a couple of minutes till I realized that these things happen.
When you try something new, especially something you’re scared of, you have to be willing to succeed but you also have to be willing to fail. And fail epically, by passing out on camera.
But realize the failure is temporary. It’s brief.
Instead of saying that I would never do it again or that everything ended there, I looked at it like a learning opportunity. Not only for myself but for my subscribers to see that even bold, brave people have failures.
But it’s what you do with the failure that’s different than most
I reminded myself that I tried. And that in itself was so much bravery.
It reminded me that everything I’m learning from overcoming my fears is not about the moment of conquer but the process I experience leading to the result that makes me stronger.
“You’re not a failure because you failed but a success because you tried”.