The Fear of Failure: A Short Essay

Failure. The fear of failure. A very real and tangible concept that can debilitate the most resilient among us. The idea that if we reach for something, regardless of size, that we could possibly lose it or muck it up causes immense anxiety.

Fear of Failure is Cunning

The fear of failure had me in its clutches. Funny how it didn’t look how I thought it would. Normally, when I think of failure I think large, overarching feats: Asking for a raise, starting a new business, or quitting a job to pursue passions. But this time, fear of failure hid itself in a disguise so cunning that I couldn’t detect its sinister waft. It looked like stagnation, clouded thoughts, projecting, distraction, and sloth all under the guise of “I’m figuring it out.” Sometimes, “I’m figuring it out” can turn into “I’m not happy where I’m at because of xyz,” “Maybe if things looked this way…” or “I’m not going to try because….”

I was afraid to try. I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone and embrace the unknown. I was afraid of trying something new and being OK if it didn’t work out. I was afraid of being uncomfortable.

Gaining Clarity

I was too busy stuck in a loop of trying to find the perfect solution; trying to get so perfectly clear that failure is not in the picture. But the truth is, is that clarity sometimes means being willing to fail and just trying something and flowing and changing as needed but mostly moving forward. Getting out of that stagnant place to move to clarity. There are times where clarity will not come if we are standing still.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mind and in a state of internal overthinking and external judging. A state that is so distracting that we can’t see the root of the issue: Our own fear of failure. Our own fear of working with the unknowing and letting go of what we think things should look like.

Trusting the Universe

The universe has an entirely stunning plan for us. There is a time to be absolutely sure about what we are doing, and there is also a time for moving with uncertainty, trying anyways, and being OK with the unknown, being OK with failure. Failure in life is promised just like victory is promised. We have our time to experience and appreciate both.

Read this out loud:

I am on the right track. Everything is working out for me for my greatest and highest good. Nothing that life throws at me is too much for me to handle and is meant to grow me. When I change my thoughts and my mindset, I can and I am limitless.

I got this. You got this. We got this.

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