I remember thinking to myself, he won’t shut up… please… someone shut him up.
Have you ever been in a class and heard the teacher make the same point over and over like a broken record player?
And because you’re a sarcastic prick, hearing that same point repeated over and over made you want to stick peanut butter in your ears, and try to take on life as a professional sandwich knowing that the odds were stacked against you in this hungry, hungry world?
Or maybe you’re at home with your Dad and he’s telling you The Story… you know, the long winded one that he keeps sharing with you every other day that ends in “Y”?
I’m talking about being annoyed by repetition people; the feeling of frustration from being told the same thing over and over like you’re incapable of remembering.
This feeling is exactly how I feel when I hear people talk about the fear of failure being everyone’s biggest fear.
I was so sick of hearing about the fear of failure because to be honest, I never understood it nor appreciated it until I recently made a discovery that changed my life for the better.
And no this isn’t a rah rah… you gotta fail to succeed type post… it’s the other side of this expression kept in the dark that I want to illuminate.
But first, an obligatory paragraph or two on failing:
To me failing is apart of life… you don’t get better sitting on the sidelines, you get better participating in the arena. Obviously when you try something new, you’re going to fail at certain parts of it; you’re unlikely to get world class results on the first crack. But failing at first isn’t failure… it’s just learning. As long as you don’t quit you still have a chance to succeed.
The best people at anything at one time were ironically also the biggest failures at that same thing. As the saying goes, the Kung Fu Master is only a Master because he made more mistakes than then apprentice even attempted. Michael Jordan is a winner because he was a loser. If you don’t shoot, you don’t score… all that helium, warms-the-bones, live, laugh, love truths we have come to know and accept. The lesson is this: you gotta fail to succeed, you gotta crawl to walk. You get it, you got it, good.
Back to the story:
I don’t agree with the “most people have a fear of failure” monologue because I fear something different, something more with impact something more permanent…
I fear wasting my time.
Yes.. wasting time is what I fear, wasting time is what I always feared because you can’t get it back. Hell, you can fail and try again – I can’t redo time.
The thought of committing my life to something and have it being the wrong thing at times can paralyze me and send me into a ice cream and TV therapy session… yep that old chestnut.
I’m terrified of chasing the wrong carrot or going down the wrong path because unselfishly, I want what’s best for myself and maybe, if you’re like me, you want what’s best for yourself too. I guess what I really want time well spent.
So I thought how do you know if your wasting time? Or rather what is time well spent?
Well I think I have the answer to my dilemma and all I needed was a definition for time well spent… so I made one.
Time well spent is simply spending your time doing things that you enjoy, trying to accomplish things you want to achieve, trying to accomplish things that challenge you or spending time to take care of yourself or family.
That’s it. It’s so simple.
People shouldn’t fear wasting time… because time is going to pass anyway… as long as you spend your free time enjoying what you do, there is no wrong way to live and you shouldn’t feel the pressure of comparing your life to others. (Granted, hopefully you don’t enjoy being a giant flaming douche bag who brings harm to the world)
Stop worrying about being a failure and start focusing on spending time on the activities you enjoy. Life is too short for you not to enjoy it. Have fun, make mistakes, learn from them and be better. You only get once chance at life, make it count.
Please like, comment, share and tell me what you think. If you liked this article, please pass it along. What do you fear?
20 thoughts on “Overcoming Your Fear Of Failure”
Great post Tony. There’s definitely a bit of an age and experience thing to build in here too. When younger I think that most of us have had a fear of failure. Some carry it all their lives but the savvy soon realise that it really does not matter if we fail, so long as we are willing to admit it, apologise if necessary, and pass it to someone else, or have another go at it.
Thank you for the kind words and advice my friend! I hope you’re doing well
Well, and philosophical, thank you.
Good one. I use the phrase ” innocent pleasure ” to describe the good things that one might do. And I search for them.
Great post, Tony. I have to admit, I’ve had a lot of fears, failure being one of them. Definitely been working on it and putting myself out there more and more. Nicely written too.
Thanks so much, a little of progress adds up to a lot of progress
Hi Tony, I would really like to chat to you personally about mine and your blog. If you would leave some form of contact detail so that we can get In touch that would be great. Thank you so much.
Hey Bailey, you’re a great writer, shoot me an email – email@example.com
Fail, can’t and try are three words that don’t exist in my life.
That’s a great thing!
Best points, Tony–“Well I think I have the answer to my dilemma and all I needed was a definition for time well spent… so I made one.
Time well spent is simply spending your time doing things that you enjoy, trying to accomplish things you want to achieve, trying to accomplish things that challenge you or spending time to take care of yourself or family.”
Im glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for commenting
Right now, my only fear is that I’m going to either eventually be asked to please shut up, or accidentally out myself as a massive overthinker, or just talk myself to death. I am properly driving everyone I live with up a wall with my chatter.
hahah, you are in the same boat my friend… the best thing we can do is write and have a conversation with myself.
great post Tony!
thank you so much!
I’ve learned how to “waste” time doing nothing and enjoying it. But as you say, if I’m enjoying it’s not a waste of time, right? Enjoyed the post!
You make some good points, and encourage deeper thoughts. Keep it up!
Thank you so much, that’s goal to keep going