By Ogorchukwu Onyinye
Fear of failure.
What is your definition of failure?
Did not get the passing grade = failure?
The proposal was denied = failure?
Could not get the job = failure?
Requested something from someone and got rejected = failure?
These fallbacks, regular day-to-day mishaps, are what we have come to define as failure and this keeps us from trying/attempting anything new. Well, this may be due to the mentality that when we fail it is all over, note ‘when’ not ‘if’ meaning for some reason we have subconsciously associated trying something new with the outcome of failure and that failure by concept means everything is over. Maybe for some of us, it is pride, we just cannot admit that we need help in certain areas hence we do not try at all since it would require asking for help.
Maybe it is fear, simply put the fear of failure that is we get ideas but choose not to invest in them, and we get opportunities but we choose to procrastinate. In our thoughts, it could be like ….. what if I start and it does not end well, what if it blows up in my face, what if I take part in this and people find out that I am not as perfect or as good as they think and all the other “what ifs” causing us not to try, start or indulge ourselves because of the fear of our definitions of failure coming true.
So What If We Fail?
Well, think about it, from the ages of 19 to 35 there about, what do we have going on? The majority of us do not have kids or a lot of responsibilities at the time. Instead, it is at this phase we try to figure ourselves out. So what is a bit of failure, what is a bit of tripping on the floor and standing back up?
We have a lot of untapped energy so why not funnel that energy somewhere while giving our all, sign up for that stuff, send out that proposal worse happens and it gets denied you would not face any serious consequences or you ask for something and they say No, you feel bad, it hurts but it is their stuff and their decision, you find an alternative. So fine, after trying you take a step back and evaluate yourself did you give it your all? is there something you could have done better? Because failure does not occur without leaving behind a lesson. you can decide to try again or maybe come to the realization that after putting your all into this one thing you did not feel the adrenaline rush and did not get as much excitement as you anticipated then you could go for something else, try something that catches your interest.
We may say that trying something new is risky. It is. So, it is not advisable to jump into the first thing that catches our eye instead we gather information, take consultations and after getting all the opinions and suggestions it may become overwhelming. At this time we ask for directions, not just any direction but divine direction more accurately through prayers, it is quite fundamental to understand that navigating the world on our own is less than fruitful. However, it becomes easier and more productive when we move with God’s direction and wisdom. Why? “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” says the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).
Why Are We Running?
At times, it may seem like failure is a large brick wall that is strange and unprecedented, we have no idea what it is or what will happen after its occurrence, and what happens when we do not know about something that seems strange to us? We become weary of it and we do not know how to deal with this weariness, to take those first steps to start, hence we find it difficult to stand back up when we fail. Something we know but do not thoroughly understand is that failure is not the end of the world, it is a chance to start anew, a chance to gain an experience, and a chance to add a story to the list of stories we can tell when we get older.
The earth would keep revolving around the sun even if that project was rejected, it would not even stop when you do get that grade. So fail, cause in the following year no one would make a big deal out of it. Maybe by then, a few more failures would have occurred covering the first and you could write a book about all the failures and sell it, that would be a win right?
Let us fail a lot and learn a lot then when we do have bigger responsibilities we will be people who are not scared of failing anymore, we will have enough experience to not fail anymore. So let us leave this fear behind cause right now “we are far too young to be worried about failure”.