söndag 15 maj 2011

Fear of failure

I've been lucky on several occasions to have come across great teachers. Some of these teachers have said things that have stayed with me ever since. Some of these things concern what is mentioned in the topic to this post, the fear of failure. It is an interesting subject in deed. Just think of all the things everybody leaves undone just for fear of failure! What possibly great, maybe even life-altering experiences have you missed because you were scared it might not work out the way you planned it!?

Something I've noticed while living here in Finland, is that Finns have a terrible fear of failure! It's visible whenever there is a big competition of any kind that Finland is participating in. The rhetorics before entering the competition are always the same "we are well prepared, all we can do now is our best and hope that things go our way, although the competition is really tough, and quite frankly we will be satisfied what ever the outcome is, yada yada yada etc etc etc". That's like laying out cushions because you are mentally prepared to fall flat on your ass!

Why not instead go in thinking "I'm going to win this!!"? Then, even if you don't win, you will at least know you gave it your all, mentally and physically. It's like a front somersault, if your arms are pointed downwards in the take-off you get a low somersault, if your arms are pointed up, the somersault is higher. It's all in the take-off.

Back to those wise teachers I've had the fortune to come across. One once told me when I was about 14 years old that "daring is to lose ground for a moment, but not daring is to lose against yourself forever". When I was 23 another one told me fear will never go away, it just moves in the same pace as you move, only always one step ahead. The next new thing is scary, but once you do it, the fear moves on to the next new thing.

These wisdoms have led me to conclude that fear is something we just have to accept. It is ok to be afraid. It is not ok to let that fear stop you from doing things you want to do. Believe in yourself and that you can handle what ever comes your way, despite the fact that it scares you.

Here are some more thoughts on fear of failure.

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