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The Fear of Failure

It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.

William James

When embarking on any new journey, I often wonder, “is it worth it.” Is trying to accomplish this new goal or mission worth the chance I will fail. More often than not, I feel as though I have already failed. I want to give up. Growing up, I would love exploring new things such as sports and art, and more. Yet, the first sign of failure or lacking behind others and I would quit. I was pretty young when I started gymnastics, and as a half-deaf person, I struggled a lot. I struggled to keep my balance on the balance beam or know where I was oriented when doing flips. But I kept going. I kept on trying. However, soon I saw my friends excelling much faster than I was. I saw them being able to do flips on the balance beams while I still struggled to do a handstand on one. I saw myself begin to fall behind. I knew I would fail. To be clear, I had yet to fail at anything. I was still on the team and was pretty good at handsprings, split leaps, and more. My landing may have struggled at times, but my form was always right. Yet, I did not see this at the time. What I saw was me failing. I decided to quit. I wanted to stop now than be kicked off the team for any reason. I told my parents I just did not like the environment. I believed I would fail, and so I failed before I even truly began. Years later, I would try out for a soccer team at my school. The first year I tried out, I went to the first try out and noticed everyone was a lot better than I was. I skipped the second try out cause I knew I was going to fail. I didn’t want to be embarrassed. The next week I found out that I had made the team. I made the team having only gone to one try out. Before you think I am a soccer star, this was in middle school, and only 3 people who tried out did not get on the team. But still, I had done it. I thought to myself that this was a mistake. So I quit that year. Said that I was not feeling the team dynamic. A team dynamic I had yet to experience. The next year I tried out again and got on the team. But I still regret having left it the year prior. I left a team thinking I would fail. A group I had yet to indeed play with. I wonder now if I had not deemed my efforts a failure if I would have succeeded. I wonder if maybe I would still be doing gymnastics, something I loved doing if I had pushed myself past my limitations instead of deeming my career over. Luckily, I had learned from these moments, and now when I feel myself giving up before I even tried, I push myself just the more. I work past my fears, and I make sure they do not define my path. I do not let my fear of failure deter away my potential for success.


Published by Kathrine

Emergency Room Nurse spends too much time thinking, reflecting, and over-analyzing every detail of life. Hoping to one day figure it all out.

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