It is a valid question, one that most will answer that they are afraid to fail more than succeed. For some, for many, that might be the case. Even if you are more afraid to fail than you are to succeed; I believe it is something that is programmed into us. Something that is taught and unnatural to people. Since we were infants, it has been instinctual to try, and fail, and try again. If we were afraid of failure since birth, we wouldn’t walk, talk, ride a bike, drive a car, we wouldn’t do anything. It is instinctual to fail and fail again until we succeed.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.”
– Samuel Beckett
From what I have read, and from what I have experienced, we learn to be afraid to fail. I want to preface what I am about to write with I am not attacking any one education system, educator(s), or anyone in our school systems . It is at no fault to our educators that they unknowingly are part of the problem, reprogramming their students to have a negative outlook about failing, and that because they failed they are “less than”. Our education system needs to evolve from the 19th century Industrial Revolution system. Which is almost completely a left-brain dominant system, because you can measure and grade the dominance on the left side of the brain: logic, analytics, rationality, mathematics, etc. From teaching from the left side of the brain primarily you suppress the ability for the right side of the brain to develop. In essence, we teach kids how to pass or fail, how to color within the lines, and that thinking outside the box is bad, basically we are teaching children how to be employees. Through our current education system we are subconsciously training students that failure is bad. As Pavlov trained German Shepherds to salivate at the sound of a bell; we are doing the same thing at the most crucial time in human development.
Fear of Success is different, and yet is all the same. Fear of success is from the mentality of “if i succeed, then I won’t know what to do..” or “I am afraid of the unknown and I comfortable where I am right now…”. We all have our stories we tell ourselves. I suffered (and still suffer from) the fear of success, because I am afraid that I will be good at what I do, and when I am confronted with a new problem, or a bigger problem, I won’t know how to handle it and I will be back to square one. When I know I am great, and I can do anything I put my mind to, there is still that limiting belief in me. It started as fear of failure, and as
I started to tackle that, the fear of success started creeping in. And it is an ongoing battle
until I completely change my thinking and my habits.
“If you think big and don’t act BOLD, you’re just having a wonderful life in your head.”
If you want to know the difference between the most successful entrepreneurs, athletes, actors and you, it’s you! Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs, Lebron James, Gary Keller, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Ben Affleck, Danny Devito… what is the difference between them and you? They never gave up! Every time they were knocked down, they got back up, brushed themselves off. They learned the lessons from their failure and applied them to their next attempt. And that is what it takes for you to succeed as well, keep getting back up again and again. Success is messy, and if you only focus on what success looks like when it shows up, or you get your big break you won’t get to that point. Look at the struggle, the pain, and the sacrifices they made and evaluate what you can do to model after them. So that you can live a bigger life, and the greater life that you want and deserve
Let me know what you think, I love getting feedback from you! Be blessed, and I love each of you.
-Michael, Just Michael