Fear of Failure

Throughout my life I’ve always been fairly driven – to a certain extent. I’ve always had high expectations of myself and constantly wanted to be the ‘best I can be’. However, one of my biggest drawbacks has always been the fear of failure. Sometimes I feel as though things aren’t worth doing because ‘they probably won’t happen’. I.e. Sending writing to my university’s student media. I knew I wanted to send an article before I even started in September, yet I haven’t, why? Fear of failure. My brain says ‘it probably won’t get published’ and somehow being told ‘no’ over an article is worse than not even writing one. But, is it? Is it worse to fail or worse to avoid the chance of failure, meaning you are avoiding the chance of success?

One of the most successful writers in the world J.K Rowling said this about failure:

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all – in which case you fail by default.”

I think that’s true, not trying is essentially failing, whether there’s fear involved or not. What does ‘failure’ even mean anyway? Not getting what you ‘should’ be? Not doing what’s ‘expected’ of you? No – failure is not living up to your OWN expectations. So maybe we should just be less hard on ourselves. If we don’t live up to our expectations – that’s okay. Trying is success in itself.


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