Starting a new business or a new job can be terrifying at best. You do not usually know what to expect and face challenges you never did before. It is a new territory and it brings unprecedented feelings. One of the biggest concerns always is “will I succeed?” And if we are honest, you never know if that will be the case. The fear of failure has always hold people back. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to fail.
Failure vs. Success
When we think about failure, we picture ourselves doing something wrong or not reaching our goals. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers six truly relevant definitions:
- Omission of occurrence or performance.
- A state of inability to perform a normal function.
- An abrupt cessation of normal functioning.
- A fracturing or giving way under stress.
- Lack of success.
- A falling short.
All these definitions give failure a bad connotation. They make people fear it as if failing at something would make them unworthy. And it stands on the other end of success, which the same dictionary defines as “a favorable or desired outcome.”
These two words have been part of our vocabulary for as long as we can remember. Anyone’s worth and power in society is based on what they do to succeed and how they achieve success. While someone’s failure is whispered and commented behind their back. Because failure versus success has been the longest-running battle between humans.
Fear of Failing
It has been established that failure is negative, and success is positive. Your resume is designed for you to highlight your successes. Social media platforms are there to showcase the different ways in which you have been succeeding in life. When people ask about your business, they want to know the good, not the bad or the ugly. Everything was created to shame you for your failures.
With this in mind, many employees and students face the tasks at hand with fear. They do not want to be the ones failing. They do not want to feel ashamed of the work they have done. Because at the end of the day, we all want to come out on top, feeling proud of what we do.
The fear of failing is a feeling many deal with, but a few talk about. It is a struggle to manage behind closed doors when no one is watching. Sadly, we are made to feel those around us should not know about this fear because they will label us as weak. Why are we so scared to say we are not good at everything? Why does a gold star determine our value?
Do not Fear Failure
Venturing into something new is scary on its own. You should not be adding the fear of failure to that. No one should expect you to know how to do everything or to immediately know how to manage new tasks. You will have errors and you will make mistakes; those are part of the process to reach your full potential.
Even though not many say it, failure is a learning experience. Just because you failed at something does not mean you are unworthy. This will teach you where you went wrong and how to make the appropriate changes to reach your goals and meet your expectations.
Life is a constant trial and error that leads us to where we want to be. Every person we now consider successful has had their fair share of failures. We all have. Although it is not seen this way, failing is completely valid and acceptable. The key to overcoming this fear is knowing the obstacles you face will only make you stronger.