Having the Courage to Fail

I have a very big fear of embarrassment, rejection and failure. I hate losing and making a fool out of myself. Worst of all, I am extremely weary of what people may think of me. But I’m starting to see that we learn and grow not in succeeding or failing, but in the course of going through a process.

Too often I get intimated by the idea of losing and of coming up short, and I think a lot of people feel this way too because that’s what the focus is on. That’s what everybody notices and talks about. Success has become a primary motivating factor and failing has become a solid reason for not trying. I mean, if you knew you were going to fail before indulging in something, why even bother in the first place?

In a world of competition and opportunities, too often we shy away from the battle. I think this is one of my biggest set-backs as a person trying to advance myself. I’ve gotten into the mentality that if I were to compete as an underdog, I might as well not compete at all. But being the losing underdog who puts up a good fight and takes the beating, is far more respectable than one who backs out and never tries.

You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing. – Arthur Ashe

Growing up, my mom has always told me to not be afraid of asking questions and being laughed at. People who laugh is their problem, but the knowledge I gain is mine forever. It’s been incredibly hard to apply this into my life because I am a timid person with a high ego. As a result, I am reluctant to speak French because I’m scared to make errors, I avoid applying to job positions that I feel under-qualified for, I choose not to compete against someone better than me, all for the sake of saving face. I play everything safe and keep attempting to escape the losing position.

I’m starting to realize as I’m getting older that this fear has been limiting me in so many areas. I need to build up the courage to  fail and not fear being humiliated from time to time. I need to take some leaps of faith. I need to take some punches in order to learn how to block. I need to fall to know how to fly.

Success will never come within one step, but after each loss, we improve a little bit. If we keep going back for another try, we will eventually be naturally good enough to win. Whatever it is we’re going for! Afterall, we don’t learn through success. Success is a result of learning, and learning is a result of failing.

Let’s have the courage to be the disadvantaged. Because we go in with nothing to lose, but we walk away with everything to gain. We shouldn’t worry about winning. That will come in due time.


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