The Fear of failure

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After a hard day’s work of walking in the forest on a Wednesday, I’m locked away in my hotel room feeling super tired. It is raining heavily; I’m trying to sleep but I can’t so once again here we go… my mind begins to work overtime (By now you should know I’m a bit of an overthinker). I start critically analyzing a lot of things and then I begin to ask myself why we’re so afraid to fail at anything as a people.

Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective and may be viewed as the opposite of success. We live in a society where failure is stigmatized. It comes with a public embarrassment and shame to deter us from ever failing and doing everything we can to succeed. Growing up in a Ghanaian household as the first male born in my family, I weighed the world on my shoulders. Everyone had an opinion on who I should become, what I should do and how to live my life. Even people I disregarded thought it was a good idea to have a say in my life choices. Society taught me to fear failure and nothing I did was ever good enough so I spent several years trying to please everybody till I had enough. Living in fear is not how I wanted my life to be and when I made a decision that came with consequences, I faced it head-on and dealt with whatever came my way (That’s what all this being an adult thing is about anyway).

Failure has unique power within it, it is a symbol of progress. It is an important benchmark that everyone hits before finding success. As eloquently said by Jay Z “Failure is a blueprint to success”. As a society, we need to adopt a positive outlook on failure because it is a big step in the right direction. Before you can fail, you have to take new risks, extend the limits of what is possible, be more extensive in the things you do and expand your horizon. This inadvertently equips you with more tools and knowledge to achieve greater things in the long run. Many people avoid failure because they are scared of moving backward but even if you’re moving in the wrong direction, it means you’re going somewhere. At the very least you’re learning the dos and don’ts of your craft. Whereas standing still because you are afraid to fail means you stopped trying, you’ll never learn or grow and you’re not going to accomplish your ultimate goals.

Failure shines a light on our weaknesses. It highlights exactly what’s holding you back. In that way, you can make real lasting changes to improve yourself and it becomes a big step to success. Experiencing failure awards, you an incredible amount of first-hand wisdom to learn the pitfalls of any road you have to travel down it. There is so much you can learn from a distance. So, to succeed you need to get in there, give your best, take risks and fail for yourself. Failure is a learning curve so it’s especially important to pay attention to the way you fail especially if it’s over the same reason. Most people also don’t realize how much failure improves creativity. It forces you to think outside the box and be a pioneer.

I had another epiphany about fear of failure that has taken my understanding to a new and deeper level. The real fear is not failure, the meaning you attach to failure or even total failure. Instead, the real fear is about the fear of experiencing the painful emotions underlying total failure that you think you will feel if they fail. Your fear of failure is utterly self-defeating; it does you no good at all. It creates a win (but not really)-lose-lose-win situation. You win (again, not really) by protecting yourself from hose alleged painful emotions, but you loose in two ways. You don’t achieve your goals and you have huge regrets for not giving your best effort. And you continue a pattern of thinking, emotions, and behavior that not only hurts you but will continue to haunt you in every aspect of your life.

If we had more pioneers and outside-the-box thinkers, well we might not be facing the many problems we have in this country. So, break free from society’s norms, don’t maintain the status quo, don’t worry about moving backward and, never be afraid to fail. It may not feel like it at the time but every slip-up will bring you one step closer to your goal.

Columnist; Caleb Segbefia (DeeJay)


Contact; +233 246041356

Asare Solomon Aristocrat
Asare Solomon Aristocrat

I’m Solomon, the CEO of Voix Of Ghana Media ( VOG MEDIA, and Aristocrat Charity Foundation ( ACF). Aside blogging, I am also a Forester, Philanthropist, a Publicist, and a Promoter.

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