Why are we so afraid of failure?

August 10, 2015

I try imagine living in fear, allowing it to dictate my every decision. I try imagine living for others, watching their doubt and their own fears shift my own life. None of my spontaneous moves would’ve happened. I would be a lawyer, still hanging out with the same people because I wouldn’t have met anyone new, and I would be miserable. I’d probably be one of those annoying people updating my FB status with – “I want to travel and see the world SO badly, but then life gets in the way!” and update Instagram with a picture of a bikini clad goddess lying in Bali with the caption – #lifegoals.

When I tell people my life story (the first chapter in my eyes), the main question asked is; “how did you find the courage to just pack up and go?” The answer my friends, isn’t blowing in the wind (if you don’t get that reference, we can’t be friends) – it was when I decided to live my life according to the following motto:

“If you’re unhappy; change your attitude or change your situation” – I don’t know who wrote that, but big ups to that brain fart.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; no one cares what you do. With Social Media being what it is, people are so self-absorbed they don’t give two flying fucks what you’re doing with your life, bar the special few.

When I moved back to Durban from SE Asia, I was floored – people only wanted to talk about themselves. You could brazenly bring up a new topic of a different nature and it would probably last a total of two minutes before we were back talking how much money he/she was earning or how much they hate the bitch/asshole sitting two feet away from him/her.

Don’t believe me?

When/If you move away from home – send me a list of how many of your ‘friends’ contact you for something other than a favour. I’d love to see the five or so names.

The above example is to prove my argument; society isn’t going to judge you on your failures, they’re focused on their own lives – SO TAKE THE FEAR OUT. You’re only doing yourself a disservice.

Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Angkor Thom, Cambodia

“Will I fail if I move abroad?”

“Maybe…”

“Oh ok, so I won’t go.”

“Why the fuck not?”

At the age of 19 with no skills to speak of, I took R5 000 (400 pounds at the time) and set off for London – with no plan. Did I nail it? Not at first, my god. I fell on my face more times than I could count and I scraped mold off my bread because I couldn’t afford a new loaf. Do I regret it? Not for one starving minute. I learnt how to manage my money, stand on my own two feet and find tolerance. More importantly, I grew up and into the person I was meant to be.

My point is this, if I had hesitated and surrendered to fear or the thought of failure – I wouldn’t have moved to London, or Dubai and my fuck – definitely not Thailand! I’m not saying taking off at 19 is for everyone, but apply this to a situation in your life when you actually took a chance on something that you normally wouldn’t have done. How amazing was it? It was on your terms and solely for you.

Teacher Tam - Phuket, Thailand

Teacher Tam – Phuket, Thailand

“Will I fail if I change careers?”

“Maybe…”

“Oh ok, so I’ll stay in a job I hate”

“Oh, so you’re one of those dumb bitches who lets HERSELF down?”

What is the fear of failure? Do you feel angst in the pit of your belly at the thought of showing people your failure? Is it that you’ll feel the failure on a personal level and be enshrouded with guilt? It just sounds so exhausting. The greatest ideas come about with unshaken spontaneity – your drive alone, no fear – riding on passion. The passion train is one we all need to embark on with a lifetime membership.

Before I rant for days, do me one favour that will take a minute out of your day. Think of all the opportunities that have come into your life and then think about how many of them you threw away over fear of failure.

Take chances, failure isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s evidence you’re living life as it’s meant to be lived. Life-lessons are learnt through failure – get a bladdy education.

Please share your own thoughts on overcoming failure on my Facebook Page or send me a PM on Twitter.

Be kind to one another,

Tam

xx

 

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