You might be wondering why most articles lately have been, in one way or another, trying to address the aspect of fear – a cancer that seems to be eating dreams and killing zeal more than anyone would care to count.
Fear is something we all at some point will have to deal with in order to make any further progress towards fulfilling our individual assignments or dreams, if you might.
While many are afraid of a whole lot of things, the most prominent forms of fear are the fear of failure or the fear of failing, the fear of the unknown; of what lies ahead, and the fear of other people’s opinions; what they might say, are already saying, or do. Though we are all plagued by this dreadful emotion at certain points in our lives, we have grown to react to it in different ways. While some people exploit their fears, others, for the most part, give up because of them. This explains why many actually fail; they are so afraid of failure they never do anything – they fail to try.
Many have failed to act on their ideas, passions and goals simply because at some point along their journey to fulfillment, they entertained the thought of things not working out. Instead of dealing with challenges and failure along the way, they would rather not start to begin with. If this sounds familiar, I would like to ask; “If you find it so easy to think of a thousand and one reasons why you won’t succeed, have you ever tried to focus on the reasons why you actually can?”
Many people think that the main reason why people fail is because they don’t do it right, that they wrongly apply principles, or lack knowledge. Though this is true, to a certain level, the primary reason for the outstanding multitudes that fail is fear and unfortunately, the greater majority of the people in this group are the ones no one ever hears anything about because they actually don’t do a thing. They are the ones who let the fear of failure prevent them from giving their ideas a shot. They are the ones who let the cares and pessimism of this world keep them from ever going all out. They literally are carrying ideas to their graves, not necessarily because they can’t succeed, but because they are too afraid to fail, they actually fail to try.
The greater majority of failures in the world are the ones nobody ever hears about.
Fear has probably rendered far more people miserable than poverty itself and it continues to have its way in the lives of many today. Have you been told you won’t make it or that your ideas are not worth anything and that they are not going to work? Well if you think giving up for fear that these predictions may be true, guess what? One of the most painful experiences in life is to see someone do very well what you thought of doing, but failed to do for fear of failure or of what “others” said – not that you should discard good advice or insight that contradicts your own line of action (this is different from throwing in the towel and giving up just because someone said you were not going to succeed.)
It’s not so much about what your ideas or plans are, but about coming up with the perfect system to make them succeed. The product is important, but the system you build is more important. With the right system, information and of course, with courage and tenacity, any product or idea can be built into something of value.
What the Fear of Failure Really Does to its Victim
Having agreed that fear is probably the greatest reason for failure in all its forms, especially the failure to start; I think it is only fair that we dig deeper into what this virus really robs off its victims anytime they let it in. If you are that person who is thinking of giving up, here are a couple of reasons why I think the fear of failure is deadlier than failure itself. I personally believe that the price you pay for giving in to the fear of failure is greater than the fear and the failure combined.
- It plunges you into a life of regret
In an earlier article, we mentioned the fact that the idea you have and think is unique is probably what is running in the minds of 10 other people who live not very far from you. Though God won’t really give two people the exact same plan, you must understand that for God to change his plan, he must change the person. If you fail to act, another will take your place.
This is reminiscent in life today where someone has a brilliant idea, but fails to act on it for fear of failure. Some months pass and boom… while he walks down the street he sees the same idea he had, the one he failed to act on, being marketed by some other person – obviously someone who wasn’t as scared as he was. What happens? He then goes home and mourns over what he thought was a brilliant idea, now being exploited by another.
“If you fail to act, another will take your place”
We all have probably heard people suddenly exclaim; “and this is the exact same thing I was thinking of or working on”, anytime they pass by a materialized idea they too thought of at one time. Fear does that. It not only robs you the joy you get when you realize a goal, it equally plunges you into pain because ideas never die, they are simply transferred from one host who isn’t acting on them, to another – one who will act on them.
So anytime you fail to act on what you think is a brilliant idea for fear of failure, know you probably will get hurt more than once for failing to try. You think trying and failing is bad? Wait till you see someone succeed in what you failed to attempt because you feared you were going to fail.
I would rather find out for myself what my idea would have amounted to, than wallow in pain and regret, even greater than what I was trying to avoid. I would rather give my ideas a try and face the consequences than stay back and in the not too distant future, wish I had known better. If you are afraid of failing, you never will make significant progress in life, because the things that have been designed to transform our lives often lie on the other side of our fears and doubts.
Do not be misled; greater pain awaits they who fail to try. Pain and regret, when you find out from some other person that you actually could have succeeded had it been you only had the guts to try. Though people may not see your failure physically, for those who actually don’t do anything, internal pain and regret will be unavoidable.
“The things that have been designed to transform our lives often lie on the other side of our fears and doubts.”
Stop shying away because of what you think people might say if you try and fail. People will always talk, but in the end, when in the confines of solitude, it will come down to what your conscience is telling you. I would rather live with peace within me than try to please the outside world, while I consume within. Give your ideas a try. Who cares what the world says or thinks? They are the very people who will celebrate you when you succeed.
2. It robs us of opportunities
You notice that anytime you get a brilliant idea and fear sets in, you almost immediately give up on that idea. Upon conception, the true nature of the idea brings joy, but then we go out into the world a different picture sets in.
That you do something is no guarantee that you will succeed, but doing nothing is the one thing to do if you never want to achieve anything. The only things that will seem okay for us to do are the things we are accustomed to doing and you and I both know that you can’t keep doing the same things over and over and expect to get a different result.
The moment you let that chill get the best of you, what was once an ingenious idea will most likely be abandoned and what is to stop this process from repeating itself anytime you get a “brilliant” idea? Always remember; the secret is to try no matter what. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the refusal to give it any attention.
Giant or worthwhile accomplishments will often need greater amounts of faith and courage. Our greatest rewards will often lie on the other side of our greatest fears or obstacles. Mount up courage and you always will make the most of opportunities that come your way.
WHAT TO BE AFRAID OF
It is not the fear of failure that we should be worried about, but about the consequences of giving in to these fears. Many people have been made to think that fear in itself or failure is most deadly, but it’s not. What usually comes after giving in to your fears is often the most painful. It is the notion that you could have succeeded with that idea or dream if only you tried; that will hunt you for ages to come. The notion that your life could have been way different had it been you refused to give in to your fears, but face them. It is the notion that with a little more courage you could have had your dream desires; your dream business, spouse, future, family and all the like. These are the things that will reverberate within you long after you give in to your fears.
“Do not fear failure, No. Rather, be afraid of the opportunity you might miss for not acting on your ideas, for not hanging in a little while longer.”
Many people are more concerned with what people will say if they fail that they fail to realize that they equally will answer to their consciences, why they failed to take responsibility for the ideas endowed them.
I would rather give my ideas a try and face the consequences than stay back and in the not too distant future, wish I had known better.
Most of us have been in such a situation before, where we go back memory lane anytime we see someone succeed in something we ought to have done, but failed to do. Maybe we had a promising business idea that could have changed our lives, but due to fear of failure or what people might say or what they actually already said, we chose to bury this idea and all the excitement it brought with it. Some months later, we see some other person who has just started out on something new – probably what we had in mind, and is doing really great. We go home and can’t shake off that feeling of regret, the feeling that things could have been better if only we tried.
What we are saying in effect is that not giving your ideas a try simply because you are being paranoid and afraid of failing, will cost you more in the long run – especially if this idea is something you are really passionate about, something you can’t shake off your mind. Just be sure to carryout adequate research; plans fail for lack of counsel.
Many have had such ideas, but like I said earlier, the greatest numbers of failures are the ones we haven’t heard anything of because they failed to do anything about their plans.
It is foolish for someone to laugh at another for having tried and failed, not knowing that they are the greater failure. The one laughing at someone who has gone out there to do something is most likely the greater failure because I can bet there is something he/she has thought of doing and still hasn’t done anything probably because they are afraid.
If there is one thing we want to pass out through this write up is the truth that the consequences of not trying due to the fear of failure are greater than the fear and the failure combined. If you miss out on golden opportunities because of fear, you will live to regret it.
We all are victims of this fear; we just don’t react to it the same way. Whenever any new idea is conceived, even before it becomes materialized, it suffers many abortion attempts, but in the end it’s not about what people might say, but about your believe, in yourself and your idea, and your reaction to the thought of failing.
How will you feel if you see some other person succeeding at the very same thing you were afraid of going out there to give a try?
The key to your greatness lies on the other side of your fears.
Of all the things you would need to do in order to realize your projects or goals, the one you are most afraid of is probably the most determining. This means failure to do this particular thing might kill your entire efforts. The things that will cause the most dramatic changes in your life will either be very difficult to do or will make you most fearful.
The thought of going out on sales was terrifying – I still find it so some days, but in the end, I knew that if I ran away from that simply because I was afraid of failing or of being rejected (you know… people not needing my product or services), I was going to spend my entire life running. If you want to find comfort first, you will stay stuck in your comfort zone, because anything that will make you move forward in life in a great way, will be frightful at the onset and will demand that you step out of your comfort zone.
Get relevant information and give your ideas a try. You never really will know what the outcome will be until you go out there and do something. Always remember that opportunities are not for particular people, they just tend to elude the fearful and center on those who, in spite of their fears, still mount up the courage to maximize them. Nature never wastes resources, opportunities included.
You will never know unless you try. And for those who are still afraid to try, always remember that for the right dream or goal or idea, I would rather try and fail than fail to try for fear of failure.
You just might succeed, but again, you never will know unless you give it a try. Those who do nothing in life, get nothing out of life, and if fear is your excuse, you won’t be spared either. The world is governed by the bold, and not the fearful. step out there and do something.
Always remember the following:
- In order to have what you have never before had, you must be willing to do what you have never before done.
2. We must be willing to do that which we think we cannot do, for it is the means by which true growth comes.
3. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act inspite of what fears we may have. It is acting, not necessarily because we want to, or feel as to, but because we have to, in order for certain goals and results to become our reality.
4. You have been given a choice. Face your fears now and live hereafter in joy that you did, or run away from your fears now and regret it the rest of your life…