Sometimes it becomes difficult to look at everything you want to accomplish and know that you are a long way from fulfilling these goals. It is easy to lose yourself in the fear of failure, in the fear of not being good enough, when life seems all too overwhelming.
I think at some point in our lives, we all go through a period of intense panic and question what we have or have not achieved. The Internet allows us to quickly compare our failures and successes to those of other people. You read news articles about twelve year old kids who manage to start their own companies or graduate from college. Those feats seem so astounding that you end up asking yourself “what have I done that could possibly compare?”
For a long time, I had a bad habit of comparing myself to other people. I looked at every little problem that I saw in myself and sized it up against the good things that I saw in other people. I pitted every one of my failures against someone else’s successes, and it made me miserable.
It took some time for me to understand, but I eventually realized that this is such a distorted way of looking at life. There isn’t an algorithm that translates your failure into another’s success. And there isn’t a healthy way to compare yourself to other people. We are all human beings, which means we all go through good times and bad times, successes and failures. Just because someone else has already accomplished one of your goals doesn’t mean that you will never accomplish it. We need to ignore our desire to compare ourselves if we want to get things done. Fretting over the bad won’t make anything better.
I stumbled upon this great quote on Pinterest the other day that reads “imagine if we obsessed about the things that we loved about ourselves.” I think this is a great message for people who struggle with insecurity and the fear of failure. We don’t sit around picking apart all the good that we accomplish, so why do we do that with the bad? Being happy with yourself and learning to let go of comparisons is all we can do in the quest for success. Instead of berating yourself for the things you don’t like, focus on the things you do. Use your beloved qualities to push yourself forward. Don’t allow useless fears to derail you.
Once you realize that you are your own person and not inherently linked to the accomplishments of other people, the world opens up a bit. It doesn’t matter if someone else graduated from college at the age of twelve, or became a successful businessperson. You are your own individual. Nothing that others have done can prevent you from doing the same. Letting go might be a challenge, but it will help you live fuller and achieve greater things. I wish you luck in all of your endeavors.
How do you handle the fear of failure?