Fear of Failure

This will probably be one of my most honest and vulnerable posts.  I am a fairly open person, when compared to some, but there are certain things most everybody chooses to only share with their closest confidants.  There are other things people don’t even admit to themselves.  This blog documents my random life musings and triathlon adventures but rarely do I reveal anything too personal.

After coming to my own realizations about my recent actions, or in-actions, and reading a post about vulnerability and establishing rapport by Scott Dinsmore, who writes Reading For Your Success, I felt compelled to be honest with myself and my 10 readers 🙂

Lately, I’ve been holding myself back a lot.  It’s been frustrating and disappointing.  My confusion about this apprehension and procrastination finally cleared when I realized the stem came from a fear of failure.  I’m afraid of so many things right now and that’s the simple truth.  Phew….now that I’ve put it out there in the universe I will get over this insecure phase and start believing in myself again.

What are some things I’m afraid to fail at right now?  One of them is not finding a job. I’ve been actively searching for a nursing assistant position for the past two months.  Countless phone calls and e-mails to human resources and nurse managers go unanswered, job applications sit in cyberspace, and attempts to work my network of nurses seem futile.  Anybody who has been unemployed knows that awful feeling of being useless and desperation to just have one chance to prove your strong work ethic, skills, and knowledge.  I sound so negative….ugh.

The other day I found out I wasn’t selected for a position I’d interviewed for and was understandably disappointed because I really set my hopes on that position.  Hopefully, writing this post will fuel my determination to continue full force with more applications, phone calls, and e-mails.  I can’t let fear of rejection or failure stop me just because it’s a rough economy.  Please understand, I believe in myself and I find comfort in believing God has a plan for me.  All-in-all, my outlook is extremely positive and I have taken numerous risks in my life so far.

Sometimes I wonder if my procrastination with writing 20 page papers, finding sponsors for my trip to Beijing, or even marathon training boils down to a fear of failure.  I am somebody who loves giving my all and striving for excellence.  What is my best isn’t excellent?  Well, if I don’t give myself enough time to truly perform my best then there’s no way to really know right :-/  I remember reading a book one time that talked about procrastination in “fear of failure” terms.  Interesting perspective.

So, how do I plan on getting out of this slump?

  1. Renew my efforts with job applications and try new methods of connecting and networking
  2. Take another look at my goal list, decide what really matters to me, and throw out the other stuff
  3. Focus on what I’d lose by not trying my best or procrastinating rather than rejection or failure
  4. Lots of positive self-talk 🙂
So how’s that for an honest post? 
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5 Responses to Fear of Failure

  1. I think a lot of people procrastinate because of fear of failure, but few recognize it, so this post indicates that you have a lot of insight and that you have a good chance of overcoming it – especially since you’ve outlined steps to get out of your slump.

    I went to a very competitive school, and I saw many bright students procrastinate everything. I think they subconsciously did this to give themselves an “out” when they didn’t do as well academically – they could simply say “I could have done better, but I didn’t spend enough time on it.” That’s no way to live.

  2. Victoria is right about people procrastinating out of fear of failure. I am afraid of failure, big time. I am a perfectionist (in a bad way) and that often paralyzes me from being able to do anything because I have to be able to do it JUST RIGHT. I’m trying to be better about that. I think the fact that you’ve written down the things that are causing fear in your right now, shared those and come up with an action plan show a lot of great insight and initiative.

  3. Nadine says:

    Thank you for being honest. I’m a pretty new reader (just moved to Tampa from NYC)! I’m a believer in everything happens for a reason. When you do get that job (and you will)–you will realize that not getting this job allowed you the chance at something different and better. Whether it’s the job you do get or the people you meet or the experiences you have. Good luck with your training, that’s an accomplishment that I’m sure 99% of nurses can’t say they’ve done!

  4. Courtney says:

    Welcome to Tampa Nadine! I hope you like it here. Thanks for the encouragement. I have a realistic outlook but sometimes I just get down feeling I’m not contributing or being productive.

    Jill and Victoria – Thanks for your perspectives. They are insightful and I definitely experience the “perfectionism” paralysis sometimes. I agree with you, Victoria, this is no way to live…

  5. Jess Miller says:

    Manifest your dream job. In detail write what it looks, like smells like, what you do each day, the type of people you interact with, etc. Manifest it and it will happen sooner than you expect. Don’t just apply any where…make your dream a reality.

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