It’s been already a month I posted here something, and I really feel like it’s time to correct it. In this article, I am going to write from my naive and unskilled perspective what does the fear of failure mean for me, and how I am dealing with it. Make yourself comfortable, and perhaps get a cup of coffee, in case you would start to fall asleep. Oh, I really do hope you took this one as a joke, because I am not sure if it won’t be more of a reality..
[Disclaimer: This article was written almost 3 weeks ago. I wasn’t quite in the best mood, and the overall tone might sound angry now (though it wasn’t intended that way). I was having some ‘personal difficulties’ that kept me from publishing it right away, just to explain the reason for the delay. Also, the article wasn’t checked by any English professional, so I want to apologize for all the mistakes I couldn’t get right. I have quite some ideas for further articles, so just hope I’ll have enough determination to write them and publish them.]
It may not appear so from my dumb-looking look, but I spend a lot of time thinking. In fact, my brain somehow needs to be busy all the time, so when I am doing some mind-insensitive tasks, my mind is running through all kind of ideas and thoughts. Sometimes it seems like I am really getting into something, most of the times it’s thinking about something (or someone) I really like, and the other times the thoughts are some sort of ghosts that scare me off. Funny fact indeed is that one of the things that I came up with and consider it to be good whether I am in bad mood or in good mood is to: ‘think less, and do more’. So I am trying to, I am doing what I think I could be good at, and what could keep me from thinking about things that don’t go well in my life. And that’s why I have been working on my own product (app) for several last months.
It may not seem like a hard thing to do for some people who don’t know what does it take, but it really is. I have to think-through so many details, solve so many problems, learn so many new things; and most of the work can’t be seen in the results at all. And I am asking myself various questions from time to time: Is it worth it? Am I doing the right thing? What it is that I am trying to do? Am I chasing the right thing? What is it that makes me continue despite all these doubts? And I have to admit, I still don’t have answers for most of these questions. However, I am starting to feel that I am getting the last one answered. Despite all these doubts, I continue because of my passion for it. And I believe that all the greatest things in life originate from passion. The passion for people we care about, and the passion for things we do. For what is worth, the passion for beloved people is by far the most important one, but also the trickiest, and in my opinion goes well only in few cases. But in this post, I am going to focus on the “work” one. So as I said, I am sometimes being bothered by all these doubtful questions, and I have consistent answer for just one of them. And as it turns out, this one answer often isn’t enough. So what else is it that still bothers me? Well, I am afraid that my work won’t appeal to public once it’s published. And from this I could formulate a statement that pretty much defines what attitude I am trying to achieve: “Give all the best you can and let other people evaluate for what’s it worth”. If you think about it, you will find out that acting to it is a big risk. What if people won’t like it? What if they’ll consider it to be just a piece of useless [*beep*] not worth attention? That would turn out to be a big disappointment, the bigger the more energy you invested in it, right? So what people do about it? They are trying to reduce the possibility of failing as much as possible. Or at least reduce size of the possible disappointment. And that means either to invest less energy, or follow less the passion and more the logical sense. But I realized something: Both of these “solutions” will just make the chance of failure bigger. It’s better to think of it more in terms of what scares us about the failure. Is it the possibility of loosing faith in ourselves? Or the possible embarrassment? Or the injustice of the invested work not returning back in the way we deserve? Do you see it too? All these questions deal with human’s pride in some way. That’s nice, but you are probably asking something like this: “But what should I do with it? My pride makes me feel comfortable with my life, and I am not going to give up that.” And that’s very true. Pride indeed does provide us with good feeling, and that’s something worth preserving. But pride also has to be fed somehow from what we do. And that really depends on each of us. But whatever it is, most people will try to find something that will feed them pride while avoiding getting their hands dirty. And that’s where I see the weak spot. And I realized something: The best thing to do is to get rid of this “pride feeding” and “pride chasing” as much as possible. And I don’t have much problems with it.
Ever since I remember, I had been struggling with my low self-esteem. Sometimes it was really bad, but fortunately in last few years it’s better. By “better” I mean that I don’t have such paranoid imaginations of everybody else laughing me off in their minds the moment they see me, and similar things. Actually, it’s way better than just “better”, and for most of the time I am just fine with myself. I don’t want to dig into this deeper in this post, because it’s really irrelevant for the topic, but I am planning to write a whole post about it, and I think that if my fear of consequences will allow me to do it, it could be really interesting. But what I wanted to say: I don’t have to worry about my pride too much, because there is really not that much to loose.
And it’s not only pride. I can’t think of the right English words for all the human qualities that I would mention here at the moment, but pretty much every quality that makes us feel that if we lost it, it would break us; is counterproductive. So in terms of this, my low self esteem is really doing me a favor, because I don’t have to worry about “loosing myself” as much as other people have to.
However, I don’t want to make it sound like having a good faith in yourself isn’t a good thing. It’s just something you have to restrain in the tough beginnings if you are to follow your passion, because otherwise, the fear of loosing it will control you, and fear is certainly not something that will guide you well. There is another thing that is very important, and it’s regarding mistakes. I don’t know how does it go in other fields, but as far as my situations is concerned, the second most significant problem I had been struggling with is “What to do”. I am doing something I had never done before, I am making decisions based on my pure hope that “this could be the right one”. And one of the things that I have become really aware of in the last time is this: I am going to make a lot of mistakes. Lots of failures are going to happen, lots of missteps and generally lots of broken beliefs will occur. Now there is two ways that someone can choose to take: Either try to avoid all mistakes as much as possible, or prepare for them and learn from them every time they happen. I would sum it up like this: “Make all the decisions as best as you can. Even if a decision turns out to be the bad one, don’t be sad. Failures of all sorts are natural parts of the process, the ones that push us forward the most if we can take advice from them.”.
And finally the third thing, less relevant to this article, but rather to myself, is this: I need to really commit myself to all these ideas. A famous quote from the movie “The Matrix” is appearing in my mind: “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it. ”. My endless thoughts showed me something, but now it’s up to my determination whether I will be able to follow it.
At the end, I would like to say something which will wrap this post up: “Mistakes are natural part of the process. You’ve got to depend on your passion, because there will be moments when you’ll have nothing else left. Failure is bad only if it makes you stop. If it doesn’t, it’s the next step forward”.
Last words: Everything written in here is just my opinion, and even if some sentences may sound like I am stating it to be the truth, it’s just what I think of it. Don’t get the impression that I am trying to sound like the one who “figured it all out”, because I know I didn’t. You are welcome to comment on this in any way you like.