Do you let your fear of failure hold you back on doing what you love?

What is it that you dream about doing, but haven’t yet started? Most of us have something in the back of our minds waiting for the “better days to come”, whether they refer to days when there’s more time, money, better physical condition, better language skills, or something else. The amount of excuses for holding yourself back are many, but I dare to suggest, that mostly we hold back because of a fear of failure.

One Inspired Girl was a dream waiting for nothing more than my own courage to bring it to life. I’ve always loved writing, and I’ve been jotting my thoughts down in diaries, note books, calendars, post-its and even napkins, since I was a young girl, but until now they’ve stayed inside my pile of about 30 diaries.

Bringing thoughts out to public means opening your soul more to public. It’s frightening, but it’s also so fun and exciting! I started thinking, why is it that I postponed this for so long? What was I afraid about?

What are we really afraid of when we’re afraid of failure?

First of all, let’s break down the concept of “failure”. What is it really? It can be many things, but usually it is fear that we have about not reaching the expectations or embarrassing ourselves in front of others, to be laughed at even! When you think about it, you’re mostly afraid about your own feelings. But remember, you’re responsible for your own feelings, and YOU can decide not to take it too seriously.

On the other hand, failure is usually measured by comparison. Comparison is one of the greatest reasons we are unhappy. Comparing to the past you, to the future you, or other people, makes you feel bad about where you are right now. Have you heard about living in the moment? Well, that applies here too. Concentrate on what you want to do now and let the future arrive at its time.  And except from learning from others, ignore what they are doing. They have nothing to do with you! If someone started dancing already when they were 8 and you started when you were 30, how do you see each other comparable anyways? Don’t let yourself be  discouraged for not being as good as you think you should be.

Take a new approach on failure!

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Michael Jordan also fails. But if you fail once, it doesn’t mean you won’t succeed on another try.

Failing, getting embarrassed and doing something you can’t do, even being laughed at, is actually the best thing that can happen to you. Why? First of all you learn from the mistakes. To try and “fail” is really just a learning experience! Second, you realise, that even though you were afraid of losing your face (or more like dying), after raising your chin up after a fail-moment, you will notice that you are still alive, and that makes you stronger. And actually other people are too usually too focused on their own lives to even notice what happened.

I started pole dance a few years ago, which was completely out of my comfort zone. With 15 years of experience from football and tennis, let’s just say my performance hasn’t always been very aesthetic. To be honest, I’ve thought I’m a failure in this so many times! However, after hundreds of very awkward repetitions at the studio, I’m starting to learn something. I’m not one of the best, but it doesn’t matter, because I’ve had so much fun with the sport and it keeps me inspired training after training! So from now on don’t see failure as a  threat and start putting more energy on practising, than worrying about failure.

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Talk about inspiring! The “gymnastics grandma” Joanna Quaas postponed her dream until her children were adults, but probably got tired of that, and entered her first gymnastic competition being 56-year-old. At 86- years old she was was rewarded the Guinness World Record of the oldest active gymnast in the world.

What comes to writing a blog, going to dance classes, starting to speak a foreign language, or whatever it is that you keep postponing further until you’re sure that you will not fail horribly, I think you just need to start from somewhere. Nobody is perfect from the beginning and if you keep waiting for the day that you will be “good enough to start” you will never start.

Life is not short. Most people just start living it too late. So if you haven’t started yet, start TODAY- you will do just fine! 🙂

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