The undeniable fear of failure

How many of you never actually try something because you’re afraid you might fail so you’d rather say I never did that than say I failed at that.

I was one of those kids who never learned how to ride a bicycle. Not sure how it quite happened when I was 6 or 10 or even 13, but I know that once I got old enough to realize that most people learn as children and I never did, I decided that it’s better to say I don’t know how to ride a bike than to try and fail. I actually developed a fear around it and was defending my position of not knowing as if it was my right. Trips to Austria when everyone wanted to rent bikes and we ended up taking the bus because I didn’t know how to ride a bike, rides in the woods that I completely missed, bike traveling in India with a dear friend ended up in train ride and so on…until last summer when I decided enough is enough so I bought a bike went to the park with a friend of mine and got on the bike. It took me about 20-30min to learn how to balance and to be able to actually relax. After a couple of hours of riding, I remember siting on the grass and thinking…what was up with that? why did I wait so much for this? and even more why did I defend the not knowing/not trying so much.

Imagine all the places in life when we’d rather not try something than say we failed. Imagine a child saying: I don’t want to try this whole walking thing because I might/will fall so I’d rather just not do it. As adults, when we become conscious of the possibility of failure, we start setting obstacles in our path. And the crazy thing is that we don’t even have a clear definition of what failure is: do you think the baby thinks he failed when he tries standing up and he fails? or does he just try again?

So next time you’re faced with this dilemma, next time you have the opportunity to try something you’ve never done before, just give it a shot, see what happens, maybe you’ll get the chance to say: I went to the trapeze school and I jumped for the trapeze instead of defending your position about why you didn’t do it when you had the opportunity or how you just went there to watch. And if you fall…try again ;).

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