Thursday 22 January 2009

Fear of Failure

Originally print in The Aquinian on 01/20/09

I have noticed that everyone seems to have this big plan in their heads for themselves.

“I’m going to be the best, most spectacularly extraordinary, successful and rich person when I grow up”.

It’s as simple as that.

We are setting ourselves up to believe that anything less than perfection is failure.

Pop culture gives us the impression that those who are failures are generally poor, powerless, unpopular and physically unattractive. With this, we have created a culture of fear and avoidance of failure.

It’s quite evident in athletes. Like it or not, we are all afraid to make mistakes. Some athletes are so plagued by the thought of coach yanking me after a missed opportunity they lose all focus.
Many athletes hinder their potential by focusing on avoiding mistakes instead of believing in their ability.

One could argue that this fear illustrates your passion and care for sport.
You want to be successful and portray yourself as this wonderful gift from God.

However, I think people portray this image because they’re looking for social approval. They need to be confirmed and validated in society to show their dedication.

Let’s face it; we want the approval and respect of our peers. Whether you have been an athlete for only a short while or have been into sports for 30 years, the fear of letting others down can lead to substandard performances.

Then I wonder. Do you compete for yourself or for others around you?

It’s a tough question. Many people find it difficult to admit that they actually compete to gain acceptance from their teammates, family members, coaches, and so on.

Doubt has got to be the number one killer of confidence. Pessimistic or perfectionists tend to hold onto doubts, essentially dragging down their mind and effecting performance.

Think about it, you’re preparing to play the top team in your league and the first thing you say is, “how are we going to beat these guys tonight?” Before the competition has even begun, we are looking for answers.

To put it all into perspective, Failure is inevitable. It is an essential part of life that we cannot avoid.

It gives motivation to overcome difficult challenges. It shows you exactly what you’re doing wrong and forces you to take ownership over your problems.

It teaches you to be determined and committed to your dreams. It forces you to persevere.

So persevere already.


1 comment:

  1. very good piece here Jason ! Hit the nail right on the head in regards to fear of failure and performance . Very apropos to this team's performance too I think . Excellent insight there !