Everyone fears failure. Nothing is more demeaning than telling everyone about your dreams and goals and not coming through with them.
As an Asian, the pressures of failure can be overwhelming. We are intellectual specimens – we start SAT classes when we’re a fetus. We are the Spartans of education – perfectly bred, groomed, and pampered for good grades and perfect scores. You remember that scene in 300 where they throw physically deformed babies over a cliff? Yeah, that same fate is ours… if we dare get a B in class. Anything short of UCLA, 6-figures, and BMW’s is unacceptable (come on, you have to give your parents something to brag about during family get-togethers).
I remember once in high school when I brought home a B on my report card – my parents didn’t feed me for three weeks. I lived in the backyard with my two Labradors and hunted wild game. I was starting to look like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings out there until my parents were mollified by convincing themselves they had 5 children - odds have predetermined that one was bound to fail.
The thought of failure can cause a great deal of fear and anxiety, but trying something and failing is always better than never trying at all. (Cliché power!)
There’s this one fellow, I forget his name, who once said:
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
If my memory serves me correct, he never amounted to much.
We can rid our fear of failure once we stop doubting ourselves. People have a tendency to be their own worst critic. They grade their own work much harsher than realistic expectations and then begin to fill their selves with doubt.
I am a victim of this as well. Whenever I write a post I’m always very wary about its quality. Personally, if I had to rate my posts on a scale of 1 through 10, 10 being “eh, not bad” and 1 being “Oh-man-I’d-rather-wake-up-with-explosives-strapped-to-my-chest-and-a-recording-of-Jigsaw-asking-if-I-“Want to play a game?”-than-have-to-read-your-post” I’d give myself a… 2. But now, having grown a little more confidence, I think people may actually be daring enough to give me a 2.5 or 3 when they read my stuff.
Most successful people, like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West (and every other famous rapper in the world), Steve Jobs, Quentin Tarantino, etc., all share a common attribute: extreme arrogance. They don’t think they’re the best. They know it. Granted, they’re all very talented in their respective fields, but they wouldn’t have gotten where they are today without that extra ego pushing them through the hurdles.
So stop all the doubt and “thinking.”
Have confidence in your work. In your abilities. In yourself!
You got this.