Monday, July 9, 2012

You Should Fear Failure

Failure is not often something we like to think about when embarking upon a new task or life adventure.  I myself, try not to think about the probability that this blog could have no readers and become an ultimate failure in my life.  Whole industries and self help books have become devoted to solving this supposed issue we all have in fearing failure.  Society has made it seem like you might have some kind of "problem" if you are terrified with a new life step for fear of it falling apart.  I'm hear to tell you that it is perfectly normal to fear failure and we should understand why we do it in the first place.

Fear of Failure has been with us ever since the dawn of humanity.  Since that primitive man stepped out of the cave in search of the day's hunt, man has struggled with the concept of his own personal failure.  But why do we do this?  My personal belief is that are brains were designed to think about these issues in order to improve our own success rate.  That may sound like an oxymoron, but hear me out.  If you are embarking upon a new task in life (say investing in some riskier stocks then you are used to), you may think of the 101 ways this investment may become an epic failure.  You start listing such things as, what if I'm not diversified enough, what if the market turns sour, what if I didn't do my research?  These "what ifs" are your brain's way of determining all possible outcomes and preparing you to take all actions possible to prevent disaster.  These fears of failure will make you do more research on the stocks you intend to buy.  You will probably start reading more on the general health of the economy, and you will most likely do some indepth research on the companies you intend to invest in.  The whole point of your fears is to motiviate you to success.

All this said, the problem with embracing your fears is that they can sometimes be debilitating and prevent you from even trying.  This type of fear is not acceptable and should be understood more throughoughly.  You need to ask yourself why I'm so afraid to pursue my dreams; is it a personal issue, financial issue, or something else?  Look introspectively and poke around at some possible reasons.  I find that making lists in these types of situations helps greatly.  Once you start writing down your reasons to panic, you can start addressing whether they are valid concerns and whether you are devoting enough fear to them.  If after all this you still have logical fears to do a particular task, then it is most likely a good idea not to pursue any further.  You just rationalized your reason not to continue which is perfectly acceptable.

I too have feared failure and uncertainty.  When I moved up to my current city from Washington DC, I realized that I would take a significant pay cut, however I knew I wanted to be close to my family and future wife.  I moved back without a job prospect and hoping my funds would last.  Don't get me wrong, I was terrified!  However, it was this fear of failure that drove me to apply to at least 10 jobs/day until I finally landed a job at a local bank. 

Just remember, it is OK to fear failure, and these nagging voices (if tamed) will drive you to future sucess.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Having a quite family dinner consisting of fish tacos with my wife sister/brother-in-law and nieces and nephews.

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