All my life I have been afraid of failing. It has never been one thing specifically, rather, failing at anything and everything. The thing that I didn’t know and that you’ve probably heard over and over again, is that everyone who is successful has failed. They have failed repeatedly. Success doesn’t mean we don’t fail. Success means that we get back up after every failure and keep going.
The thing that leads to my fear of failure is doubt. I have doubted I would be good enough for pretty much all of my life. I doubted everything about myself. It’s a wonder I have continued to progress in my career with all of the doubts that I have had about my ability to be successful.
Doubt is defined as a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
Doubt is what kills dreams.
Doubt has held me back from so many things. Until today, doubt held me back from branching out to YouTube. I doubted I would be able to edit a video. I doubted that I would be able to listen to myself and put myself out there in a video for all to see. Words are one thing. Video, now that’s a forbidden land.
But I am doing it. I have successfully edited my first video for YouTube. I will be posting it later this week and will continue to share my growth with you through video.
When we give in to doubt, we don’t even get close to achieving failure because we never start. We let that doubt steamroll us right into avoiding the thing that we might fail at. Doubt creeps upon us, fear takes over and we never take even a baby step.
How can we counteract doubt? By leaning into it. Ask yourself, ‘If I do ____, what is the worst that can happen? What is the best?’ List out all of the possibilities for both. Review the worst, then review the best. Do the best things that can happen outweigh the worst? Is the worst thing death? No? Alright, why the hell aren’t you moving towards that goal?
You think you might fail? You are doubting your ability to achieve even the smallest best thing that can happen? How are you ever going to know if you are going to fail if you don’t try?
Here is what I’m learning and leaning into: failure is good. No, actually, failure is fucking great. Failure is great because that means that I’m actually moving towards my goals and I’m doing. I am putting in the effort needed to get one step closer to my goal. If I fail, that means that I need to course correct and go down a different road. It doesn’t mean I need to stop everything I am doing.
Doubt tells us that if we aren’t successful right out of the gate then we are a failure. No. That is incorrect. How many people do you really think have succeeded at the very first attempt on their goal? Pilots can’t fly a giant commercial jet the first time they get in the cockpit. They have to go through hours and hours and hours of training in a simulator. Developers don’t sit down, write a bit of code and have a beautiful website or app the first time they attempt to run the code. They have to learn, tweak, and tweak some more to get it right. And then there still might be bugs.
This is my third or fourth attempt at a blog. I lost track because I gave in to doubt and wiped all of my posts away, multiple times. This isn’t my first attempt at growing mentally and emotionally. I fail over and over and over again.
I have a goal to stop giving in to my doubts. I need to lean into each one of them and explore why they are creeping in. Once I get over each doubt, I can move onto action and making shit happen. Doubt kills. Failure provides lessons.