Everyone I’ve ever met has a fear of failure. Ask anyone, ‘what are you afraid of?’ and you’ll find that answers come spewing out quite easily.
Fear is a normal, natural and expected thing that keeps us in our safe zone. Unfortunately, it can also hold us back from discovering our potential.
Have you ever thought though, how your fears may be impacting your life? A saying by Tom Krause comes to mind:
‘If you only do what you know you can do – you never do very much.’
Last weekend, I participated in a Powerlifting Competition. The truth is, it’s something that my coach has been encouraging me to do for the past 6 months. Not because I am such an outstanding lifter but rather just for the experience of it. My first reaction was a knot in my stomach.
Then my inner critic had a field day:
“I can’t really lift all that much…”
“What if I come in last?”
“What if I miss my lifts because I’m too nervous?”
I was initially overcome by my fear of failure. So I decided to coach myself through this. Whenever a client comes to me about a fear, I have them answer 3 questions:
Here’s the thing: experiences are what enrich our lives. Sure it’s great when you are good at something and you do it. But sometimes doing something outside of your comfort zone…just for the experience of doing it, is the best thing for you.
Had I not competed, I would have missed out on a series of wonderful opportunities: to gain a new perspective, have purpose to my training, set new goals and see what I can do when I am outside my comfort zone.
And, I would have missed out on seeing my fellow lifters kick some ass and inspire me – like 64 year old Greg Harper who squatted 295lbs, pressed 107lbs and deadlifted 365lbs! Or my pal Kelly Rafferty who added 100lbs to her lifts in the past 6 months! Or my coach Jo Ann Aita who at 131lbs, proceeded to squat 275lbs, press 110lbs and deadlift 325lbs!
Fear is natural. But it has its place.
Courage does not mean a lack of fear. Courage is acting in spite of your fears. And that leads to growing into your best self.
Where does fear hold you back? What experiences are you missing out on because of fear?