Even the most qualified/confident among us, harbors the fear of failure.
I have a friend who by anyone’s standard who is the epitome of success.
For starters, she holds Ph.D. in Science and has years of experience teaching “hard to reach” Middle School students.
Her resume extols her many accomplishments.
After many years of inside political backlash, the mental anguish took its toll.
This year, she went looking for new opportunities.
Over the summer, she landed her dream job!
Duties consist of teaching high achievers classes—which comes with its own set of expectations—secure and find science programs/internships for her gifted students.
Wait! It gets better!
Incentives includes higher salary, networking with other Science professionals throughout the state, and less hassle. No more working long hours. Hello, to working 7-Noon. Two days out of the week, she’s required to travel to check her students’ progress and exchange ideas with other professionals in her field.
I gave her a high-five and we continued to talk. Humbly, she attribute her success to God’s favor. Her transition from one school to the next was dramatic.
There was “trouble” processing her paperwork, which was not submitted by deadline among other undercover tactics. The superfluous hurdles was a deliberate attempt to stymie her efforts. And it almost worked.
“The enemy tried everything he could to stop me, but it didn’t work,” she said as her eyes turned moist.
Then a true miracle happened. Her new principal became her staunch supporter. With his help, she was able to navigate the obstacles and received a monetary reimbursement.
We embraced in victory! Then, she paused and took a deep breath. I was surprised by her next statement.
“While this is a great opportunity, I am so scared!” she blurted out.
“Scared?” I questioned and the reiterated her God-given talents.
Her eyes met mine. “I’m afraid of failure. I don’t want to fail,” she said.
“Failing is not even an option,” I assured her. “You are equipped to succeed, all you have to do is step into your destiny with confidence.”
Where is this fear coming from?
She was able to trace her fear back to high school. As one of few blacks in Science classes in a majority white school, she had to succeed. Why? To dispel the stereotype that Blacks and Science don’t mix. Her fear of failure pushed her to excel.
Turns out when it comes to fear of failure, my friend is far from alone. At some point in our lives, we feared something. When fear cripples us, it’s a problem. Fear of new things, opportunity, people, locations, relationships, professional opportunities, oftentimes causes people to stay in their comfort zone.
In Henri’s Wake Up Cloud article on 13 Incredibly Simple Ways to Overcome Fear, he states “the more you fail, the more you succeed. The difference between the successful and the not-yet-successful is the realization that failure is simply a stepping stone, not a permanent event.
My friend started her job three months ago, and I’m happy to report, she survived! How?
She says acknowledging fear, honoring when fear is present, then work on conquering fear.
Forward, my friend!