Monday, November 30, 2009

"The Greatest Barrier to Success is the Fear of Failure"

-Sven Goran Eriksson

I hate the fear of failing. The anxiety of whether or not you’re good enough for something; its heart wrenching. Granted, while I don’t like it, I’ve never died from failing. Embarrassing? Yes. But, I can look back at all my failures and see exactly what I could have done better.

My earliest failures have to do with cheerleading. For those that don't know, I cheered for 10 years. I failed several times at cheerleading. I almost didn't became a cheerleader. I originally tried out my 7th grade year. All you had to do was go out in front of judges by yourself and do the cheer. I cried and said I didn't want to do it. Eventually, I was talked into it and pushed out in front of the judges. I cried myself through the cheer. I bolted out the door the moment I was done. I repeated this event my 9th grade year when trying out for the JV squad in high school. Our tryouts were open to the public and anyone could watch. I, of course, drew number one. I did it and survived and even made the squad, but not without the tears.

My senior year I lost the votes for cheer captain. That one was a blow to the ego. I had assumed I would be the natural leader. I cried and eventually quit the squad to focus solely on my all-star squad. It was immature and unsupportive. I wasn't a good leader since I assumed it was my role and expected others to follow. It took several years to see that I wasn’t chosen because of my assumption. My last semester of high school I was invited and tried out to be on cheer staff for a cheerleading organization. I didn't make staff. It probably had something to do with the fact that I had no idea what to expect and I was a nervous wreck. I dressed like I was going to practice, I barely talked during the interview, and displayed little confidence.

Also, in high school I ran for Vice-President of Student Council and lost. That stung, but looking back I was the underdog the whole time. I was just too blind and confident to notice. Again, the leadership qualities come back. I didn't know what it was that made someone a leader.

College brought on a whole other round of failures. Realizing that my brain is not as smart as classmates. Having to retake chemistry not twice, but three times. Getting fired from a job because I felt I was smarter than the boss. (Smarter? Maybe. Power over the boss? Definitely not.) Learning you truly get out what you put into, therefore if you put nothing in you get nothing in return. While some of these lessons only took once to learn, others like Chemistry took a couple more attempts.

I’m not sure what prompted a blog about my failures. Maybe the fact that I have an accreditation visit I feel that I’m under prepared for. Maybe because I’m itching for something new but scared I’ll fail. Maybe to reflect back and realize that learning from these only made me stronger.


Jax said...

Dude. I totally feel you on the "itching for something new but fear of failing.." Have details on that from my end, but can't give them here. Good luck on the accreditation.. *nervous* I'm sure you'll rock it, but I knwo where you're coming from. And fyi.. I totally forgot about the Student Council thing... I can't believe it's been that long.. Sheesh!

katandkarl said...

i like this post. it's important to remember all the 'fails' - makes us appreciate the 'successes' more, yes?

good luck with your accreditation visit - let us know!

Andrea said...

Wow, thanks for sharing. I had no idea you had such anxiety. I mean, we all do but some hide it better than others.

I've always looked up to you as being such a go-getter (and still do) and I am proud to have you as my friend after all these years.

emotional diva said...

love this post. uncensored blaze is rocktastico!

i didn't know all of that. you always displayed tons of confidence and even an air of superiority (i don't use that word rudely btw) and i always thought you were the best at everything that you did.

ditto on what andrea said. you are awesome, blaze! =)