• Belle Tan

My Fear of Failure

I am afraid of failure.


There are days when I think: “What job will I get in the future? Will it be in relation to writing or not? What will I be doing 20 years down the road? What will happen after college? What will my life look like? Will I be living the dreams I always dreamt of or not? What kind of person will I be?”


From all these thoughts swirling around in my head, I have this innate pressure to do everything I think I should do for a better future. If I work hard and get good grades in all of my classes then maybe it would lead to an internship, a job after college, or an acceptance letter to a graduate program. If I participate and perform my duties well in my extra-curricular activities, hopefully, I can boost up my résumé.


When classes resume, I try to map up my days to ensure that I am able to do my very best in everything that I do. However, nothing ever goes to plan, and when things go out of order, and when I am unable to complete the tasks I was supposed to do I begin to freak out. I panic that I might go off track and that I won't have enough time to finish the task. That my future won’t pan out well if I go off track.


At times, this comes to the point where I rethink everything that I did, and when I catch something that seems off-putting I continue to spiral. I become more pessimistic than I naturally am. I think that everything is ruined. That I won’t be able to do well. That my future is not as bright as I would want it to be. Moreover, it makes me doubt my own capabilities. It brings down what little self-confidence I have, and anyone close to me would know that confidence is not one of my strongest suits.


I am afraid of failure. I want everything to be perfect, or at least close to it.


However, nothing I do will ever be perfect or even close to it. All I can do is do my very best and hope for the best—that’s a fact.


There are days when I continue to dwell on my mistakes and worry about the unknown future. Due to this, I grow more unsure of what to do, anxious about what might happen if I make the right or wrong move, which makes me trip over the roadblocks even more, and adds on to my list of regrets.


When I think negatively about an outcome and am afraid of what might happen, should I always take a chance and try? See what happens?


Yes. Carpe Diem. Seize the day, seize the moment, and seize the opportunity that you believe fits you when it comes along.


I’ve learned that even if I am afraid to fail, it is worth trying. If not, I will be wondering whether I should have jumped at the opportunity or not, or whether it is meant for me or not. I will have various questions looming over my shoulders.


No matter what happens, every failure is a way to enhance one’s capabilities and character. Everyone fails and no one’s journey is ever perfect. Even those who are successful in life have experienced their own strifes and hindrances. They too have made mistakes. No one is without fault or error. If we were, life would be way too easy, and it is difficult for a reason.


I know that I will always be afraid of failure and as I grow older I will figure out new ways to cope with it.


What is important to keep in mind is that failing doesn’t mean that we are a failure. We are so much more than our accomplishments and how we see ourselves. We are constantly changing, and that is a good thing.