Do you still dream? Do you dream big? As you look back on your life, are you where you thought you would be? Did you hope for something better; dream for something bigger?
As women, do we hold ourselves back from our true hopes and dreams because we are afraid of failure? Are we afraid of the success? Do we hold ourselves up to this unrealistic standard that society has created for us? We are pushed to be all things to all people; to be the best in our career, the best wife, the best mother and all the while being wrapped up as this pretty little package. This huge amount of pressure we are under is just so overwhelming; this expectation of perfection.
I find that is where my fear of failure comes into play. What happens when I actually reach my goals, my dreams? Then what? And oh no! What if I fail? What if, during that process of planning, organizing, researching, and working the hardest I ever have, that I do not make it? I did not get that small business loan I needed. I did not get those investors to invest in me, in my ideas, or my dreams. I did not get that promotion that I worked so hard for. I was passed over for someone else. It is so devastating, crushing, disappointing and embarrassing.
Think of the last time you failed though; the journey that brought you to where you are today. Think about the process .Think about how hard you worked and the pride you felt knowing you did your best. Sometimes though, our best is not good enough. That does not mean WE are not good enough. That just means, at that time, for that project or job or whatever, our best was not enough.
Failure always brings so many lessons with it that we need to reflect on so we can be better for next time. We must stop, process, and allow ourselves to feel those emotions. And then we must move past them; to get over it and to move on. We must not hold on to those insecurities but to be free from all the negativity we put on ourselves.
We must learn from these failures so you can be better for next time. So we can get farther next time. My mother always says, “You are not a failure until you stop trying.” That has always rang so true to my heart. It has allowed me to overcome my disappointments and pick myself up, wipe off my tears and push forward to the next thing.
But what if you never tried? What if you accepted a life of mediocrity and allowed yourself to just be content with the bare minimum? It hurts me to even write that. To just accept the status quo; I can’t imagine. I have always, always dreamed big. But I have not pushed myself to my fullest potential. I am afraid to fail, I am afraid of the embarrassment. But I am more afraid to look back on my life wishing I had done more. That I tried harder, that I loved more, gave more of myself, more of my time and opened my heart more to others.
It is said that a leopard cannot change its spots. Well, that is true but luckily we are humans and can change! We can do something different! We can go down the path less traveled and though we may walk hesitantly or need someone to walk with us at times, there is no shame in that. There is no shame in asking for help or admitting our fears. How can we overcome our fears if we don’t face them?
Failure is that thing that nobody likes to talk about or dwell on, but that is life. It cannot be avoided. So, why not embrace the risk of failure and learn how to overcome it? Why not stand up to failure and punch it in the face and push right past it so you can be your best? So you can get that promotion, that business loan or that investment. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back; because it will happen. The odds are you will fail, but that is ok. That failure allows you to be better for next time! And are not the wins that much more satisfying when you worked extremely hard to get there? The sweet smell of victory, oh yeah, now doesn’t that feel good?