See, when you are in the mid of your early twenties, it seems like life has put you at cross roads. You have enough knowledge to proceed but not sufficient enough to choose the right path. It’s this stage when the grip of fear is tighter than ever. Fear has been my constant companion, even though I have managed to keep a poker face but my heart is always ready to pound out of its chest. I have feared at every stage of my life, when I was born I feared losing my life, when I was a kid I feared getting beaten up by my fellow classmates, when I was a teenager I feared not being pretty enough. When I was in college I feared not getting distinction in my exam, when I was working I feared not being good enough at my job. Fear is something that comes very naturally to me. It’s not that I haven’t overcome some of them, but this shadow that keeps on following me, holds the power that I never intent to give anyone. Many of us are unknowingly tamed by the biggest of fears, ‘Fear of failure’. This demon later transforms itself into many psychological diseases resulting into a mind that keeps on singing the blues. The most prominent symptoms that are easily detected in a victim are laid below:
- Fiercely Over competitiveness
This is my fear, which haunts me in every walk of life. Being a Scorpio, I have this obsession of being best at everything. Over competitiveness is a flaw that we Scorpions proudly wear around our necks. This leads us to a place were either we succeed brilliantly or fail brutally. Until we are hopping over all the hurdles, this fear brings the best from us. The time we fail even once, we move back into a warm fuzzy shell.
Starting up a project with enthusiasm and later spoiling it with over analysis is not very common. But individuals who area prone to such habits are bound by fear of failing. At early stage of any project they tend to see the positive outcomes, but soon their minds start over thinking the prospect. They begin worrying about futile issues as well as making false assumptions. As the enthusiasm dies, so does the zeal to complete it.
- Zero Percentage of Risk Rate
I have known numerous talented individuals, who have never taken one risk in their lives just to end up being a mediocre personality. Such type of people always believes in going by the book. They feel that even though they might not succeed greatly, but will at least not fail badly. Most of our population comprises of such personalities who could have been great but choose to be average.
- Procrastinating Your Way In
Take it from someone who knows it, procrastination is a prominent symptom if you are suffering from fear of failure. People, who do this, feel that by delaying the action they can avoid the reaction, which is actually not true. We just don’t realise how many opportunities we have ignored in the procedure. We keep on waiting for the right moment, which in reality never arrives. Procrastinating is like playing hide-and-seek with failure; you can hide from it but never out run it. Eventually it will catch up with you.
- Control Freaks
Yes! You are one of them and you have been like this for many years. People who are afraid of change are the major victims of this disease. We get super comfortable in our daily routine, that even a slightest of weather change will hamper our work performance. Humans are creatures of habit. Habit gives us a sense of control. We feel so contented in our safety that we never even bother to look at the opportunity next to us. Habit of planning makes us feel like winners, but staying rigid to even a minute change makes us losers.
- People Pleaser
Are you a people pleaser, you secretly are, aren’t you? I have a reason behind asking this, because it’s very common. We have feared at times of behind discarded, left alone or rejected. Hence we tend to say ‘yes’ to anything anyone says, just to fit in rightly. You know, it’s a murder of your self-respect and the killer is ‘fear of failure’. We co-relate our social status growth and winning ability which is very lame.
- Poster Boy Of ‘The Unsuccessful’
Some people use this tactic as a tool to surprise everyone. But this tact is also often used to avoid exceeding expectations. People prone to such behaviour declare themselves as ‘failure’ beforehand, just to avoid the embarrassment of being unsuccessful in front of their loved ones. This shows everyone, a lack of confidence in yourself, which can be easily smelled by others.
Fear has this tendency of inflicting torture and as the time passes we develop this notion of always looking over our shoulders. There’s this great saying, that bravery wins the war but fear keeps you alive for it. It’s not completely bad to be terrified of unknown, but if it stops you from achieving your dreams or being the person you always wished you be? Then its time my friend that we take the axe of courage and behead it forever. I recently read somewhere, what is Hell? The answer read as, ‘when you meet the person you could have been’.