I know the title of this post sounds a little intense…it’s really not. It’s just something I deal with on a regular basis so I assume there are others out there like myself.
First off-good news! I recently took a test and..
Passed! I took the NASM test to become a certified personal trainer and passed…thank God. I didn’t share this on my blog because of the post title: fear. If I shared it and failed, then what? Then I’m just a failure..or embarrassment…either way it’s not good.
Fear of failure can be a real problem when you’re trying to live your life to the fullest (which I’m sure all of you are). It’s kind of amazing that your own mind can get in the way of you doing something great. You always imagine it’s someone else’s fault or you’re just not capable…but how do you really know if your mind is already convinced you can’t?
This was my attitude before I took the NASM test. I had to drive 2 1/2 hours to a testing sight (yay for small towns) so the entire drive I had time to think about all the things I didn’t know well enough.
I don’t know about you, but I hate taking tests. I should rephrase that, I hate taking long, standardized tests. They intimidate the crap out of me. I guess because they usually represent something big like the SAT or GRE…it’s only your life so don’t screw it up! I can’t deal with that kind of pressure, hence I took both of those tests multiple times.
Although the NASM test isn’t quite as important, it’s still important enough because of course, I waited until the last minute. The last day I could take the test was today, but I could have taken it any time in the past 6 months. So, obviously I waited until Saturday. Throughout the summer I kept telling myself I wasn’t ready and I don’t think I was, but that’s because I never applied myself. I’d look at the 18 chapters in this book and think, “there’s no way I can learn all this on my own…no teacher…no guidance…just me and a textbook.”
I love when you prove your negative self wrong, don’t you? That side that beats up on you constantly finally shuts up when you prove it otherwise, but only for a brief moment.
When I walked out of the testing room to learn my results…I was prepared for the worst. I was ready to text my husband (I wouldn’t be able to call probably because I was crying) and drive 2 1/2 hours home feeling sorry for myself. But I passed! I was so happy and relieved. I’m just not sure why my mind isn’t capable of being prepared to pass beforehand instead of fail.
I believe fear of failure has to do with confidence but at least it’s something that (hopefully) can be worked on and changed. Here are some suggestions I read to overcome fear:
- Do something scary. Just do it! Those Nike guys were onto something. Fear can be immobilizing to the point where you stay in your comfort zone your entire life. I feel like I’m pretty good at doing “scary” things in some aspects of my life, but when it comes to career/education, I’m stuck. Maybe it’s because I’ve been out of the game for so long or that I was never really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. Either way that’s something I need to face and move towards.
- Don’t take it personally. I think this goes along with the next one too…
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. I struggle with this big time. Not just with failure, but little things…for example, if I miss a day of working out I find it hard to forgive myself which is ridiculous. I need to remember failure is an event, not a person. If something didn’t work out how I wanted to, I need to change my actions that’s all.
- Take Actions. Baby steps towards a goal. I have to say, when I’m about to do something scary and I succeed, it feels pretty darn good. I just need to realize when you fail, you just need to learn from it. That’s all you can do. There’s no point in stressing out about it afterwards because it’s over and you can’t change what happened. Just learn and move forward onto the next thing.
I know it’s overplayed, but FDR’s quote, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” is pretty much spot on. When I think about it, no one in my life has ever stepped in and stopped me from doing something. The only person who has is me. My mind has been the only thing that has held me back out of fear.
All I can say is, I’m going to keep trying new things and taking chances. That’s all you can really do.
I’m lookin’ at you GRE…
Has fear of failure ever stopped you from doing or trying something?