"Fear of failure" is something that a lot of high achievers are familiar with. Growing up, I've often felt like there isn't room for me to make mistakes. A lot of my worst memories are of times I have failed to succeed.
Today, I ran for an Exec position for the Women in Technology club that I am a part of. I wanted to be the Communications officer but unfortunately did not get elected for the position. As someone who has had prior experience as both a president and a secretary of different clubs, I tried to reassure myself that I do have the experience that would have made me qualified for the position. However, it still hurts that I wasn't elected, although I am happy for the other person who ran, as she would also fit the role well.
Moving forward, it is also hard, sometimes, to justify even trying. If I'm bound to fail, why do I keep trying? In fact, this is not the first time I have run for a position and lost. Back in 6th grade, I remember being so disappointed, going home and crying after I failed to win the Treasurer position of Student Council. I have never done well in an election, to be honest. All of the positions I have held were always chosen by the advisor or the previous position-holders.
Now, I realize, that perhaps the problem isn't my qualifications. Rather, it is the way I put myself out there and the way people perceive me. Perhaps, they can see the self-confidence that I am lacking. I could perhaps say that what I feel is "impostor syndrome." This all ties back to my fear of failure.
As a young adult, I am living in that time where it is hard to have confidence and self-esteem in myself, from my appearance to my accomplishments. When I do poorly on an exam, I struggle to make myself feel better again about my intelligence. I question myself, "Am I even smart enough to understand this? What am I doing wrong?" And other times, I have trouble accepting the way I look. Sometimes I look at the mirror and think "Why can't my face be smaller? Why can't my eyes be bigger? Why can't my acne go away?" In this age of the internet, it is so easy to compare ourselves with the people around us and wonder why we aren't as successful as the people around us. And at the same time, it feels like every failure is permanent and something that can be used against me.
You might be able to see where I'm going with this. My fear of failure comes from my lack of self love. If I were able to believe in myself, there would be no need to be scared to fail. Because at least then I would have known that I tried and that's what matters.
With that said, maybe my goal for the rest of 2019 should be to learn to love myself.