When asked, most people typically provide responses like “snakes”. “Heights”. Even clowns”. Indeed, studies show these fears to be common across our species. But unless such fear has been clinically diagnosed as a moderate to severe level phobia, one’s life isn’t all that much compromised.
Stay out of the woods, don’t walk out onto a 12th floor balcony, avoid birthday parties for 5 year olds, and you can pretty much circumvent such fear-induced ‘discomfort’ in your daily life.
But I think there’s a different fear, considerably more destructive, that plagues people – one we are not so eager to admit to ourselves. I’m talking about our fear of failure.
Over my years as a professor and life coach, cases of students not submitting assignments only because of their fear of criticism or a bad grade, or kids that didn’t try out for a sport or play just because they feared not making the cut, or adults who didn’t apply for a coveted job because … they were afraid of a rejection letter, have been much too common.
Fact is, if we fear failure, we can’t grow as people, nor can we ever be ultimately happy. This fear compromises lives like no other. Simply put, by fearing failure, we … end up failing.
What are you afraid of?
Certified Life Coach
Professor of Psychology at Kent State University
Olympus Life Coaching