Fear of Failure

I did not take the most recent belt test at our dojhan, but the essay question inspired me.

How can we overcome our fear of failure?

Do you know, sometimes it is hard to come here and work out with these young bucks?  (that’s what I call them in my head: “young bucks”).  I have good flexibility but my stamina wanes faster than theirs and builds more slowly than theirs and sometimes I am just so distracted.  But on the other hand, working out with athletic artistic people is a great way to be an athletic artist, don’t you think?

The weeks that I am on call for hospital patients, I often forget all kinds of things in martial arts that were perfect the week before.  I am preoccupied and middle-of-the-night phone calls wear down my body and mind.  Sometimes, I am disheartened in class or after class.  But instead of identifying this as failure, I am telling myself that even a disappointing hour at the dojhan is still better for my mind and body than an hour at home fretting or slouching around.

We can overcome our fear of failure by realizing that failing is awesome!  What I mean is, when I fail, I am trying to do something at which there is a possibility that I will fail.  I am creating an ambitious goal.  Creating a goal is a fabulous first step in ultimately reaching that goal and a certain way to learn SOMETHING.  And learning something always counts as a success.  It IS possible to never fail, but that would mean that I was never trying anything new or hard.  Where is the excitement, the growth, the opportunity, the FUN in that?

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