Maybe It’s Time We Stop Hiding from Our Potential

The fear of failure is perhaps one of the most widely accepted, yet rarely admitted phobias on the planet. Not just with business or parenting — but with life as a whole and, ultimately, success. Now, I’m no parent, so I’m going to lean more towards “life and success”.

I wonder how many people, if asked, would say that they like to fail. Uh, nobody. Not even the Fortune 500 CEOs who say “but failure leads to success!” actually like it. Failure sucks; plain and simple. Some just know how to face it head-on and turn it into a positive.

I don’t say that like it’s easy, it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis, and the primary reason for creating this website. But, as a friend once told me “You just gotta do it before you realize what you’re getting yourself into.” Mind you, this was prior to a rollercoaster. I still think it rings true.

When the fear of failure is present, we hide from our potential. I’ve narrowed down the three reasons that I, personally, hide from my potential due to the fear of failure. I hope that SOMEONE can relate:

1. Hiding for fear of those who won’t support you.

It’s intimidating to think about pulling your thoughts together into an article, a video or any other method only for someone to think it was stupid, huh? Especially if it means something to you, right? Nothing like something so little and, honestly not worth your time to send you 10 steps back!

2. Hiding for the sole fear of failing completely.

You’ve worked hours, days, months if not YEARS (and by years I refer to ones academic career) on putting an idea or a dream into motion… only for it to fail. This thought alone can make you want to give up before you even get started.

3. Hiding because you genuinely feel that you will be wasting your time.

If nobody is going to listen to what I have to say, and if people are going to think it’s stupid… why am I doing it in the first place?

4. Hiding for fear of missing out

Sheesh, thats a whole new article..

If any of these situations resonate with you, we’re on the same page.

Let me tell you a story. It’s pretty weird, and borderline outrageous, but isn’t that the whole point of this?

For the better half of my life, I have struggled day in and day out with the fear of failure. However, semi-recently, I decided to do something about it. I have written (but not published) countless articles about life, business, struggles, successes, sports, politics and entertainment. You name it, I’ve written about it. But most of these, I’ve never published. Because I’m scared that nobody will appreciate it, and I will have wasted my time.

Because of this, I found myself crying out in prayer during a cherished lunch break recently. I was asking the Lord to give me the strength and the trust to find myself amidst the fear and to stop hiding from these fears that are, holding me back from my true potential.

You know how life works. You finally give in. You swallow your pride and you ask for help — and your world gets rocked a little. So naturally, this happened to me in the most awkward way possible. As I got out of the shower and looked up into the bathroom mirror, I didn’t just see my reflection… I actually saw myself. Obviously it was still my reflection, but it didn’t feel that way.

Because making this situation any less awkward was impossibly by this point, I just started talking out loud. To myself. To the sopping wet, towel holding, hairline receding Jakob I deal with every day. I’m also very glad nobody witnessed ANY of this or I would never live it down. I may actually have had to leave the country.

The minute I realized that I felt awkward was the exact minute that I realized that the Big Man got his point across. I laughed, ending this unique experience by saying “Well, if this is all I’ve got to work with for ever, I might as well enjoy it as much as I can!” As goofy as it sounds, it hit me like a brick wall.

We’re stuck with ourselves. We can’t change that. But we can love that self enough to go do what we want to do and not let others thoughts and opinions influence our happiness and self-worth.

Getting over the fear of failure isn’t something that can just happen overnight. It takes being proactive and doing something about it. I’ve got goals and dreams. I know you do too. More than likely, you’re going to have to face it and conquer it over and over again. Might as well start now.