Fiona W.

Marketer, list maker, cocktail drinker

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I'm failing at trying

So, here’s the thing. I’m afraid of getting things wrong, messing up, looking stupid, failing. Therefore I’ve decided it’s easier to not try in the first place. Clever, huh?

When I do get around to trying something, if I can’t do it on the first attempt I pretty much give up. It’s too hard. It’s not for me. Other people are better at it than I am. This is strange considering I’m a competitive person normally.

Why am I like this? When did it start? Honestly…I’m not sure.

I failed an A-Level but handled it pretty well (with obvious tears on results day). I still went to my first-choice university, had an amazing time and graduated with a 2:1. So it wasn’t that.

I had a failed relationship around the same time as my failed A-Level (coincidence?!) and that had a massive impact on my life. My self-esteem was non-existent and I changed. A lot. It definitely shaped my future path. But that was 10 years ago…could that have really been the catalyst?

The area most effected by my fear of failing is work. It’s why I don’t see myself as having a career. Partly that, and partly due to the job shortage brought on by the recession. I digress…

There have been jobs that I’ve wanted to try and careers I’ve wanted to build for such a long time but I’m afraid. Afraid of not being good enough, not having the right skill set or experience. I still think this is justified. There are some jobs you’d never get an interview for if you didn’t match the right criteria. But instead of trying – trying to gain the experience, knowledge, contacts – I’ve just not bothered.

It’s also what stops me from writing. Writing is a huge passion of mine and yet I rarely do it. I have a blog but the updates are infrequent. And as my boyfriend quite rightly pointed out, the posts are generally all about wanting to get back into writing and doing more!

Recently at work, I’ve had to face a few of my fears and get on with a project. Getting started with the tasks was the hardest bit. I either didn’t know how to do it or what it should look like. Everything was new and scary. But do you know what, it’s been ok. Small steps is definitely the best approach. And now I’ve learnt a new skill. I don’t even feel bad that it hasn’t had the impact we hoped it would (oh the joys of marketing!) because it was my first time and next time will be better.

What I’ve learnt

Trying new things is scary.

If I don’t try them, I can’t get it wrong and fail.

If I do try them, fail or not, the possibilities are endless.

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