I have an irrational fear of failure and making a fool of myself. Back when I was a teenager, I was a big fan of this local teen magazine called, Candy Magazine. I harbored dreams of working for them. If you’re a fan you’d know the magazine had this annual “Council of Cool” search, where teenage girls can try out to contribute to the magazine for a specific period of time.
It took me a while to work up the nerve to try out for it. While I passed through the initial testing, I wasn’t called back. Was I crushed? For a time, yes. It reinforced my thinking that I shouldn’t put myself out there because I can fail. But I eventually got over that frame of mind. I knew that I had to try. And as cheesy as it sounds, trying sure as hell beats never doing anything. However, by that time I made that realization, I was no longer eligible.
Time passed and I pursued journalism in college because, despite the crushing disappointment, I still wanted to forge down this career path. My schooling gave me the skills I needed to become who I am now, but I will admit that I still lack the confidence and I still carry the irrational fear of not succeeding.
Three years into my current position at Speed Magazine and after being exposed to countless terrifying yet exciting moments on the job—such as interviews with big celebrities, organizing shoots, attending events both here and abroad, among others—the fear still lies in me. But this time I’ve learned to live with it.
I don’t think I will be able to fully quash that fear but I think that serves as a signal of sorts that I’m on to something big. It means I value something enough to want to do and be better. And as Conan O’Brien said in his Dartmouth College commencement address, “There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.”
While I can’t explain in detail what happened recently, I’ve had one of my worst fears happen and I’m okay. In fact, the emergence of fear made me realize what I have to do next. Fear can be a great motivator if you don’t let it cripple you.
“There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.”
Be sure to check out what my lovely blogging partner, Jonette, has to say about this on her blog.
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