“Why aren’t you doing more?”
This was the constant internal monologue I experienced in my teens and early twenties.
I knew I should have been doing more, but there was something holding me back…something dark, evil, and debilitating.
It was a deep-seated fear that had been reinforced throughout my elementary, middle school, and high school years.
Failure is embarrassing. Failure is weakness. Failure will make you feel worthless. Academics, sports, and friendships, all conspired together to create this abhorrence of failure.
In the 90’s movie, She’s All That (yes, I know I’m showing my age here), the popular guy played by Freddie Prinze Jr. has to come up with a performance art piece on the spot. What follows is a fantastic visual illustration of his fear of failure. He has to keep the hacky-sack in the air. Everyone is counting on him. He can’t let it drop, he can’t disappoint his family and friends. They are all counting on him. But in the end…the hacky-sack drops.
Fear of failure is debilitating and will hold you back from achieving great things in your life. So how do you overcome this fear?
Simple answer? Try stuff.
Start small. But try things that make you a little nervous. Try things that push you outside your comfort zone, even if it’s just a little bit.
Not a great public speaker? Join a speech club like Toastmasters.
Get a bit of social anxiety when meeting new people? Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
Afraid of flying? Travel-hack your way to an overseas trip. As you get more comfortable with the small things, push beyond to something a little harder, a little more scary.
As you keep trying stuff, you’ll get more used to that uneasy feeling. The fear will fade. It will be replaced with anticipation. Will you succeed? If you fail, what lessons will you learn from the experience?
These Guys Try Stuff
“Hi, I’m Alex, can I buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brain a bit?”
This was my introduction to the Billup brothers. I met them when they were 17 and 18 years old.
When I think about people who won’t shy away from trying new things, the Billups are at the top of my list.
Since I met them a few years ago, they have gone on to create:
- An engaging social platform
- An award-winning short film
- A crazy cool ad for CollegePlus
- A YouTube channel
- Ads for APEX: The Unconvention
And so much more.
In the process, they’ve had to learn to code, design, film, edit, direct, animate, network, and write. All of which are marketable, in-demand skills.
Oh, and while they were doing all this, they were also earning their degrees.
Yep, this is the CollegePlus tie-in. You were wondering when I was going to get to it, weren’t you?
CollegePlus fit perfectly into the Billup’s mantra of “do things that scare us.” It was new, not easy, made them a little nervous, and had a huge amount of potential to make their lives so much more exciting.
Instead of putting their film/web/social/animation dreams on hold for college, they were able to pursue their interests, WHILE earning a degree. They didn’t have to choose.
They had their cake…and ate it too. It wasn’t easy, but they did it.
You also have patience, perseverance, and must be interested in what I’m talking about. Anyone who reads (insert word count here) words without going to YouTube to watch cat videos is a unique and special person. (Or even if you left, watched a cat video, and came back.)
So how about it? Are you interested in taking the road less traveled? Are you interested in doing something hard, challenging, exciting, a little crazy, but full of fulfillment and promise?
Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone and try something new?
If not…cool. Try something a little simpler and less scary and come back when you’re ready to take a leap.
For you special few who are ready, click here to discover a better way to do college.
Andrew is currently the Marketing Director for Lumerit Education. When he’s not at the office, you can find him traveling with his wife, riding his mountain bike, swimming in the Comel river, or reading at his favorite coffee shop/bakery.Read more by Andrew