Why are we afraid of failure? What sparks that fear?

May 4, 2018

Why are we all so afraid of failure?

Whether you're a student afraid of getting a B in your major, someone who wants to join a gym but fears the judgement of your peers, or someone who wants to change their diet but is terrified of saying goodbye to Chikfila and coca-cola, we all fear failure to some degree.
So, what about it is so agonizingly unnerving? 

Is it actually failure and the judgement of others we fear? Or is it the critical judgement we put on ourselves? 

I've been coaching and teaching full-time for over 4 years now. Over the course of these 4 years, I've talked to thousands of people about their journey with health and wellness. Most of the time, these conversations are based around 2 central themes.

1. They're afraid to get started 

2. They feel like they can't be successful even though they've started the process

In both of these conversations, the central factor isn't external pressure or judgment. It's internal. Why is that?

I can't do this. It's intimidating.

The most common perception I get from people during our "No-Sweat Intro" is that they aren't capable of this exercise program. They're not "ready yet".

They don't speak to a fear of others judging them for failing. At their core, they don't think they're good enough and that self-doubt is preventing them from making change that will directly influence the future of their health and quality of life not only for themselves, but their children and family as well. 

It's not that you can't do it. Everyone can do it. It's that you need to approach whatever you want to do from a place of humility and patience so that you can learn. None of us started as professionals, or even from a place of skill. We all started from a place of nervousness and grew from there. You're not alone.

I've gotten started, but I'm afraid to fully commit and see what happens.

why is it that so many of us can partially commit to something, knowing what we want to achieve and how that accomplishment will positively impact our life, but we can't sacrifice the small "comforts" that are holding us back? Is it because we actually NEED that soda and junk food? Do we really NEED to have a few beers after work, or a glass of wine every night to calm our nerves? Or are these "things" just habit's that we've become fond of, and don't want to change? Have you actually tried replacing the soda with seltzer water, or the beer and wine with tea or decaf coffee? It's not the substance that is actually improving your quality of life. More often than not, our "comforts" are actually hurting our health more than improving our sanity. It's your RELATIONSHIP with the things that you're used to which make you feel better, not the actual substance itself. Have you asked yourself why your mental wellbeing or happiness is so largely impacted by food or drinks? If you exercise regularly, want to be healthy, but the thought of giving up your soda, beer, wine or "junk food of choice" gives you anxiety and stress, I challenge you to evaluate your relationship with those things and make a commitment to yourself to pursue happiness and self accountability. The idea of trading out the soda for water, the beer for tea, or the Chikfila for fresh salmon and veggies might SOUND generic and unappealing. But as someone who's been on the "taco bell, mountain dew and road to type 2 diabetes" side of the spectrum, I can't explain to you how much better your body will feel in just a few short days of grabbing simple meats and veggies for dinner, with fruit as your "sweet treat' for dessert. It's like a new life, and it's not as scary or impossible of a change as you think. You could've been eating this way for the last 15 years, and you think it's just too late. False. It only takes 4-6 weeks to establish new habits, and those habits could completely alter your quality of life, not to mention add years or decades onto your lifespan. And those years could be filled with joy, happiness and newfound energy that you didn't know was possible. It just takes a decision to try. This may sound overzealous, or dramatic, but it's not. Next time you're in a public place, look around and see how many people are overweight or show symptoms of chronic disease. It's very real, very current, and very preventable. 

"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied."

– Herophilus

If you have questions on how you can replace your vices, or what healthy options actually look like, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'll help in any way I can!

Coty Bradburn