My greatest fear? Failure.
Not failure in terms of academics–which I am afraid of–but the fear of personal failure. The fear of not accomplishing all that can be accomplished, and the subsequent shame within myself. The self-doubt that arises in the aftermath, and the anxiety that accompanies letting myself down. It is a fear that has been with me my entire life, for I can eventually overcome failing a test or maybe even a class, but it would be almost impossible for me to overcome the failure of my potential.
I am at a time in my life where, like many others, I have to begin to decide what my future career will be. This decision, while lenient, is the largest I will have to make thus far. I want to be able to look back upon this decision and be happy that I made it. So many of us are caught in a never-ending cycle of day-to-day, 9-5 work lives. This is not an aspect of today’s society that I want to partake in. I want to be accomplished in my endeavours, and be proud of every day I have to live. Having to go to a career that I hate or do not enjoy would be devastating for me. However, I don’t want to build my standards so high that they come crashing down if I do not achieve them.
For most of my life, I have set high expectations for myself. Whether said expectations are for small, trivial things, or for larger, more significant things, the same ideal usually applies. For instance: high mark averages are what I strive for academically. Being in F.F.C.A., this was largely influenced by the teaching styles and the school community in which I grew up in; in our school, academic excellence is paramount. On the contrary, my parents, however, surprisingly did not influence this “scholar” phenomena very much. Yes, they pushed me to do well in school, but it was largely myself that set such high standards for me. Why this is? I have no idea. But I am stuck with perfectionism now, and I cannot change it. It is who I am, and everything else must follow.
I believe that it is these high standards that have me constantly weary of failure. I do not particularly know when such anxiety arose, but it is here now. My potential to do great things is constantly thwarted by doubt that has been influenced by my fear of failure. Often this contradicts what I wish to be true–I wish I had the courage to seek out a larger definition of who I am, and who I could be. Instead, however, I am left with the knowledge of who I don’t want to be–a soul who does not know where they belong or what their true calling is. For it is the fear of the unknown that is ever present in my fear of failure; I do not yet know how it feels to have my potential wasted or crushed. As such, I wish for an explicit course; a clear path that is indefinitely the optimal one for me. A life that has meaning. A life that is not wasted upon unfulfilled dreams and empty purpose.
Failure, I believe, is an instance wherein humanity as a whole can relate; we are all weary of it. Failure means that we did not accomplish what we had set out to do. Whether this is in literal or rhetorical terms, well that depends on the situation. Nevertheless, it is something that we are all a little afraid of. We are especially afraid of the loss of what was intended to be; the loss of something that was supposed to be significant, and the loss of the hope we retain in the process of finding that significance.
Failure is a never-ending cycle. We try, we lose, we try again. We try until we win.
But I offer you this: is it not this redundancy that makes humanity so inexplicably beautiful?