What if I fail?  My client said this the other day as he shared his fears. And after our session, it got me thinking.

With almost all the people I have been working with, addressing the fear of failure seems to be a common factor that we work through, and it does not seem surprising at all as it’s a very natural emotion we all easily experience.

 If we looked at the feelings of fear as a natural instinct that comes and goes like sadness or anger or irritation then maybe it does not seem so limiting. Or maybe if it stops us from doing something foolish like petting a lion in a zoo.

But what if that fear stops us from attempting something or even learning what we want to and holds us back from progressing? 

Like you want to be a sales rockstar but you don’t want to make calls or you want to be a writer but don’t publish or you want to be seen as a speaker in your industry but you don’t attempt to speak in front of the public?

So then the question would be, can you excel at riding a bike without sitting on the bike? Can you learn to bat without taking the bat in your hand?

I guess not. And sometimes when we get stuck at such junctions it can cause different responses in us that hoodwink the real fear. Like I recall when I was terrified of learning to cycle, I pretended that it was not important to me. 

Riding a bicycle always looked very difficult to me as a child and I felt with my height and weight I could never balance a cycle. For the longest time I did not attempt to, refused to, and feigned an I don’t care attitude. 

But, oh boy I did care. I felt miserable, especially when I watched my sister and my neighbourhood friends enjoy their rides. But I was good at pretending too. 

Eventually, when I was almost going to turn twelve, during one summer holiday, fed up with trying to run away from the real truth, I finally got brave and thanks to my cousin who agreed to help me, I began my adventure.

Today when I recall I realise it was the fear of looking silly on the road being taught to cycle or my neighbourhood friends laughing at me or back at home my family asking me if I had finally learned to was what I was really fearing than falling off the cycle itself. I think losing face, feeling embarrassed, or being judged was what the real fear was. 

I remember how that kept melting like wax off a candle each time I rode and stumbled and got kicked by the pedal.  It felt like the cycle and I were getting to know each other and somewhere I started believing that I can ride. And then my focus was on learning how I can and started coming up with ways to balance myself. In a week I was off on my own. 

Maybe there is no one right way to deal with fears that hold us from going out there and progressing. But one thing I learned from my bicycle experience is to eliminate the fear by giving ourselves the freedom to feel embarrassed and look scared, actually do what we want to, befriend it, and slowly get better at it. 

Like the song (Dreams) says “Just throw yourself into the deep end and give it all” 

Keep Inspiring


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