Fun Facing your Fears of Failure

I think one of the reasons that many people don’t do things such as triathlons is that they have a fear of failure. It’s hard to get motivated at the best of times, but if on top of that you think you won’t be able to do it then for many people there just isn’t any point in trying.

Even for people such as myself who do these things, there is always a fear of failure. This isn’t just in races either, even in training I might shy away from doing certain things. Silly really, especially in training as the worst that will happen is that I won’t hit my targets or it’ll hurt more than I had anticipated. No one will know about it, the failure will just be between me and my training schedule, but even then it’s no fun. We all want to achieve and do our best, so when it’s no happening we aren’t happy.

Take the hilly run I’ve been doing lately as an example. I blogged about it a couple of weeks ago because I had smashed my personal best time around the course by a massive 2 minutes and 5 seconds. At the time it felt ridiculously hard and I finished the blog post by saying:

“I’m obviously pretty pleased with that, but on the other hand, REALLY don’t want to run that course again for a while as getting anywhere near to that time again is going to be hard. It was quite a brutal run for me!”

Not wanting to run the course again for a while was a bit of a cop out really. I didn’t want to do it not only because it was incredibly hard work, but also because I didn’t want to ‘fail’ by not hitting that time again. However, I was scheduled to do a 60 minute hilly run on Wednesday again, so I decided to ‘man-up’ and run that same course again. I wasn’t going to go for a course record again, but hopefully it would be close and with 2 minutes to play with I should at least be able to put in my 2nd best time on it.

Besides, what have I got to lose? If I’m miles off my PB then I will have had a run and done my training. If I get close again it would prove that it wasn’t a fluke and that I must be improving. Once again it was a tough run, but with a bit of a sprint finish I actually managed to not only get close to my PB but to beat it again, this time by 16 seconds with a new time of 52:07, compared to my previous best of 52:23.

See, I faced the fear of failing, actually succeeded where I thought I wouldn’t and had fun doing it at the same time.

1 Response

  1. mum says:

    what a clever boy ,not only for improving on your pb but for the self evaluation and facing your fear of failure!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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