The EGOTist On: Fear of Failure
April 2012 I left London because I could no longer afford to live there. I couldn’t find work (acting or otherwise) nor could I justify having my family support me (that exchange rate, Jesus). I was relieved to go home, the weight of not being able to afford rent and half the time food was lifted from my shoulders. Then it hit me. I had failed. My plan to live and perform in London was shot. I went home with my tail between my legs.
At least that’s how it felt.
That experience was particularly jarring and I think I’m still recovering. Failing on that grand a scale was new to me even if (my slightly skewed image of) failure wasn’t.
And failure scares me.
It feeds my dropping habit and keeps me from trying things unless I feel I have a certain level of mastery. It keeps me safe (which is good and bad). Working through this in particular is not easy for me. Failure is a learning opportunity. Not trying is worse than failing. I know this. But sometimes (now more than when I was younger) I feel like I’m defusing bombs; failure isn’t an option.
I think back on the girl who flew to London to audition for grad school, the girl who took the bus from DC to New York nearly every weekend to audition for shows, the girl with the competitive spirit and I miss her. I get glimpses every so often but I want more. Life experiences change everyone but I’m returning this one (with or without the receipt. Who gon check me, boo?). The idea of failure isn’t allowed to have that much power over me.
How do you approach failure? Has life changed you in a way you dislike?