Way back in time, when I was in nursing school, my buddies and I would always joke at test time to relieve our jitters. There were two popular training commercials at that time that ran on television. One offered truck driver training, and another touted becoming a model…or just looking like one. We would combine the two and offer to each other a reminder that, if we failed, there is always truck driver training school…we could be a trucker, or just look like one!
It was our running joke. What we were really telling each other was that it will be okay no matter what. Even if we failed, at least we tried.
Fear of failure is a very powerful emotion. It keeps us from getting outside our comfort zone, trying new things, learning new skills, or stepping up to the next level. We think about what potentially comes with “failure”…loss of respect, self worth, and all kinds of negative emotions that are attached to that word.
I think back to the time prior to being accepted into nursing school. I was already working in a medical office and had two kids. It was a huge leap for me to make the jump. As I remember that fear, it now seems silly. Life would be so much different had I not gotten past it.
With time, I have learned that there really is no such thing as true failure in the context of the scary emotions that the word conjures. I’m not suggesting an irresponsible leap, and safety net planning is an important part of the plan, but trying may lead to great success and no regret, and not trying is a missed opportunity. No one is going to judge you if it doesn’t work out. It just wasn’t your path. So, today, I recommend you just do it. Try doing that one thing. Apply for that certification, learn that new skill, explore your next career step, or whatever seed that is growing that the fear of “failure” is getting in the way.
I took a big leap a couple of months back, and, just for fun, applied for a role on a television pilot as a background actor. Living in Atlanta, there are often opportunities for “extras”, and this particular one day opportunity was for a nurse. I thought it would be great fun, so I sent an e mail with all the required information, and I got the role! It was an amazing experience. I’m not sure what episode I’m in, or if I even made the cut, but I now call it “my show”, and can’t wait for it to start. So, if you have a chance, tune in to NBC April 12th for the pilot airing of “Game of Silence” following “The Voice”, and look for me in my blue scrubs, being a nurse…and just looking like one. While you’re watching, please don’t laugh at me too loudly, and start planning your leap.