First, shut your face, I am expertly qualified to write on this topic. If anything I am a master when it comes to avoiding failure at all costs from since I was small. If I didn’t get something first time or felt like I wasn’t as ‘up to speed’ as everyone else I would simply walk away and admit defeat. Why am I talking in the past tense? I do this all the time. Part of me feels that if I never try my hardest then I can always think “Yeah so I got this, but if I had really tried who knows.” I always think of Dylan Moran’s quote on potential as a reminder that trying isn’t worth it:
“Don’t do it! Stay away from your potential. You’ll mess it up, it’s potential, leave it. Anyway, it’s like your bank balance – you always have a lot less than you think.”
I’m joking naturally, though part of me can’t help thinking “but what if it’s true, what if my potential is really a lot less than I think? Would it not be worst to know that then always remaining blissfully ignorant thinking about my untapped potential that I could tap into if I wanted to, but I merely choose not to?
Overtime, I’ve become better (slightly) at fighting this side of me that tells me I can’t do it and why bother trying if I’ll just fail. The power of the mind is quite something in affecting how you perform at something I think. If you’re first thought is “I won’t get this” how can you ever expect your mind or you will put any effort in.
Learning to drive has been a recently struggle of mine against that nagging part of me. I have failed my test twice now, not due to anything major more so due to nerves which everyone struggles with some more than others. It only takes me to one mistake for my whole driving to unravel because my mind reverts back to “oh look surprise I failed again/ I did this wrong, what a stupid mistake of course I did that because blah blah” and as it grips onto me I lose all confidence in myself and heading down the giving up road rather than catch myself and say “hey so I made a mistake, BIG DEAL, if I learn from it I have won against these thoughts but if I walk away now the only person I am disappointing is myself.” What’s the point of berating yourself of something that happened in the past? I’ve been making a real effort to take on that thinking more and more and it hasn’t been easy, at all. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz has helped a good bit. I’m not usually one for self- help type books but a lot of what is touched on in the book is something I have experienced on multiple occasions and provided me with some tools to combat it. It’s not an overnight transformation but taken day by day it gets a little bit easier.