Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Goals!

Posted by on May 20, 2012

Do you ever feel like you are mentally swimming in quicksand? Well, you have two choices: you can sink, or you can keep swimming.

I often struggle with a fear of failure when it comes to achievement, but I persevere. I try to stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks. The importance of squelching negative thoughts fast was brought home to me recently after admitting to my family and close friends that I had been dealing with feelings of failure.

What does this term “being a failure” mean? I have two university degrees – one undergraduate, one graduate – and I’m on my way to a wonderful career. How could I possibly believe for a second that I could be “a failure”?

Well, I did feel like “a failure.”  I was feeling insecure because, while I am en route to achieving my life goals, I hadn’t yet become “successful” according to the standards I had set for myself.  I was comparing myself to others who had it “more together” than me in external terms.  I was using them as a yardstick to define my self-worth.

But, how could I do this?! Didn’t I know in my soul that I was worthwhile? Didn’t I realize that I had been letting others and my insecurities have power over me! I had been “taking on” others’ standards for my life, rather than my own; as a result, I had become weak.  The loss of strength had made me struggle with feelings of inadequacy, low self-worth, and failure. I lacked mental toughness.

Please. Don’t fall for this trap!  Don’t become entangled in others’ standards for yourself.  Otherwise, with that attitude, you will have already lost the race; like me, you will have set yourself up for failure. Of course, with such an attitude, I would feel low.

Your emotions can trick you. But, as a wise coach once told me, “You need to learn to take your emotions out of the situation.” Sometimes, if you do not believe something, you need to fake the belief until you do. This applies to your own self-worth.

When you are feeling low, just stand tall, smile, and walk forward. Feel the sunshine. Feel the wind at your back! By acting as if you are empowered, you will gradually become so.  Like a sapling turning into a young tree. Like a juvenile eagle molting to reveal its true feathers and becoming the mightiest bird.

Social support is important in life.  Close friends and family members have the ability to call you out when you are doing something silly.  Because of them, I had a lightbulb moment earlier this week. I realized that everyone is at different stages in their life journey.  Each has his/her own definition of success and what that looks like in their life.

For me, I have made sacrifices to achieve the things I have. I am not a failure. I AM A SUCCESS!!!!!

My errors were that I equated success to outcome and that I compared myself to others.  But, through my social support, I was reminded about what matters most in life: Your belief in yourself!

When you are achieving something, you will feel like a failure sometimes and you will encounter critics. But, keep going! Persevere! Don’t let these distractions stop you from achieving your goals and from living an empowered life!

Sometimes, when I’m kayaking, my rudder gets weighted down with weeds. But, I’m so enthralled with my ocean journey, that I don’t notice the entanglement. I keep going, faster, with a smile on my face and in my heart.

“I’m not a failure if I don’t make it….I’m a success because I tried.”(Unknown)

Photo Credit: Arianna’s Random Thoughts

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!

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16 Responses to Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Goals!

  1. Anne Sikes

    Awesome thoughts and advice! Thank you Arianna. I have always been a rather emotional person…am often led by my heart about things. Finding the balance between allowing myself the privilege of owning what I feel…and yet not allowing the feelings to control me…that can be really tricky. I mean, sometimes you have to feel those emotions. I think for me, it’s when I stay in the emotions and let them swallow me that I get into trouble. If I can feel it, then brush it off and move on, that’s healthier I think. And I’m still working on it…but doing better. :) Thank you for this blog, and for persevering! Blessings –Anne

    • ariannasrandomthoughts

      Totally agree Anne! You have to feel the emotions, it’s the dwelling in them for a long time and letting them control your behaviour that’s the problem. You will feel it but you have to consciously become aware that you are doing it and press on. It’s hard to learn and takes time – but it’s so important :) Thanks for sharing Anne! Seriously, so glad I connected with you!

  2. kingskidneal

    thank you so much! I also deal with issues about failure. i have learned that it is the enemy that tries to stop us from reaching the road to destiny that God has designed for us to go down. picture this: two weeks ago i graduated with my BA in criminal justice, i was so elated. tell me why soon as i got out of the bed the next day the devil tried to make me feel insecure and told me that i was a loser and a unaccomplished person! i immediately began to quote scripture and clear my mind of all negativity (take every thought captive and put it under the authority of Christ) that he had planted. thank you again! remember: we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. Romans 8:37

    • ariannasrandomthoughts

      <3 your words! Thanks for contributing. It's really hard and so glad you saw what was happening and found the strength to persist. Congrats on your accomplishment!!!! I can relate to what you share, literally at a party after graduating from my Masters, a couple people were like "good for you, ok now when are you starting your PhD." It made me feel like my accomplishment was good enough. Thanks again for the words of encouragement!

  3. Felicity Lumb (@BodyCrusador)

    “I realized that everyone is at different stages in their life journey. Each has his/her own definition of success and what that looks like in their life.”

    I love this, and can really relate – I am “behind” my friends in a lot of ways, for instance; I’m not married, I am currently out of work due to ill health, I haven’t learnt to drive yet – and sometimes I think “look at me compared to them, I have nothing” but then I have to remind myself I am on my own journey – anorexia took many years from me but I am slowly getting there – it’s not about “catching up” it’s about achieving my own goals and recognizing my own successes, such as “I am now healthy enough to take driving lessons should I wish too” and “I have maintained a healthy weight for 3 years” to me those are massive achievements!

    Great post Arianna! x

  4. ariannasrandomthoughts

    Felicity – you are AMAZING and such an inspiration. I’m so glad I connected with you – we can encourage each other to persist on our journeys. You are so strong. Thank for your vulnerability, honesty, and courage. Those are MASSIVE achievements. Keep up the positive attitude! Have a great day and keep empowering others!

  5. Tri Rahayu Kusumawati

    Wonderful story..I think all we have to do is just do the best at any moments, as for the rewards -or whatever appreciations they might call – will come along someday, in the right time. And for ‘the hard time’ I learn to always find the solution, then enjoy the solving process with patience, gratitude and smile. I know it’s hard to do it..but as we try to open our heart and mind to make a peace with our condition and keep thinking positively then, believe me, life is much easier, and simpler, than we always think. That’s what I feel..thanks for sharing Ariana, I really love your blog. Have a beautiful day!

  6. rashmimalapur

    I was searching for information on persistence related to leadership. and i hit upon your blog. I liked what you’ve said about negative thoughts. For long I’ve struggled with negative thinking & still do. Your thoughts on self-worth are practical…..Your line ‘For me, I have made sacrifices to achieve the things I have. I am not a failure. I AM A SUCCESS!!!!!” is so positive.

    • Arianna Merritt, M. Ed.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! So glad you found my blog. I love that line too – I actually have it written on a piece of paper that I hang on my wall over my desk as a reminder. It’s so true!

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