Are You Afraid Of Failure?
Up until the last few years and going through this process, I've always felt like I wasn't allowed to fail. I was scared to death of failing, whether it was in school, at home and especially when I started working. In my head, my parents, teachers and colleagues expected me to meet extremely high standards no matter what. I even thought they expected me to meet impossible standards.
How do you feel when you lost at something you wanted to win? Were wrong when you thought you were right?
I always felt like there was no hope for me and that I could never recover. Which when I think about it now is an absolutely ludicrous way to feel, but never the less I did feel that way.
Everybody makes mistakes, even you. We are all going to make a lot more mistakes in our lives, so instead of feeling how I felt, why not try to turn it around into a positive perspective when we do make a mistake?
You're probably thinking, how do we do that?
It is actually quite simple......WE LEARN!
A failure isn't a failure if we learn something from it, and use what we learn in the future. This is the key to conquering our fear of failure and succeeding in life. I say life because you can use the very same process either at work, at home, at sports or any other activities in your life that you feel you have failed at.
When I was 16 years old and just left school, I was offered a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship with an automotive company in Liverpool. They designed and built the assembly lines for car companies such as Ford, Jaguar and Mitsubishi, and the assembly lines would make the engine blocks for their cars. So it seemed like a really good opportunity to join them.
I put a lot of pressure on myself (which I didn't need to) right from the beginning because my brother Michael had just completed his Apprenticeship in Engineering. So if I failed to do the same then my family would think I was a failure. Unnecessary for me to think like that but that was my mindset back then.
Anyway, I had just had my 17th Birthday so I had only been in my new job for about two months. Then one night when I was asleep, I had an Epileptic seizure in bed. I had never had a seizure before and I had never ever shown signs of having one throughout my life so far.
Back then I shared a room with my brother Michael and he told me later on that when he saw me have the fit, it was the scariest thing he had ever seen in his life. It affected him massively and it still does to this day. While I was in the middle of the seizure he was trying to cushion my head with his arm, and the force nearly broke it he said.
After I had came out of the seizure I was taken to hospital where I had an EEG test and we couldn't get the results for a week. So I had to stay in hospital and during that time I had another seizure, it was a very scary time for me as you can imagine.
I remember my last day in the hospital like it was yesterday. My Mum was stood up next to me and my Dad was sitting down next to my bed, when the Doctor walked into the ward and come over to me. He looked at me with a sad look on his face and said ”I’m really sorry Tom but it’s Epilepsy” and he showed me my brain scan. There was a bit of shading on the right side of my brain which apparently indicated Epilepsy.
When he said the words “It’s Epilepsy”, it was like Mike Tyson just walked into the ward and punched me right in the face. I was absolutely devastated, I just fell into my Mum and we both cried for about 10 minutes. Before then I don’t think I’d ever broken down in front of anyone before because I liked to think of myself as a strong person.
It was like my world was collapsing around me because I’d just started an Engineering Apprenticeship which required me to build and maintain heavy moving machinery. Now for somebody Epileptic, working on heavy moving machinery must not be allowed to happen because of the safety risks. If I had a seizure and injured myself, it could be pretty nasty, also it would make the company liable. So I would never be allowed to work on my own.
I felt like a huge burden on the company and even worse, I felt like a failure in life. But after a while I learned how to deal with it and I accepted that I couldn’t work alone and got on with it.
Then after a good number of years I worked my way up and I am now an Engineering Manager in the Rail Industry.
AND NOW......I have started my own online business with Wealthy Affiliate and going through their process. Again I have set myself high standards but I know I can get there because it is a journey and I can draw on the experiences from before.
So I worked out how to make things work for me despite my disability and I learned some lessons along the way…See that is the key word “Learned”…that is the most important thing you can ever do when overcoming a failure or mistake or a loss…You MUST LEARN!!!
I know YOU CAN DO IT, we all can and we must help and encourage each other as a community.
WE WILL DO IT!