Fear of failure and all that.

Recently I attended a course to up skill my interview skills. I volunteered myself to be the interviewee in the role play (this on its own was odd considering I would normally never volunteer myself to be at the centre of a questioning session with people I do or do not know). It was going well until I was asked the question, “Have I failed at anything and if yes, could I elaborate?”


This was a role play so I did not have to be THAT honest but the words that came from my mouth took me by surprise. “Yes, I failed. When I was a team leader in my previous career and the team was centralised I felt like I failed myself and the team.” Um…in the words of Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, “Alriiighty then!”

Firstly I was surprised because I shared this so openly and secondly I never really thought about it before. To put this into context, there no job losses and because I worked with a team of graduates everyone moved into areas of the business that they were going to move to eventually.

So why the feeling of failure?

I keep thinking about this and do not have any concrete answer. So many good effects happened from this incident that there is no doubt in my mind that this happened at the right time and in the best possible manner. And yet I cannot shake this feeling.

So let’s go back to the beginning. What do I think I failed at? I failed at doing my job in the manner I should have. But how? The decisions made were not in my control and this is not an excuse, it was a fact. It was the right decision for the business and it made sense so this could not have been it. So, let’s bring it closer to home. Maybe it’s because I personally did not feel in control of the situation and more specifically, in control of my own destiny to sound cliché. I was ignoring my inner voice that was telling me what I needed to do and it took months of soul searching to realise what I needed to do.

A few moves later and I finally feel like I am moving closer to home. And not that place where I sleep. But home in terms of my everyday attitude and inner peace.

Yes, I moved to roles that on paper seemed like I was over-experienced for but the amount of learning and growing that has taken place and continues to take place outweighed and outweighs any titles and experiences that was mentioned on paper. New teams, new experiences, new qualifications required. Then from this there are some more realisations of what I truly enjoy and do not enjoy. Realisations of where I could see myself thriving and learning and gaining even more knowledge. And that does not make me a failure.

As for this feeling? Well, I cannot answer every question (and that irks me) but maybe there’s some learning in that too. So what will I do with it? I do not know yet. And you know what, that’s okay. As long as I am not afraid to fail again then maybe it can just be a reminder that if I did fail once I overcame it and only became all the better for it.

And that is my choice.

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