Are we afraid to fail or are we afraid of everyone knowing we failed? With the age of social media, it’s so easy to shout from the rooftop that you’re motivated about accomplishing a new goal. But the admission of defeat is equally as public.
New Year’s resolutions. Going back to school. Quitting smoking. Writing a book. Committing yourself to running a 5K when you’re the proverbial couch potato.
Why is that when we need support the most, we’re afraid to reach out? We’re hesitant to put it on the line and let the world that we have set a goal and we’re fired up.
I’ll tell you why. It’s not because we’re afraid to fail so much. It’s because we’re afraid of other people seeing our failure. We’re worried that our friends, family, coworkers, those close to us are going to be witness to our failure, shake their finger, roll their eyes, laugh and remind us again of our other failed goals.
What’s worse is that those concerns are usually coming from our own inner catty voice.
I had a friend who publicly announced they were giving up tobacco for their 2014 resolution. We all know that quitting smoking is hard. I’ve heard it takes a typical person an average of seven tries before they’re able to quit for good. After dozens of supportive messages on Facebook and in person, the cold turkey attempt hasn’t quite worked for her. While the initial announcement received a lot of fanfare, I was disappointed that my friend didn’t ask for support around the time of relapse, when she needed it the most. Was she worried what people would think or say to her? Or worse, behind her back?
Personally, I feel like I’ve become the family joke lately. My head is going in so many directions of things I want to accomplish, do and learn, that many of my so-called “projects” remain unfinished. I’m like a squirrel in the middle of a metal sculpture park. And because of my recent history, I’ve been hesitant to admit my new goals.
Can you imagine the look on my husband’s face when I mention that I’m interested in organizing a charity event? Presumably working on it between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m.? This project may fail before it even gets started. But I’m going slow, organizing a plan before I reveal my next “big idea,” and counting on the support of people who love me.
I am in the mindset that attempting to do great things often leads to great failures. But every now and then, you may actually accomplish something great.
What do you do, share your goals immediately or do you wait until you know you can accomplish them before letting everyone know?