I’m Stupid, and So Far, So Good.
I think It’s not the fear of failing that leaves us paralysed.
On our own we’re pretty good at failing and getting back on our feet again even better. We’re made that way. It’s our nature to try, fail, learn, try again, fail again and learn more. It’s how we learned to walk, to talk, to play, to make, to love, to create. That’s how we are who we are today, individually and as humans. It’s an in-built ability and skill that we have - to fall, get up again and do better.
Every single piece of technology, medicine, convenience and all that is good and useful that we take for granted is because of thousands of failures that preceded it. If there are 100 steps to reach a destination, 99 steps before it are failed attempts in reaching the destination when seen separately. But when seen as a whole, that’s when we realise that without the 99 steps, we would still be exactly where we were.
So I don’t think it’s the fear of failing that keeps us from doing and living. It’s the fear of what people would say about us for trying and not succeeding, that keeps us from doing.
“See? He failed. I knew he would. He’s so stupid. It’s so dumb for him to even try. It must be really embarrassing to fail like him, to be a failure like him. What a waste of time and effort. I told him so, but he wouldn’t listen. So stupid. So dumb. So, so dumb. LOL”
The thing is, the people who say this usually have a few things in common. They probably never tried before, or they tried and failed and decided not to try again, and chose to say the same things that were said to them to others now. Or they do not want to see anyone else succeed where they failed because they think it makes them look bad.
Either way, what’s stopping them from living their lives fully and trying is their fear of looking stupid to people who are afraid of looking stupid to other people, other people who are afraid of looking stupid to others as well.
It’s like a fractal of the fear of looking stupid to people who don’t really know us, who don’t care about us and who don’t matter. And we let this fear decide who we are, what we do and what our lives should be.
I don’t mind looking stupid. I actually like it sometimes, because each time I know I’m learning something new from being stupid that the others aren’t. But I do mind not giving something wonderful the chance it deserves, because I was too afraid of failing.
That to me, would be really stupid.