Posts tagged ‘college fears’

Fear of failure …

Written March 22nd, 2010
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By Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

… often means “fear of success,” as strange as that might sound. We can be our own worst enemy as we embark upon a new path, be it breaking a bad habit like smoking, or acquiring a new habit, like writing papers.

It is true that “we learn more from our failures than our successes.” It is through not getting the results we had hoped for that we change our approach to achieving our goal. Through these changes we acquire experience – and invaluable teacher in the learning process.

So, why do we sometimes sabotage ourselves so that we do not succeed? It is that value that we place on ourselves, our self-esteem that can have a negative impact, if our self-esteem is negative. We interfere with our positive progress because we believe we are not worthy of success. Sometimes we worry that success will ruin our relationships. Another possibility is the uncertainty that lies with change: What will my future look like with this major change in it?

While change can sometimes be scary, especially when it occurs quickly, educational changes take place over an expanse of time. You are not transformed into a human encyclopedia overnight. It is also not something that is given to you without hard work. You must earn those changes that occur. You will not do as well on some papers and exams as you had hoped, or, you might exceed your expectations on a specific project. Either way, it is a process of intellectual growth.

Therefore, think of your college career as the “evolution of you.” You will adjust to the changes, sort of like the slow acquisition of a new wardrobe when your weight gradually approaches a desired goal. Your education will be a series of epiphanies, or “Ah ha!” Enjoy the process. Enjoy your own evolution.