Everybody is talking about failure. How important failure is. How scary it is. How it will break your heart. And how it might sometimes even break you as a person.
Sure, being able to overcome failure, being able to get back up again and being able to learn a hell lot through failure is very important.
But this failure porn leaves out one really important thing. It leaves out the fear of change. One of our biggest fears ever.
We're all very, very afraid of change. The older we get, the more we tend to become afraid of change. Not to say reluctant. Even though there's also a growing trend of young people being afraid of change..
Why? Because of our lizard brains, as Seth Godin called them.
The lizard brain wants us to stay where we are in life. At a safe place where we know what's going to happen next. Where everything is predictable and safe. No unpleasant surprises.
What's interesting to note is the fact that what's going to happen when you fail is very predictable. You do it, you fail and you're back at where you came from. In a worst case scenario you'll have to start all over again.
So that's nothing really new to us. No big changes. We know how it looks like where we came from. We know the cubicle life. We know what to expect. No unpleasant surprises.
What's going to happen when we succeed is a whole different story.
We've never been on top of something. We've never succeeded at building a super successful business, life, relationship or whatever. So we have no clue what's going to happen to us. And that (unconsciously) scares the shit out of us.
We might not be aware of it, but I believe that one really big thing that's holding many of us back is the fear of success.
In our heads, success is linked to change. The one thing we hate the most. Even if the change might be a positive one. It's something our lizard brain is trying to fight as hard as it can. Because change is always unpredictable. Many surprises.
We simply don't know what's going to happen to us once we succeed. And that's a very, very uncomfortable feeling.
How will my life look like? Will it stay the same? Will I become a bad person? Will I become greedy? Will my marriage last? Will people start to turn their backs on me? Those are all questions that (unconsciously) keep our minds spinning.
And to me, that's the reason why we never really ship our products. Why we never write that book. Why we never learn that language. Why we never quit that job and start working for that other company.
That's why we unconsciously sabotage ourselves over and over again. That's why we don't do the things we know we should be doing.
Because we might succeed. And we might change. And our friends might change. Our colleagues might change. Our entire lives might change.
And that scares the hell out of us. Whether we want to admit it or not..