The Fear Of Failure

Just 5 weeks to go until Bakewell Personal Trainer, John Gilroy attempts to complete his first Ironman triathlon

T Minus 5 Weeks: The road to Bolton 140.6

Goals completed so far:

Marathon ✅
Half distance IronMan (70.3 miles) ✅
4K swim ✅

Still to do:

100 mile bike

Progress report

So far so good. So why the dramatic title? Let me explain. I’m currently 5 weeks out from the event and I’m feeling overwhelmed and underprepared but why?

The reason, I don’t actually know but I reckon it's because all of this is completely new to me.

I’m far from a seasoned triathlete, I’m far from a seasoned cyclist, runner or swimmer. I’m just a regular person having a go so in reality there should be no pressure.

So why do I have this fear of failure?

To be honest it’s hard to explain but let me have a go.

Swimming is the loneliest part of the training. It’s just you and your thoughts for long periods of time. This is where the doubts and fears start to creep in!

Why am I doing this?

I’m Ill prepared?

What are people going to think if I fail?

I’m never going to make the cut off time.

I’m in far too deep

To name few...

However, in reality my training has been going well and I’ve been achieving my goals but I still have this deep down fear. This got me thinking, having never done a full distance IronMan before do I actually fear failure or am I fearful of the unknown?

What really is failure anyway and is it all bad?

I’d love to tell you that “failure is not a option” but in reality it is, in fact it’s a very important part of the process that makes us better. Imagine that a baby tries to walk but falls down, do we spend the rest of our lives crawling on all fours?

No, we try again, we learn from our mistakes and failures. These failures and mistakes will eventually help us grow.

I think the only time we really truly fail is when we don’t dare to challenge ourselves.

You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
- Wayne Gretzky

So why should I fear what will only help me grow?

This is how I now look at the failure. I dare to challenge and push myself. So really what’s the worse that can happen if I don’t succeed?

The answer is nothing bad. In reality I’ll learn, grow and become a better version of myself.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not actually failure I fear, it’s the unknown and the only way I’ll conquer the fear of the unknown is by having a go.

So if anybody has a fear of failure, it might actually be a fear of the unknown.

My advice to you is be brave, have a go, say yes instead of no and embrace that fear. It will eventually help you grow and succeed.

Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of success
- Gilly


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