I am writing this particular blog post on the eve of St. Patrick’s day in Dublin, Ireland 2015. If you would have told me in 2008 when I graduated from High School in South Dakota, that the next seven years would bring jobs at John Deere, Caterpillar and NASA followed by a one year sabbatical of living in Ireland. I would have looked at you with a puzzled look of confusion, as my 18 year old mind could not fathom what lay ahead. I have been lucky enough to have great opportunities blossom to fruition throughout my life, and I continue to take advantage of these opportunities. I believe the background to these opportunities is having a great support system of friends and family that continually remind you that you are capable and justified in your pursuit of whatever crazy dreams you have turned your sights upon. This support structure coupled with the understanding that sometimes you may fail… and being okay with this failure is a huge step towards the betterment of yourself and whatever project you are working on at the time. It is common to be afraid of failure and justly warranted. But the fear that correlates to most failures is in no way representative of the amazing advancements that could be made if the fear of failure were obsolete.
The ability to overcome your fear is a freeing and empowering experience. It will not be without hardships and failures that will try to knock you back down. But if the world was not built by those that pushed the envelope and progressed in the face of fear, the human race would see little advancement if development were continually based on areas of interest that are perceived as safe.
In relation to myself I have been lucky enough to have a supporting family, friends and fiance, that allow me to push the envelope and face down my fears of doubt and question. This support structure allows me to attempt things that seem crazy, but if I fail I know I will still be fine. This realization of the pros and cons of failure is extremely important, and I believe most people are frozen by fear of failure to the point they work their way into a complacent and routine life.
As I prepared for my Famelab speech a few weeks ago, I continually told myself “Whats the worst that could happen?” I have been booed of stage before and I have been heckled when I was in grade school. I assumed in an adult setting such as Famelab I would have no problems with heckling and booing, so the worst critic will most likely be myself. I prepared my speech and ended up winning audience favorite. I use this as an example because studies show that presenting in front of people “public speaking” is the number one fear of most people, number two is death. Most people are more afraid of presenting their ideas to you, than they are of dying on the way to the office. So if you can power through public speaking, you have quite carefully beat something scarier than death!