Everyone has experienced that moment when we are drifting off to sleep, inching closer towards dreamland, when all of a sudden you sense danger. You feel yourself falling, try to catch yourself, and jerk abruptly awake. This phenomenon is known as Hypnic Jerk. Scientifically, there have been no answers to why this occurs. But when I give it a thought, I think it symbolises a very important part of our life, the Fear of Failure.

We live every moment of our life with this fear engraved deep down in our hearts. We might not notice it, but it effects almost every action we take. We might think of starting a new book, but not do it thinking that we might fail to complete it. Even little decisions like these are affected by our fear of failure. Subconsciously, it’s always there. Always.

Every day, we let go of so many opportunities, just because we do not want to fail. There are so many times that I have picked up a guitar and thought to myself “This year, I am going to do it” but have backed out thinking I will not be able to. So many times I see a job posting and think “What’s the point? They probably want someone better” and let it go. Let’s face it, we are all guilty of this. We all let so many chances slip right through our fingers, because we want to succeed, and just succeed. We are very afraid to fail, to fall. So afraid that even when we sense we ourselves falling in our sleep, we shudder and wake up. That’s the kind of impact it has on our mind, and our lives.

We all have read this at least once in our lives “Failure is the stepping stone to success”. In the hallway of our school, on Facebook, and sometimes even inscribed as graffiti on walls. It’s that common of a sentence. But we seldom believe in this saying. I think this is majorly because we are so committed towards portraying ourselves as ‘perfect’ to the world, that we do not want to expose to them that “Yes, I am vulnerable too, just like you are.” The desire to achieve perfection is so strong that we are ready to deprive ourselves of many possible opportunities and outcomes. What we do not realize is that, this very yearning for perfection is what’s slowly pushing us further down, not up, the road to success.

I think what we all need is to forget about the world for once, and think of all the things that would have been if we had not let an opportunity slip because of the fear of failure, the fear of falling. What if, instead of stacking the guitar back on the store shelf, I had learnt how to play it? Maybe I would have been a part of my college band by now. What if I had gone ahead and sent my CV for that job posting? Maybe I would have been writing this article from my cubicle, and not my living room sofa.

Giving something a try will never lead to anything negative. It’ll either leave you with a story to tell, or a lesson to learn.

So go ahead, do that one thing you have always wanted to. Don’t let the world take over you. You try, you fall, you learn. You get up, you try again and guess what? You succeed.

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Ayesha Khan
A third culture kid with an Indian passport but a Saudi heart. A huge victim of wanderlust and dreams to make a difference in the world. My writing is what describes me best. A total book nerd, and a business woman in making.