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An Unconspired Conspiracy

June 11, 2011
These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photo by Sigurd Decroos

I’ve written about fear before.  My biggest fear.  I don’t think the fear I experience is that uncommon because I seem to read a lot of content on how to overcome it.  Yet reading, writing, and talking about it don’t make it just disappear.  What’s my fear?  I have a fear of failure.

What I’ve learned over time is that the fear isn’t going to ever go away.  Instead I have to make a daily decision to conquer that fear.  I can’t give in to it.

And what I’ve found is that those who fear failure don’t particularly suffer from a paralysis such that they don’t try at all.  Instead, from my experience, those who fear failure, just try something they know they’ll succeed at.  Unfortunately, society encourages this.  We are punished for failure and rewarded for success.  So why try that which you might fail at when you know you’ll succeed at the other?

Is there really a conspiracy as Emerson states?  Maybe not a spoken conspiracy (which is a bit counter intuitive) but it definitely seems that society as a whole would rather everyone pursue mediocrity.  I’ll pass on that.  So as a result I’m going to keep challenging myself to reach higher, to think more creatively, and not back down from adversity.  Daily, I will face my fear.

I have chosen to listen to the voice that says, “I can.”

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2 Responses to An Unconspired Conspiracy

  1. Dr. Pete on June 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I felt this way in graduate school. Everyone did research that was incremental – 5% more than what the last person did – because that was almost guaranteed to succeed. To publish, you had to succeed.

    I wanted to do something grand and theoretical. In retrospect, it was too ambitious for that phase of my career, but I don’t regret trying. I regret that we can’t see failing at something big as somehow as worthwhile as succeeding at something tiny.

  2. Jackodile on June 12, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Very well put, Dr. Pete. I guess that’s why you’re the Dr.

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