Bootcamp classes can open doors to a different dimension where your career possibilities are endless and thrilling! However, Fear of Failure makes the other side look like the Upside Down - dark, spine-chilling, and filled with winding paths leading to an uncertain future. Think of a time when you let a golden opportunity pass you by. Are you still haunted by the memories of amazing chances slipping right through your fingers? Well, it’s time to stop running from The Ghost of Missed Opportunities Past™ and face what’s behind the curtain:
Fear of Failure (cue sinister laughter here)
Fear of Failure, also known as "atychiphobia", is more common than you think. Ask around and you’ll find that many of the people you know have some example of how, at one time, the Fear of Failure stopped them from taking a chance in their lives. Let’s take a look at some of the root causes of Fear of Failure, figure out where they come from, and learn how to beat them in the future.
Understand Where The Fear of Failure Comes From
The first step on the path to beating the Fear of Failure is understanding it. There are several reasons you may feel afraid to leap into the unknown, even if the outcome is extremely promising. You probably don’t even realize some of the things that are holding you back.
We all experience insecurity at some time in our lives so it’s only normal that you do too. Perhaps you don’t feel qualified enough for a higher position, you think your experience doesn’t justify taking on more responsibility, or you don’t feel ready to enroll in a Bootcamp course. It’s possible that your insecurities are activating your Fear of Failure response and preventing you from seeing any positive outcomes that come from stepping outside your comfort zone.
You want it too much
Call it Witchful Thinking but sometimes you want to achieve a goal so badly that it seems almost irrational. When you discover a new specialty your excitement and imagination take hold. You arrange your life to accommodate it and spend every waking moment creating a future with this new endeavor at the forefront. However, the line between ‘Passion and ‘Infatuation’ is a thin one and at times it might be hard to tell the difference. After a while, your drive may become a deterrent. Before you know it you’re questioning why you even wanted to try something different in the first place.
You think the stakes are high
This one is usually spot on because without a doubt - every new opportunity has a cost, including a Bootcamp class. That doesn’t always mean money, though. “Cost” appears in different forms: time, resources, materials, etc. Not everyone is a gambler and it’s difficult to justify making an investment when there’s no guarantee of an outcome that will benefit you in the long run.
Losing your investment is one of the top fears that hold you back when making big decisions. The thought of all work and no reward might make you run for the hills. Some commitments already feel like you’re jumping from the frying pan into the fire. The possibility of taking a risk, working constantly to meet a goal, and ending up with nothing is not the best incentive. As a result, some will decide it’s just not worth the effort, or stress, and move on to a project that may be less fulfilling but at least it’s easier.
Someone else’s failure… or your own
Everyone has a story about taking a chance and falling on their face. When people tell their (or someone else’s) stories of failure it’s usually a warning that ends with “don’t make the same mistakes I did” so when faced with a similar circumstance, our first instinct is to heed that previous warning and save yourself from what could be a bad situation. When we don’t succeed at something we worked hard for, it’s not a good feeling. That makes it hard to stick our heads out for something else. Self-preservation will kick in when we think it’s needed and to save ourselves from future pain and embarrassment, especially if we’ve already failed in the past, we tend to steer clear of anything that could put us in that position again.
You think you don’t deserve it
Fear of Failure often goes hand in hand with Imposter Syndrome, the fear that you may not be as capable as others think you are. It causes you to constantly doubt yourself, your skills, and your talents. Living in constant fear that you’re hiding behind a mask plays on your insecurities and sends your anxiety through the roof. A person plagued with Imposter Syndrome will simply avoid promising opportunities that come their way because they believe someone else deserves them more.
Facing Your Fears
Now that we understand exactly where our fears come from, we can take the necessary steps to face them and, most importantly, fight them. If your issue is insecurity, think about where the insecurity stems from and turn it on its head. Use your insecurities as motivation to push yourself further. For example: if you don’t think you’re ready for an advanced Bootcamp class, take an intermediate class instead. That way when it’s time for the next level you’ll move on with confidence.
Embrace your passion! There’s nothing wrong with showing enthusiasm for learning new skills, think of it as drive. If something sparks your curiosity, pushes you to the next step, and excites you, then honor your feelings and follow your intuition. If you’re afraid the stakes are too high or you can’t stop thinking of what you may lose, remember that at the end of the day you’re investing in yourself and your future - the most rewarding investment possible. When you gamble on yourself you’ve always got a winning hand.
Don’t let someone else’s past failures affect your present. Cautionary tales are helpful and come with good intentions but remember that your choices and experiences are yours alone. There are many reasons why something you worked for may not find success, and some of them we may never know. Everyone experiences failure but what’s important is that you learn from it and keep it moving. If you fall: get up, dust yourself off, and try again.
Believe in yourself. Take that self-doubt and show it the door. The best way to deal with Imposter Syndrome is to remind yourself that you deserve great chances that cross your path. You already have the skills, knowledge, and tools for the brightest future possible and you are more than capable of handling any challenges you face.
Beating the Fear of Enrolling in Bootcamps
Don’t let Fear of Failure stop you from enrolling in a Bootcamp one minute longer! At Ironhack our admissions process will address any questions or doubts so you know you’re making the right choice. Our career services team is always on hand to make sure you get everything you want (and need) out of the Bootcamp.
At Ironhack, you’ll have a built-in support system. Our network is made of outcome teams, teachers, TAs, and community managers who are all there, rooting for you. On top of that, your fellow Ironhackers will be right by your side, every step of the way. Now’s the time to leave your fears behind you and take the leap. Contact our admissions team and find the right Bootcamp that will take your career to places you’ve only dreamed of.