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May 15, 2010 / Brent Sears

Jumping and the Fear of Failure

With jumping comes the fear of failure which will inevitably lead to criticism and blame.  It would have been my fault on my first skydive if I had wet my pants.  It would have been my fault if I had flipped out when the parachute deployed.  People would have certainly laughed at me and thought less of me.

On the other hand, if the parachute had failed or if my jump master and I landed wrong and I suffered a concussion by doing a face plant, then it wouldn’t have been my fault.  I wouldn’t have been looked at as the cause of the problem, but the victim of circumstance.  Whew!  Luckily I could escape the blame.

Most people live their entire lives trying to avoid being blamed for making mistakes, taking missteps, and doing “stupid” things.  This is why so many people fear jumping.  What would other people say if I did the following:

  1. Switched from majoring in business to philosophy.
  2. Decided to ask out the random cute person in the Barnes & Noble cafe
  3. Left college for a semester because I hate it
  4. Applied for 12 scholarships/fellowships next year
  5. Volunteered at a local animal shelter
  6. Didn’t join in on what EVERYONE is doing Friday night
  7. Asked more than one question per class period
  8. Introduced myself to someone notable
  9. Started a conversation with a homeless person
  10. Jumped out of an airplane
  11. Traveled to a foreign country for a semester

Most people never get over the fear of jumping, because of the fear of criticism.  That’s why they are bored!

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