Matt points out that, as academics, we don't often talk about failure. I think you could extend that to most jobs. Our professional personae do not have room for messing up, for things going wrong, for the days when you just want to hide under the bed curled in a ball crying. My twitter feed and this blog are always relentlessly positive: even when I'm grumpy, they are (or try to be) constructive and analytical rather than down and sad and whinging. You just can't fail publicly and get away with it, it seems. Failing is one thing, but fail behind closed doors- perhaps this is why people are negative on Facebook, where only "friends" will see us.
Those are just the job failure fears. And they are ugly. They do not make for good CV material. They do not make for good Lucy PR. But they are real, and they are honest. I suppose they tell you that at least I care about these things. Or do I? Looking at that list of potential failures with a hard eye, they are ridiculous. Why? I'm sure each of those things would make me sad, and very downtrodden for a while. But they would pass. I have failed before, although not on such a grand scale. I would cry, I would hide, I would probably cancel this blog for a while and put my face away from the world. But, in the end, as long as I get to be happy again, I won't have failed. There is never only one path to happiness and to success. The negativity of failure cannot win unless we let it.
|How can I be afraid to fail? There are lambs in the world, for goodness sake.|
|Everything's going to be alright?|