In our modern culture of callout, digging up dirt, public shaming, trolling and other secular forms of eternal damnation, the fear of making mistakes can be paralyzing.
The fear of failing publicly and the risk of looking foolish to some people, instead of being the ‘cost of doing business’ of life now prevents us from ever striving.
Nihilism, group think, lack of high personal standards, moral relativism – all those things, like JK Rowling’s dementors, conspire to suck the drive to strive out of people.
Our complete human experience consists of happiness and sadness, aspiration and fear.
The fantasy world Dementors feed on happiness and aspiration, leaving the person with misery and fear. The soul-sucking callout culture feeds on drive, passion, personal values and ambition, leaving the person paralyzed with what’s left – the fear of failure.
A Dementor’s foul influence can be fought not with total removal of misery out of one’s life (as anti anxiety drugs and positivity mantras tend to endeavor) but by invoking feelings of gratitude and appreciation for what one’s got – a Patronus Charm.
Similarly, the soul-sucking paralyzing fear of failure induced by the callout troll culture (which is much smaller than you think) won’t be solved by trying to eliminate the fear. The fear is part of a full and exciting life.
However, I found that the fear can be put back in its place when shift focus off the fear and instead get clear on my values, appreciate how far I’ve come, laugh at my own human imperfection (because only the deeply deluded think that there are perfect humans), refocus on what gives my life meaning (learning, wisdom, contribution, family, friendship), practice getting back up again and again dusting off my smarting backside (and bruised ego), learn from the experience, and persevere on my path.
Don’t fear failure. Fear the lack of striving.