How did I overcome the fear of failure and rejection?

Preparation will only take you so far. After that you got to take a few leaps of faith.

Michael Scofield, principle character of the TV Series ‘Prison Break’

As human as this gets, this dialogue from the TV series became so relevant and game-changing for me that it marked the beginning of exploring a new side of my life.

We (still) live in a society where we get defined by what we do rather than who we are. Always judged by how we perform becomes the only goal to survive and sustain. That’s surely not the way to be. In my opinion, it just doesn’t let you grow as a person.

Before I moved to Denmark in 2017, I lived 25 years of my life in Mumbai and then almost 2 years in Bangalore. Honestly, it wasn’t an easy transition of moving from one country to setting up base in a new place with limited information about anything. It was a high-value risk.

Adjusting to a new lifestyle, new language, new environment, became an experience with a fair share of ups and downs, having to integrate or adapt in certain situations, not compromising in any form. It was challenging but it was equally important to just hold onto your emotions, thoughts and just believe in your instincts.

While you are prepared in many ways, there’s always a feeling of competitiveness inside you. I have that in me since I was very young – the need to prove yourself, ability to stand out in the crowd. Sometimes, it is good but it can go sideways.

So, I wanted to get all the attention – be known and popular with my classmates. At one point, I turned my class into a friendly war zone in terms of motivating some of them to deliver their best assignments and projects for the semester. It was fun.

This was one of the firsts in my life where my opinion not just influenced someone but it also made them act upon it in a way that it benefited them in the long term. It gave a sense of achievement to me. In some way, it helped me overcome my apprehensions about myself and have more faith in what I am truly capable of.

During the last semester, when I was working on my Masters thesis project on a very topical issue, it gave me a new perspective. It was an enriching experience in my academic career. Personally, it made me work out of my comfort zone, explore newer possibilities and discover my own skills.

In this entire process I worked with people from different cultures, was part of an international work environment, had some fun social exchanges. On the whole, it was just what I needed to be my own self.

I achieved something so amazing on my own merit that I keep reminding myself about it whenever I feel that I might fail or I can’t do something. I think of this moment that made such a positive difference to my life and helped me to think objectively.

Bottom line – there is always a way in which we can overcome our fear of failure and rejection and that’s only possible by us as an individual. Let that happen to you and things will follow as you desired.

By Anuradha Venkatraman

I am a creative zombie looking to share stories and experience from my personal life, work environment, social circle and all things that make a difference.

2 replies on “How did I overcome the fear of failure and rejection?”

Well written. Expected a longer post which would go on to explain more details on struggles in a new country and the change to it being received with warmth


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