Fear is Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Rachel - Christiansburg, Virginia
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Throughout my life, I’ve never been that much of a risk-taker. I’ve held myself back from trying a lot of new things, talking to new people, and even little things like trying new foods. However, I’ve realized that most of my subconscious reasoning for not trying is my fear of failure, and recently I’ve decided that failure shouldn’t be that scary.

Auditioning for choir class almost two years ago was a big step for me. I had always been told I had a good voice, but there was this nagging fear in the back of my mind saying, “What if you try and fail? What if you aren’t as good as you’ve been told? Do you really want to face rejection?” After discovering that my audition would be alone with only the choir teacher, that voice was slightly silenced, and though nervous, I went in and gave it my best shot. A few weeks later, I found out that I had made it.

Unfortunately, when I started Women’s Ensemble in the second semester of my sophomore year, I found that I still had a problem: I was petrified to sing in front of my peers. I could sing with them in a group with no difficulty, as my voice blended with everyone else’s and didn’t stand out at all, but alone was different.

On the day our teacher announced that we would have the opportunity to audition for solos, my heart thumped and my stomach gave a lurch. I had an entirely unexpected longing to have a solo of my own. Yet there was that voice again, telling me that I couldn’t do it. “What if you put yourself out there in front of all these girls and fall flat on your face? Do you really want to hear them talking and laughing about your failure?”

But then I realized something: why should I care what anyone else thought? How could I let the fear of failure, even in front of my peers, dictate my life?

I suddenly felt my hand shoot up as my teacher asked who would be interested in trying out, and when I stood at that piano in front of my classmates, I forgot everything that voice had ever said to try and hold me back. I threw my all into the song, and I didn’t care how I sounded or what anyone thought, so that when I was finished, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I had never experienced before.

Even though I didn’t get that solo, I truly feel like I got something so much better. I gained a newfound confidence, not only in my singing, but one that I could apply to every other part of my life as well. Now, going into the second semester of my junior year, I’ve been able to try so many things without worrying about failing. That’s why I believe that failure is nothing to be afraid of.