Facing the fear of failure with Ikigai as your guiding light
The sweet aroma of my morning coffee wafts through the room, but the mug sits untouched for hours. In front of me lies a blank page, cursor blinking, waiting for my keyboard strokes. It’s past 6AM, there’s no one around, and yet there is this haunting fear of failure emanating in the air. The pain is silent and the cursor keeps blinking. Sound familiar?
For many, this scenario is all too real. Today we’ll explore how the Japanese concept of Ikigai might offer guidance and direction to those trapped in similar struggles.
How fear of failure relates to our Ikigai
Ikigai is a term that resonates deeply with many even outside Japan. It roughly translates to something “worth living for.” It’s where our longing to self-actualize connects with our longing to belong and to contribute. In the journey to discover one’s Ikigai, confronting the fear of failure is often inevitable.
This fear, while natural, is a double-edged sword. While it can serve as a protective instinct, it can also stifle creativity, ambition, and personal growth. But integrating the philosophy of Ikigai into our lives can offer a new perspective, emphasizing that failures are merely detours, not dead ends.
The magic of small calculated bets
Instead of succumbing to the paralyzing fear of failure, what if we shift our mindset? Think small calculated bets. These are incremental steps toward our broader goals, steps that come with minimal risks and invaluable lessons.
Picture yourself dreaming of launching a podcast. Instead of investing in expensive equipment and studio time right away, start with a basic microphone, record a few episodes, and gather feedback. Each episode is a bet, a stepping stone toward refining your vision.
This approach offers multiple benefits. It allows you to gauge audience response, fine-tune your content, and build confidence. As these small wins accumulate, they form a bulwark against the overpowering fear of failure.
Sensing your way through fear
Ikigai isn’t just a conceptual philosophy; it’s sensory, visceral, and experiential. To really understand and embrace it:
- Feel the connection: who do you want to spend your time with?
- Hear your calling: what does your soul say about who you want to be?
- See your potential: recognize your talents and how they align with your goals.
- Taste of success: contributing to make the world a better place is the ultimate form of success
As you connect with these senses, the shadow of the fear of failure begins to wane, replaced by a radiant path illuminated by Ikigai.
Your Ikigai triumphs over fear
Let’s say you’re an aspiring artist. You always dream of hosting an art exhibition someday but are often haunted by the possibility of criticism and lack of interest among the crowd. The fear of failure looms large.
So instead of diving into a full-fledged exhibition, you decided on a small display at a local café – a calculated bet. The feedback was mixed, but the critiques were constructive. With each small exhibit, your confidence grows, your style evolves, and your audience doubles.
Your journey through your fear led you straight to your Ikigai: criticism and lackluster interest from the crowd is what you fear the most, this indicates your calling in life.
Your ikigai might be to find a way to build authentic relationships with your audience.
Embrace the fear and the uncertainty with Ikigai
Each day we’re presented with two choices: to slack off and hide inside our warm fluffy bed or to challenge the looming fear of failure within us and take bold strides toward our Ikigai.
Don’t let uncertainty overshadow your life task to self-realize, to belong, and to contribute.
Embrace the spirit of Ikigai in your daily life. Begin with those small, calculated bets. Feel the rush of passion, hear the echo of your calling, and visualize your triumphant journey through the maze of doubts, fears, and real failures.
Dive deep, challenge the binding chains of the fear of failure, and embark on your Ikigai journey today. Every small calculated bet you place is a step on the path of purpose. Take the first step today.
Speaking of the first step, a great tool to help you in your journey is a life planner and a journal. If you’re still not using one, I’ve got good news for you. Ikigai Notes has a life planner and a journal combined into one sleek mobile product. It will help you be more intentional and confident as you go through challenges in life. Get it here.