Afraid to Fail: Removing the Pressure to Get Moving Again

Confession: I haven’t surfed since October and the thought of running made my stomach turn. What happened? I’ve always been a super motivated person pushing myself to excel in sports and life: I was a decorated gymnast for 13 years with goals of making the Olympic team (side railed by injuries). I pushed myself to wake up at 6 am for winter morning runs in 25 degree weather. I placed high expectations on my jewelry business to succeed. But after an intense training regiment to compete in my first half marathon last May, mediocre jewelry sales, topped off with an insane amount of social, career, and volunteer responsibilities I felt anxious and exhausted. I found myself super unmotivated, stopped running and surfing, and spiraled into a state of laziness for the first time in my life.

So today I finally snapped out of it. I laced up my running shoes, and hit the pavement…and boy did it feel good! As I ran, I came to realize I was placing too much pressure on myself because I was afraid to fail. This fear of failure was controlling my life and making the things I once found fun to be laborious. This pressure to succeed was also fueled by the need to compete with total strangers on social media to maintain a “desirable lifestyle.” I lost myself with all these self-imposed pressures….but for what?

I have the feeling I’m not alone here and would like to hear your stories of how you overcome failure and found your passions again through sports. Together we can empower each other to stay true to ourselves and keep moving.

Send your stories to for the chance to be featured in our new motivational series.


  1. Isabella Kantek

    You’re definitely not alone. 😉
    I have finally learned how to cope with similar emotions and situations like your by simply allowing them “to be”, to take their time, just like when we get a cold. With three children and trying to keep an active life and have no choice but to focus on the moment – I joke that it’s not even a day at a time but a moment at a time. Now I haven’t surfed in three weeks and that is painful. Thanks for your honesty.

    1. yorksurf

      That’s a great way to look at things, Isabella. I can only imagine how multiplied the pressures are with three children…kudos to you! Hopefully we will both get a chance to get in the water and break our lack of surfing streak 🙂

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