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Fear of Failure – A story of a chronic over-thinker

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

For my last article of the term, let’s get real. I am currently in my 2B term of Health Sciences, and the future seems to be getting more and more intimidating as the days go on. Everyone is starting to rev up their extracurriculars, and I feel like I am SPRINTING to be able to keep up. Through reflection, I realized that this was stemming from imposter syndrome and a massive fear of failure. So, I want to use this article as a reflection of some things that I have done recently to protect my wellbeing when I start to sense that these feelings are springing up.

Firstly, everyone is on their own timing in life. There are no deadlines in life, and so long you are content with your process, there is no rush. If you need a couple years to think about what you want in life, or just want a break overall, you are valid to take those years and work at your own pace. I have always been worried about what ifs such as what if I don’t get this job by this time, but I see this as a barrier to my success rather than working towards it. As a solution, I make my 10 year plans but do not put harsh deadlines on when I should be completing a certain task. Seeing a picture but not going too much in detail is important for me to continue growing in a healthy manner. 

Next, I want to stress that the only competition you have is you and yourself. I agree that life can be portrayed as a success race, but to truly win is being able to be content with how you got to the position you are in. Constantly challenging yourself to be a better version of who you were yesterday, and building upon your long-term goals is much better in my opinion than wondering why you are not where person X or person Y is at. Comparison is the main thief of joy, and I stand by that. This is a lot easier said than done though. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals such as in a university setting can be daunting, and you may feel like you are just another hay straw rather than the needle. BE THE NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK OF YOUR OWN LIFE. If you believe that you stand out and deserve to be seen, your confidence will radiate to other places in your life. 

That leads into my last tip. Practice positive self-talk. Being able to look at yourself and just say “Good job today.” can go to great lengths. Being proud of yourself and where you have come is the key to self-improvement. 

I admit to myself that just because I am giving you these quick pieces of advice, I still have very hard days where I feel like I run into dead ends. Take care of yourself, know your worth, and that you are always always loved. Have a wonderful summer everyone, let’s strive to unapologetically be our true selves <3. 

Vanessa Duong

Waterloo '27

Hi there! My name is Vanessa and I'm in Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo. I love cooking, rambling, and am an advocate for mental wellbeing.