In an inspiring story out of Savannah, GA, 26-year-old Mara Ryans is gradually overcoming her fear of failure thanks to the exposure therapy from a lifetime of consistently failing at most of her endeavors.
“My fear of failure used to really inhibit me from trying new things,” said Mara. “Like, what if I put in all this effort to get something I really want, and then I fail? It’d be so painful, and I’d look so dumb. Failure just seemed like the end of the world to me.”
“But these days I’m realizing, wait, I actually have a proven track record of failing at most of my pursuits in life,” Mara continued. “I actually can’t remember the last time I succeeded. So clearly, life goes on and it’s not the end of the world.”
Sources say Mara experienced her first major taste of failure when she tried out for her high school basketball team and didn’t make the cut.
“I was totally devastated. It felt like I was being objectively rejected based on my abilities, and I thought I would never, ever recover.”
But presumably Mara did end up recovering, because since then, she has reportedly gone on to fail at so many more things in life, all varying in degrees of importance, public visibility, and long-term impact on her life trajectory.
“Coming in contact with so much failure, so consistently, has been really reassuring for me,” said Mara. “Every new failure I add under my belt – which is like, anywhere from 1-50 a day – I’m becoming more and more okay with the idea of not getting what I want.”
According to reports, Mara has had a nearly 3-4% success rate at most of the things she has attempted in recent years. Just in the last month alone, Mara says she has failed at landing a job she really wanted, had an awkward first-date, and an art project she’d been working on came out totally disappointing.
“Through so much exposure to failure in all of its varied forms, it just kinda dawned on me after a while: failure is so safe that it almost kinda feels like home?” said Mara. “I can’t believe I used to be so anxious about it! Like, come on in, guys! The water is lukewarm.”
“These days, I’d feel much more alarmed if/when I actually had success…” said Mara. “Oof. Yeah. Now that’s an uncomfortable situation I have very little firsthand experience with, and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I’d do if I had to face that.”
“Like, what do you do after you succeed? Like, what happens next? More success??” said Mara, visibly panicked.
At press time, Mara is reportedly struggling with a newfound phobia of success, but thankfully isn’t exposed to it enough for it to be psychologically distressing.