The fear of being last

A breakdown of why my fear of being last is ridiculous and should never stop me from doing something.

I have a fear of being last. I have been thinking about how ridiculous this fear is, and yet I don’t think I’m alone.

Here are some of the reasons my fear is ridiculous.

1) Someone has to be last, why not me! When you get down to it, it is pretty selfish to not want to be that person because you are inherently wanting it to be someone else. Okay, I guess it is a race and you should be trying hard and to some extent the purpose of competition is to beat other people. But let’s be honest, even in short races I really don’t care who I beat and if I try my hardest and still come in last, then I did my best in the competition and happen to be the slowest person on that day with that group of people.

2) What am I in fear of exactly? I am not personally bothered by my speed, and I know I will push myself harder in a race. Therefore, the fear stems from what people will think of me. This is self-absorbed, self-limiting and self-destructive thinking because the truth is that no one cares enough to be talking about me most of the time (and if they do I shouldn’t care). There was a great description and graphic of this concept in a blog post I read recently on Wait But Why titled Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think. I think I may have linked to the article in another recent blog post….but it is just that good and worth reading. It has really struck a chord with me. Here is the excerpt from that post:

5 things the Mammoth is incorrect about:

→ Everyone is talking about me and my life and just think how much everyone will be talking about it if I do this risky or weird thing.

Here’s how the mammoth thinks things are:

circles

Here’s how things actually are:

Circle

No one really cares that much about what you’re doing. People are highly self-absorbed.

3. If someone is talking badly about me for being last in a race, why in the heck do I care? That is just a completely uncool thing for those people to be doing and I should have no interest in what they think about me, nor do I want to associate with them! Furthermore, I think that most likely if people think about the last person in a race at all, they are thinking about how great it is they are out there trying.

This kind of self talk is difficult to change. But being aware of it is one of the first steps to changing it! Plus, realizing how ridiculous the fear actually is will help me combat it head on.