In the first half of this series, I disclosed my concern for the future of the U.S. as a “nation of riflemen” as well as the industry itself. Neither the legend nor the business will thrive when so many of the younger set seem to avoid new experiences or sustained effort, thanks to fear of failure. The instructor in me doesn’t like to leave the scene of a problem without offering solutions, so I’ve pulled from a few sources outside of the firearms realm to create this list.
1. Identify the reason for failure avoidance, and act.
Thoroughly modern personal development and business guru Tim Ferris surprisingly cites a 1959 book as one of his mainstay motivators. The Magic of Thinking Big by D.J. Schwartz holds some clues to overcoming fears of all kinds. In short, readers are advised to identify what the fear is that’s holding them back, and take action to directly mediate it.
A common form of the fear malady, as indicated by my own observation and from the input of respondents to an informal Facebook survey on this topic, is fear of what people will think. That goes both ways — fear of failing to meet a certain marksmanship standard and the perceived scoffing by witnesses, or, less often, fear of over-achieving and somehow embarrassing those who aren’t as skillful.