Fear of failure is so paralyzing, that it grips you and prevents you from taking action. It tells you that;
• The consequences are too frightening
• You would be ridiculed
• You cannot face yourself
• You cannot do it
This fear stops you from using your wisdom, even though you have the required knowledge to carry out the task. Remember, by giving in to the fear of losing, you are not only limiting yourselves to overcome the fear, but also losing onto the great opportunities, that are in store for you. Fear of failure makes you lose your self-respect and closes you to new learnings that come with facing challenges.
The definition of failure varies from one person to another, as it depends on the individual beliefs, benchmark, goals and values. Someone can learn a lesson from a situation, while another can call it failure and develop stress. Even Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb after 1,000 unsuccessful attempts. These attempts are not called failure, if one believes them to be steps in achieving the goal.
Causes of Fear: Some of the reasons why this fear takes birth are:
1. Dependencies: When you are surrounded by people who do not support you and also criticize you, you find it difficult to do anything that could make you feel a sense of shame. Another reason is that, you have people dependent on you and you do not want their well being to be jeopardized in any way due to consequences of your actions.
2. Self belief: Unless you believe in yourself, your inner fire will not ignite and inspire you to follow your heart. Self belief comes with trust in yourself and trust in the knowledge you possess.
3. Past experience: If you failed at a critical time of life or faced losses that you found hard to cope up with, that memory will instill the fear of it getting repeated.
4. Ego: You do not want to feel like a failure or show others that weaker side of you. Hence you will tend to take up only those projects or work that you are sure of completing perfectly.
“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try” – Jack Canfield
Solution is to look at a failure as a complete situation. It comes with the richness of learning. Release the overwhelming emotions of fear, low self confidence, self rejection, comparison with others, negativity, mistrust and dependency on the world and jump into the arena. If you meet an obstacle. become a student and surrender to the situation and then wisdom will arise to show you the next door. You would have heard time and again, the stories of people who faced numerous humiliations, rejections and they tried and tried till they succeeded.
Desire to achieve should not be out of ego. Many times one needs to take a U turn in their path to realize that:
Desire has to be approached differently
The desire itself is incorrect
Or that the desire leads to a different goal
With every outcome, you get a clear picture. It is the attitude of Let go, non attachment, forgiveness and surrender that, shapes a successful person.
How to deal with failure:
1. Analyze all the possibilities and consider all the possible consequences. Know that you can deal with the worst case scenario.
2. Develop Self belief. Take the onus on yourself to fulfill your innermost desires. Desires have to be fulfilled for the purpose of learning and exploitation of your full potential and not for money or fame or out of proving yourself.
3. Decide to learn from every outcome. Keep on trying till you reach an outcome that makes you content. Sometimes that outcome could be different than what you started with, but maybe that was meant to be.