They say there are those who fear success, weird right? But the fear of failure, we can all relate to and that supersedes all forms of anxiety experienced by man because we are always concerned about the possibility of things not working out the way they have been played in our minds. Most of the situations we are harrowed by are those beyond our control like our inevitable futures which we cannot predict.
There are two kinds of fear, the good fear and the bad fear. Just as I remember in GOTHAM, Bruce “Fear tells you where the edge is”. That is the good fear, the one that keeps us cautious so we don’t fall off from the roof top. It drives positive actions that would secure the futures we so desire. Then there is the bad fear that keeps you sweating heavily without taking any positive action even in the face of danger. It is called extreme fear and that kind of fear is dangerous. It keeps you in your comfort zone; where nothing happens. This kind of fear must be extinguished because it stops us from taking positive actions and going out there to achieve our goals. We only see the possibility of failure and because of that we never venture into the maze like those two little human creatures that had no cheese.
When we deal with fear, what becomes uttermost is the action that follows, action must be taken to overcome the fear of failure and there is no other way to overcome it other than understanding the true meaning of failure. Yes, there is an amazing way to view failure, quite different from the way the world views it. Thomas Edison is probably the pioneer of this vision. I mean, take it from the man who failed 999 times.
How to View Failure Right
1. The Adventure
Imagine you need to discover electricity like Thomas Edison did. I mean you already have a great idea, why not try and see. Don’t worry about it working. Embark on an adventure to see what works and what doesn’t. This is what life is about. When you fail in life, log the experience on as what doesn’t work and don’t make the same mistakes.
2. The Experience
They say we should learn from other people’s experiences. Have you ever wondered why people don’t seem to learn? They just don’t seem to observe until they fall into the same pitfalls. Why? The truth is people are on separate journeys, we all have similar experiences, similar but not identical. Our experiences are as unique as our individual selves. Other people’s stories are told for motivation and inspiration. As a warning too but that is where it ends. We all have to go out there to make experiences. So what! we fell, it’s our own journey and our own story. We all have to make our own experiences and we cannot be too worried about what could go wrong if we are out to make the best of experiences.
3. The Better Alternative
Embrace the better alternative and not the version in your profound melancholic imagination. So you are saying you wouldn’t try because you could fail right? Who is the better man, the one seating down to do nothing and the one trying hard to succeed yet failing over and over again? Who could probably succeed; the man doing nothing or the one trying but failing over and over again? Which is the better alternative? Who would you rather be? Imagine the answer to all your problems is hidden under a tile but there are 100 tiles to pick from. You may try once and find the answer or maybe 30 to 50 times. It isn’t simple; it would be hard and complicated. The puzzle in the real world is more challenging but the man trying to solve it is much better than the one not trying. You may not find cheese but you could find bread and that is the better alternative to no food at all.
4. The Real Progress
Progress is no straight line graph. It is filled with vibratory movements. Get used to it. Like Thomas Edison, you are trying to discover electricity. You have tried Method A, it didn’t work. You have tried Method B. It didn’t work. In my book, that is not failure but progress. Yes, really, go and ask a Jury of 12 what progress looks like. A different vote each time is progress especially when a member shifts from one standing to another. You find the way to start a book, its still progress even when you don’t know how to end it. I mean, remember when you didn’t know how to even begin. Failure is real progress.
There you have it. Do not relent; embrace the adventure and the experience. Do not be afraid, be the better man and try. Remember, it isn’t failure; it never is until you give up, how can it be game over when the game is still playing. Avoid true failure by keeping the game alive, play until the end, I mean the real end where you actually succeed. You cannot fail, you can only progress positively.
Author: Agava Barituka (writer and speaker on personal development and fitness)
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