Failure gets such a bad rap, though it is not that hard to imagine why. As soon as we reach schooling age we are inducted into a system that heavy criticizes and punishes failure. The educational system is seen as an authority in society, and when an institution with that much credibility tells a young and malleable child that he's not good enough, it affects that child's psyche.
Failure is the prerequisite to growth. Human beings in our most primal nature are animals of growth; we fall, we get up, we learn and repeat. This process created all you see around you and even who you are. As babies, we are filled with curiosity and wonder about what lies in this world. We tried many new things in order to understand our limit in the world. We learned many things; joy, sorrow, amazement, defeat, pain, but not death. A person's deepest fear is the fear of death. As babies, we instinctively feared being abandoned because that would lead to our death. As we got older and interacted in the world around us we found pain, and logically concluded that pain can lead to death, so we grew up doing our best to avoid pain.
We believe failure and pain go hand in hand; that pain always accompanies failure. This could very well be our animal instincts trying to keep us alive, but this instinct seriously undermines our logical risk assessment capabilities. Think of a time you were scared to do something; start a conversation, or a business, talk to a girl, or simply learning something new. I am sure the reason you were scared was because you thought you would not succeed. Now, think logically-- what is so wrong with failing?
The pros include;
- You took a chance to leave your comfort zone.
-You are better off from where you started because you actually did what you wanted.
-You learned something.
-You discovered something you need to work on.
-You have experienced growth.
Most people would sacrifice all this and more just to not feel the pain. Death is a very powerful force. We subconsciously associate pain with death; but what if we didn’t?
To live means to grow, and to grow means to struggle. Pain is not going anywhere, at least if you want to live a fulfilling life. The closer you get to your goal, the more weight you will carry. This means that failure has a chance of inflicting greater pain, and if you can’t deal with the pain and fear you feel now, you will not be able to handle the pain that comes with becoming the person you want to be. This is why moving forward is harder than staying still.
There are two ways to overcome the fear of failing;
1. Detach pain from failure
2. Get used to the pain and make it a source of motivation.
Believe it or not, you have done both of these before. Think about a controlled space where you feel safe, like a game. Your attitude towards failure is different, not simply because the risks are different, but because you are liberated from the fear of death. You still feel pain when you lose, but you get back up and try again, each time getting better.
There are rational fears and irrational fears; do not do anything that will kill you nor, leave lasting physical, emotional, or psychological scars, but fully understand why you are afraid of something.
Remember; what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger.