‘I absolutely hate this.’
How many times have you said this out loud? Perhaps more times than you’d like to admit.
Hatred is a primitive impulse, innate to us all. At different points in our lives, we develop a strong sense of repulsion and discernment towards certain people, objects, and behavioural patterns, to name a few.
We develop a sense of hatred for something, when we allow it to influences our lives in a huge way, and allow it to take up a fraction, more appropriately: a sizeable amount of space, in our minds. Developing a sense of hatred towards something wipes out any form of sensitivity or rationality we might have towards it.
Today’s topic of discussion is a tad bit offbeat. Why do we hate to fail? While we readily accept victory and would always like to continue to succeed in all that we do, failure is inevitable at one point or another.
Which brings me to my first question- What is it about failure that makes us hate it just so much?
Varying amounts of doubt and fear for the ventures we undertake is alright, if it falls within the permissible limit. However, when the dial turns dangerously to the other side, it takes on an extreme form of fear.
Fun fact: The fear of failure is called ‘atychiphobia.’
Failure is commonly construed to be associated with a lot of negativity. On one hand, success is associated with an impetus to grow and get better at something, while on the other, failure is mistaken to be a deterrent, that often becomes a signal to drop everything and move on.
Here’s something about failures that everyone should know- everyone has slightly different definitions of it. Something that signifies failure for you may not have the same meaning for someone else. What is it that binds us all and makes us react similarly to it, though? Let’s take a look at that.
–Failure is an unpleasant emotion, which makes one doubt his/her own capabilities. That’s one side of the picture.
–Panning to the other frame, it is a common notion that failing at something impacts the way others perceive you. This traumatic situation that creeps in post-failure. You begin to feel victimised by those around you.
Not only do we begin to worry about how we perceive ourselves, but we’re also terrified of the prospect of being judged and scrutinised by those around us.
–> 4 Ways to combat the fear of failure:
1] Realising that there are two ways to deal with the emotion- You either find yourself spiralling down into shame, or you feel guilty. Which one is the better option?
The latter is, for a very basic reason- when you feel an emotion like guilt, you introspect and narrow down to a certain reason that resulted in your failure. The only way you can crawl out of guilt is by working on your fallacies- and that ensures success. Identifying and working on improving the root cause of your failure is an added benefit of guilt.
Why is feeling ashamed not a good idea?
If you allow yourself to wallow in self-pity and shame for too long, you will be successful at only one thing- along with others, you will feel bad for yourself. It puts you in a position where you become a by-stander and a silent spectator, as watching your life crumble before your eyes, instead of taking control of the reigns once again.
Release and let go of the need of needing validation from others for your decisions and their outcomes. Failure is often a direct hit to one’s self-esteem, since this comes from a place of a deep-rooted fear of being judged.
2] Learn to embrace that failure is a part of your journey: A huge part of this fear is tackled when you learn to accept that failure occurs at one point or another. Take a look at all those around you and you will notice that no matter where they are in life, they’ve got there after enjoying a series of victories, but also an equal promotion of failure.
3] Identify the root cause of failure and make an action plan: Let me place a hypothetical situation before you. You’ve flunked a test at school and the hatred and fear of facing this predicament is eating you on the inside. A clever approach to avoid a similar situation in the future would be making changes to your schedule to incorporate more time for that certain subject. Maybe you failed because you couldn’t grasp certain concepts, maybe you couldn’t dedicate enough time to a specific chapter, maybe you zoned out while writing the test- there are so many different things that all lead to the same conclusion. Identify exactly what held you back from acing the test and draft a suitable plan of action to combat it.
4] Avoid generalising the idea of failure: If you fail at a certain thing, desist from expecting yourself to fail in everything that’s similar to that. Don’t let a single failure impact the way you look at yourself. We often rush to make predictions for our future based on the actions of our present- cultivate the mentality of a winner despite all your failed attempts. A single event, good or bad, does not have the power to define you. You are much more than what a single loss tries to make you believe.
That’s all for this week’s message. I hope you have a few take-aways that will positively influence you, long after you click away from this post. I hope they change your perception of failure, even if it means the littlest possible change.
Looking forward to hearing from you! As always, don’t forget to like, share and comment! 🙂