Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fear of Failure: What Does Failure Mean to You?

A note from peter@thewealthyattitude.com for Wednesday February 25 2009

Good day all and welcome to the midweek point.

The current economic circumstances have forced many into completely re-evaluating their futures in some very creative ways. Some folks have taken a real leadership position to ensure that their futures are just as rosy as they always have been. Good for them.

However, many folks have taken a more damaging position by looking at themselves as they have personally failed in some way. Folks, it's all a story, so it's worthy of taking another view.

Our offering today may provide a very timely perspective.

Fear of Failure: What Does Failure Mean to You?
by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

What do you believe about failure?

The ego wounded part of ourselves, the left-brain part of ourselves that has been programmed with many false beliefs, often believes that:

"If I fail, I am a failure."
"If I fail, I am stupid."
"If I fail, no one will like me or value me."
"If I fail, then there is no point in ever trying again."
"If I fail, it brands me for life as incompetent."
"If I fail, then everyone who thought I was smart will now think I am stupid."
"If I fail, I will have made a fool of myself."

On the other hand, the loving adult part of us -- our right brain, open, creative, and learning part of us -- generally believes that:

"If I fail, then I just need to work harder, to put in more effort."
"If I fail, I will have learned valuable lessons that will eventually lead to success."
"Failure is a part of life. No one succeeds without some failure."
"Failure does not at all reflect on my worth as a person. I am intrinsically worthy, regardless of success or failure."
"Failure offers me incredible opportunities to think outside the box, to think creatively. Let's get to work!"
"I love learning, and I love challenges. What I do is not about success or failure -- it is about the joy of creativity, learning, and expressing who I am."

Which way of thinking prevails within you?

What are the consequences to you of allowing yourself to think from your wounded self instead of from your loving adult?

Failure - A Part of Life

The fact is that mistakes and failure ARE a part of life. Instead of fearing them, why not make it okay to make mistakes and to fail? Why not take the onus off of failure? Why not embrace the process of learning and growing instead of only being focused on the outcome of your efforts? Why not focus on enjoying the process of learning and creating something that is important to you?

People who don't worry about success or failure, who instead are excited about their learning and growing process, generally find their way to succeed. The reason for this is that they don't let failure stop them. Instead, failure spurs them on to work harder, to put forth even more effort to learn what they need to learn to succeed.

On the other hand, even very smart people, who are dominated by their ego-wounded selves, generally allow failure to derail them. Believing they ARE a failure if they fail, they become too afraid to make more effort. In addition, they often believe that success or failure is not dependent on effort, but on ability. When this is their belief, they often give up at the first sign of failure, fearing that, if their natural intelligence and ability is not leading to success, then there is no point in trying harder.

Creating Success

Every successful person knows that effort, creativity, openness to learning, and perseverance are what create success, not necessarily high intelligence, talent, or ability. Every truly successful person is someone who has not allowed failure to stop him or her from forging ahead with passion and purpose. I encourage you to tell yourself that it is okay to make mistakes and okay to fail.

I encourage you to see mistakes and failures as wonderful learning opportunities for growth. I encourage you to let go of the outcome and allow yourself to become fully excited about the process of learning, of growth, and of creation. Being fully present and excited for the process is what life is all about!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of eight books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Learn Inner Bonding now! For articles, help, and a FREE Inner Bonding course, visit her website at http://www.innerbonding.com

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Matt Clark said...

Great post today Peter. I recently decided to leave a small consulting job I was doing and at first thought I felt I was quitting or failing at what I was accomplishing. However it was the complete opposite I was clearing and moving forward in other opportunities. Thanks for the insight.


rob said...

There is so much truth to this post. The faster we learn from a failed situation, the faster we put it behind us the more likely we are to succeed at life that minute, that day instead of perpetuating the misery.
To forgive ourselves is vital to healing. To love ourselves is vital to health. The gentleness of Christ's love can never be forgotten.