“Edison made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb”
“Charles Darwin gave up his medical career and was told by his father that Darwin cares for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat catching”
“Sigmund Freud was booed from the podium when he first presented his ideas to the scientific community”
While there is much evidence and acceptance that failure can lead to success, failure’s vital role in helping us evolve is still fully not acknowledged by the society at large. Why is failing such a terrifying idea for most people? Failure feels like a threat to the image we project to ourselves and others. It is almost as if it is a threat to our survival. It gives a feeling of those who can’t, won’t be respected/praised and will be ridiculed.
More than failure sometimes it’s the fear of failure that has a far worse effect. It is more crippling than the real thing itself. It can distort reality. It can hinder your real abilities and not give way for discovering talents. How to conquer this fear?
1. Learn about yourself: Understand your strengths and weakness. Learn what you are good at and enhance your skills there. Accept if you are not good at something; it is not the end of the world.
2. Put fear under the scanner: Instead of denying fear, own up to it. Put in under the scanner and list down what you are afraid of and why. Try to list down what you are missing out of fear. Encourage yourself to find the worst case scenario and the likelihood of it happening.
3. Rationalize it: Weigh the missed opportunities against your why’s. Many a times the articulated comparisons give you strength to proceed.
4. Jump into it: As humans we are ingrained to become good at something if we apply ourselves to it. Expose yourself to your fears and it gets easier to handle it. To eradicate it, you need patience and time.
5. Celebrate the outcome: You have given your-all into the situation. Accept the outcome. In fact celebrating failures help you accept them and move forward.
If failure is a steady companion in your life, is it a terrible thing? “Those who never failed, never tried” says Albert Einstein. Perhaps we have failed to comprehend the real meaning of failure. We should not view it as a dreaded monster, instead as a means of evolution and personal growth.
As young adults our popular misconception is that we have to prevent our failure. The truth is closer to the opposite. We should give ourselves the permission to fail, which is the only way we can grow to succeed.