Failing is an essential activity in life and unpleasant to experience. It comes with negative feelings – we lose self-esteem rush into harsh self-judgement and remain in denial to convince ourselves that it is not our fault.
But each failure allows us to become better. Not everyone one is successful at anything on the first attempt. It depends on us how we view life in the context of outcomes that we get.
Many of us live with the fear of failure because of our subconscious programming built during our early development years. Dr Bruce Lipton, an American development biologist, mentioned that 80 per cent of the audience that attend his events do not test positive on “I love myself” because of all the critical assessment they received as children.
Though our parents correct and assess us to help us improve, what it does is create inadequacy and “I am not good enough” thoughts, which also create fear of failure in us. As adults, we react and behave based on our fundamental programming of not loving ourselves and the feeling of failure.
However, we need to know that it is a belief that can be addressed 0 and reversed – if we put consistent effort towards it. We are not born with the fear of failure; we pick it up during our childhood.
I have done multiple things, from starting a fashion brand immediately after university to starting the Manrre logistics fund in 2018. My learning from failure started when I was 23. I have shared in my book, Come Alive, that I got married too young, and being ambitious did not work in my favour.
So it was extremely challenging for me to start my business and manage the responsibilities of a wife. I challenged myself to do justice to both – I got efficient whereby I worked three days a week, and the other four days I was home and taking care of the household.
I was so afraid of failing to become a well-known designer that I didn’t enjoy the journey I was on. I was so driven by the outcome of success in a certain way that I was unable to enjoy the beauty of the work behind the scenes.
1. Making yourself a priority is the most important thing. We need to spend time to accept and understand ourselves – meditation, journaling, exercise, reading and learning help you connect to and know yourself better.
2. Train yourself to learn from every setback or failure. I don’t think we fail permanently. For me, when the outcome is not as per my expectations, I make a list of all the things I have learnt in the particular challenging situation and how it helped me to become a better version of myself.
3. Recognize blind spots. In some situations, we may need to seek external help, and we must not shy away from this. Coaches and mentors are an integral part of success and greatly help put a different perspective on the table
4. Trust and enjoy the process regardless of the outcome. When you love the process, and who you are becoming in this process, then your experience will be the reward rather than the end result. You will no longer fear failure because success is the journey itself.
Failure is a belief and a perception, and it can be managed. Our life is our own perception. Don’t let your mind hold you back from greatness. Embrace yourself, your journey and give it all you can.
The writer is an author and designer.