Fear of failure is perhaps the easiest of its kind to recognise, as it can be found everywhere around us. The competitive nature of society, running on the illusion that we all must succeed and perform at outstanding levels in ways that have already been predetermined for all of us can deplete any individual of their vital energy. It is, however, an unnatural demand which only serves to provide for the needs of society and not necessarily of our most basic needs. These are the needs of the soul. Love lies behind fear. The possibilities to achieve outstanding things in life can only be found beyond fear. It would be too easy to say, feel this fear and do it, as it is the best way to conquer it, but there is much more to consider. Fear can incapacitate anyone and render them useless.
Before we take action there is an important fact that we must consider. Fear is the main reason for avoidance, hence we do avoid exploring the source of it and in most cases our actions are blind and led by fear or even panic. In the blog post 'Everything is possible,' I discussed the disparity between what we seek and what we truly want. If you have not read it yet, I suggest you do so now, as it might give you an insight into what you really want and why this fear appears in the first place. Fear of failure might not be a fear of not getting what we are looking for, but fear of getting what you are pursuing at the moment. Every step we take leads us to a different stage in life. It is very frequent to make unconscious decisions due to our immediate needs and usually these needs are linked to personal finances. In order to get what we truly want we have to say no to the things we don't want, but how can we do this when the choices we make are essential to our survival: paying rent, bills, food and covering basic needs.
Have you ever taken a new job because you loved the opportunities the position offered to expand both personally and professionally or did you take that job because it simply paid the bills? The answer to this question is most likely the one that guarantees to pay our bills. Taking this kind of jobs is the norm, and as everyone has to make ends meet they are very honourable options. However, for the vast majority, once we compromise due to our needs, we realise that we have ended in dead end jobs that rarely offer a possibility of further development.
In order to achieve success, we must measure the circumstances of the current situation. The jobs we take become traps where we remain for years and even for as long as a lifetime, as it produces a false sense of safety. For as long as our bills are paid and our basic needs met, we do not take further steps. The erroneous sense of safety stops both, personal and professional ambition. By the end of our lives we are most certainly going to experience regret, wishing a new opportunity to follow the dreams we forgot when it is already too late. Do not let this moment to arrive. The time to live your dreams is now and the only way to live them is to pursue them in whichever way we can. Now and here.
One way to overcome the fear of failure is to go through the experience. I have also described in 'Going through,' and effective method to leave fear behind by concentrating on what we can do, instead of paying attention to what we lack. By following this option, we might not achieve success immediately, but the chances that we achieve it are far greater than staying stuck in a place of fear. Fear of failure would undoubtedly stop most of us from taking sufficient risks, which are essential in order to succeed. Once we have identified what we really want the only option is to move forward and try the best we can. It might not work at the first attempt, so we must be flexible, creative and try and do things we have not done before. The main reason why we do not achieve different results is because we continue doing the same things we have learned and done throughout. A change in perspective and action is required.
For the sake of the argument, let's say that I need a job urgently. In this scenario I would get ready to visit an employment agency and find any job straight away, but is this what I really want? Yes and no. I do of course want to earn enough so I can cover my expenses, but I also want to find a job which offers enough flexibility for me to continue working on what I want to do. In a state of panic I would take the first job available and that pays enough or more than enough to have a comfortable life. At this stage I am at a crossroad. I can choose what I know is going to satisfy my needs immediately, or to try a different avenue. It is important that we ask the right questions and that we answer them without delay. How much is enough? Is this job going to allow me to continue pursuing what I really want or is it going to make me settle for more of what I don't want?
There are many questions we can ask. When asking questions we have to be very selective. A few important questions are essential, but too many questions will undoubtedly send me into a spiral of neurosis and therefore, more fear. Questions that cannot be answered are best to leave for a later time and allow life to answer them. It is OK not to know what comes next. For now I do what I can. The most important fact I have to consider when facing this crossroad is what I want to do. In my case, I have to write, as much as I have to breathe. Change writing for your talent and what your soul calls for and you have your answer. It is OK to compromise our time and energy in order to keep going, but if the position that I am willing to take is going to remove all possibilities for me to continue doing what I love, then the choice is obvious. I'd rather sacrifice some of my most basic needs rather than giving up on something that makes me feel so alive and makes me thrive. Writing is an action of self-love and sharing with others makes it and act of love for the world. This is already success. Self-love or any kind of love is to succeed.
Success is also a very ambivalent term and in modern society this is defined by how much we make and how much we are worth. This is a false idea of what success is. One could write for the rest of their lives without achieving fame and fortune and this would not represent failure. Failure is not doing what we want to do. The more we do of what we want to do, the more chances we have to succeed at it and even turn it into a career. Waiting for the right circumstances to come, so as to practice writing, painting or starting a new business would only prevent us from doing what we want. We are always prepared to begin. If by the end of my life I have touched another soul with my writing and made their lives better in anyway, I have not failed. This is success.
When we want to succeed, we have to be persistent and believe that we are going to make it through. If failure for someone represents not getting their dream job, we have to do everything at hand to get it. We ask for help, not only from those we know, but from people who might be able to help us even if we don't know them yet. You would be surprised to what extent people go in order to help others. If we don't ask we don't get. There is also an universe to which we can ask for assistance, and within this universe very powerful forces supporting us and most willing to help. And it is as simple as asking. We have to be patient and persistent.
Regardless of what we want to achieve, the objective is to concentrate on what we want. The fact that we are turned down from 20 job interviews does not mean we will not get the job the next occasion we have. Being turned down from a new opportunity brings a strong sense of rejection, which is deeply ingrained in our bodies from childhood. To overcome this feeling we have to go through this emotion without acting upon it. The more we feel this fear and sense of rejection, the strongest we become. It is also very important that we feel without any distractions. Everyone has their poison: alcohol, drugs, food, mindless sex, shopping, etc. Feel, just feel.
Instead of looking at rejection as a failure, we have to look at it as an experience which is going to prepare us for the next experience. We must also consider that we are turned down for opportunities that seem good at the time, but which eventually would be a hindrance to what we really want. Let's not dwell on the things we cannot get and what we never had. Let's instead apply ourselves and pursue that dream job we don't believe we can get. You cannot lose something you never had. The world is full of wonderful opportunities for those who can wait for the right one. Don't be disappointed because you didn't get it this time. Congratulate yourself instead for having had the courage to go for it. Courage is something we all have in abundance, but as we concentrate only on fear, this is all we see. Write your feelings before, during and after this new experience, be it an interview or something else, and what you showed in your way there. Courage, love, determination, belief and anything else you feel and experience. Nurture these feelings and be thankful for them. Fear is never going to bring us what we want.
Seek what you soul desires and not what the world has told you to achieve. In this way you will never fail. The more you practice what you soul calls for, the more confident, fulfilled and successful you will be. It is a matter of practice. If you have not been practicing for years, do not expect success to come in one day. No one can write a book in one day. It takes time. We can only write this book by working on it as often as possible, and perhaps consider that this might not be the book that is going to make it to the best sellers list, but if you continue writing your books, investing your time and energy on your vocation, business or what you intend to achieve, it will come to you in the end. It is a matter of attitude, belief and persistence. See the experience from a different angle and concentrate on the positives. This and only this is what is going to make a difference in the end. Remember, you already have everything you need and want within yourself in order to make it possible.
And consider this, is it fear of failure or is it fear of connecting with the soul? The soul is the source of all abundance and what makes everything possible. And reconnecting with it is the one true success. Take action and do so now. Thinking about it leads to more thoughts, thoughts to doubts and doubts to more fear. But when we act upon the projects we want our energy goes into the action, not to self-defeating thoughts. Every successful person had their fair share of fear and failure, but they persevered in order to get what they wanted. It might have not been easy for them, but eventually they got there. And you could be one of them. One step at a time everything is possible. Failure does not define you. Your courage to go through does.
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