Failure is one of the most dreaded things in our lives – why is it so? Why are we so afraid to fail? I feel that it’s all because of the inhibitions we have in our mind, that if we fail – it’s the end of the world, people around you will be disappointed – consider you a loser and you may think that there’s nothing that can be done once you have taken the wrong path. I beg to differ here and feel that all such thoughts are roadblocks to your path to success. Such thoughts prevent you from pursuing your dreams or something which you’re passionate about.
I’m sure all of you must have heard success stories of famous personalities. When I was a kid, even my father used to narrate various stories of people who became famous in different fields. Such stories inspired me a lot and made me ponder on what I can do to make a difference to the people around me. My question is – have we heard or know the complete story? Most of us haven’t – we just focus on the end success and forget the untold tales of years of hardships, defeats they must have faced and lessons they must have learned the hard way to be where they are. It’s only after overcoming their inhibitions or fear to fail, were they able to pursue their passion and contribute to the society. So how do you stop being afraid of failure? How to stop being reluctant from taking a step towards your dream?
One of the things which really helped me mellow down the voice in my head which said ‘this will never work’, was to bring back the enthusiasm I had when I was a child. As a kid, I really enjoyed experimenting without worrying about the end result. All I liked doing was keep trying, learning and striving to be the best on anything that I laid my hands on. This child-like enthusiasm, unadulterated spirit to constantly keep trying is something we shouldn’t let go of even when we grow older. It helps you focus on the here and now, fills you with curiosity and keeps you worry-free from the failure. Thus, making you look at the positive side and enabling you to be a step closer to your dreams.
Once you have a dream, a purpose to be passionate about – ask yourself the right questions. You need to have an optimistic attitude to be successful. Hence, instead of thinking about ‘what ifs’, focus on the ‘how’ and ‘what now’. Doing so, helps you with a solution driven mind-set rather than brooding over the problems/hurdles in your path. Throughout my career and even on personal front, I’ve had my doubts, I was unsure about what to go ahead with when given options. There was always a path which was safe to take, well within my comfort zone, but didn’t quite help me completely achieve what I wanted. On the other hand, there was another unknown risky path which promised results. To be very honest with you, I have taken both paths depending on the situation I faced. However, I can tell you that over a period of time, I started becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. We need to face the negative results – there will be defeats, failures but our focus needs to be on the lessons from such circumstances which don’t paralyze us, instead equip us to become stronger.
Lastly and more importantly, stop worrying about what others might think. We’re humans, it’s common for us to seek affirmations and know what others feel about us or what we’re doing. However, don’t let it become a barrier to your dreams. There will always be naysayers, but instead on focusing on what they feel, do what you feel is right. You are what you are – and what other’s think doesn’t make you any different. I firmly believe that strong self-belief is the first stepping stone towards success and achieving your dream. If you have faith in yourself, you won’t have any inhibitions. During my career, there were various projects or initiatives which I thought would truly make an impact, but they were different and unconventional. Many were against it and tried to undermine my confidence, instead of giving in to the pressure of failure which they highlighted, I focused my energy to try and never once did I have self-doubt. I thought about what’s the worst that could happen, prepared for all the repercussions – I failed sometimes, but learnt from the failures and emerged stronger eventually succeeding and achieving what I wanted. With this, I’m not asking you to avoid criticism. It’s always good to accept constructive feedback and improve upon what you’re doing. However, don’t let such criticisms affect you emotionally, doubt your capabilities and make you duck into your shell. Know that the ones who trust themselves are the ones who succeed in achieving their dreams.
I feel that, if you truly want to achieve something there are no hurdles which you can’t overcome. They are all but excuses to cower down behind, if you are not ready to face the consequences if you don’t succeed. So don’t worry about whether you’ll succeed or fail, be courageous enough to try, learn from your failures and trust yourself – then there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams.