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Friday, June 13, 2014

How to be free from the fear of failure

To be free from the fear of failure stop imposing conditions on the outcomes of your efforts. In whatever situation, do your best, and leave the rest to Life!

Yesterday I met a young businessman who, like me, had lost a lot of money in business. He was in debt for almost 10 years. And although he has managed to clear all his loans, his business is not doing too well and he himself has become very tentative and risk-averse. “I am bogged down by the fear of failure. I am unable to work with a free mind,” he confessed.

The fear of failure is a human creation. In Life’s larger design there’s nothing called success and failure. There are only efforts and events. Each outcome of an effort is a mere event. It is the human mind, driven by social conditioning, that labels these events as success or failure. Think about it: when you make an effort, an outcome will follow. Now, who decides and qualifies the outcome? It’s you who does that. As such the outcome has no quality. For instance, you put in a lot of effort at work. At the end of one year, you get a raise. Now, because you got that raise, you label the outcome as success. Had you not got it, you would have called the outcome a failure. But what about your effort? Would you now review your effort and say you will not want to work as hard because you are not likely to get a raise? This will only lead to a mediocre performance by you. And again you will end up not getting a raise. And therefore leading to unhappiness and discontentment with your job. There’s no point in looking at work and Life this way. It will leave you incomplete and frustrated. Instead simply focus on your effort. Do whatever you are good at happily. Pour your heart into it. And don’t worry about the outcome. If the result meets or exceeds your expectation, fine. If the result falls short of your expectations, fine again. Either way, learn from the experience. What will people say, how society labels you – these are inconsequential. What is important is that you worked hard, and well, and enjoyed yourself in the process. Simply stay with that perspective.

The key in Life is to enjoy the experience of living. With fear of failure you make the experience nightmarish. It disturbs your inner peace and robs you of the opportunity to be happy. Let go of that fear by stopping to impose conditions on how you want the results to be. Just put in your best every single time, into each moment. And discover how blissful you can really be!

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