"By not trying, one has already failed."
Failing is defined here as not achieving a result that one desired.
Thus, whether one has failed in a particular thing or not is completely subjective as everyone will carry different intentions when doing the same things.
For some, it can mean abandoning a project halfway. For some, it can be about not making a profit from one's business ventures. For some, it can be about embarrassing oneself in front of an audience or not getting the applause and love one expected.
So, have you failed in life?
That is completely up to you to judge!
This article is not about determining whether or not you have succeeded in life. This article is about exploring and addressing the suffering states of mind in experiences when one fails, in particular, the fears that one can encounter in such experiences.
Because it's only when you address the fears inside, that you can be truly happy!
Failing In Depth
There will be some of us who will believe that it's natural to carry the fears of failing. After all, we are all human, right?
However, we can often fall into this belief when we have become used to living with this fear.
Realize that such negativities of the mind to do with failing can be entirely transformed. Observe the different types of people that exist in this world and you will find that everyone will have different degrees of this fear; some may even don't. You will find on one hand that there will be those who are so careful not to fail and fearing to take any actions towards their dreams; whilst on the other, there will be those who aren't afraid of failing and are not deterred one bit from their dreams when they do fail.
Some, have even overcome their fears of failing and learnt to love themselves no matter what happens.
So these negativities, fears, hesitations, confusions can be transformed if one simply puts the work into one's mind!
But how does one work on their mind?
One first has to understand where the negativities are coming from. That is why the practice of meditation is always encouraged because the practice will take one to Know themselves, know their Mind. Without meditation, one will end up placing their focus on finding solutions on the outside, forgetting that all fears begin from within.
In exploring the mind, one will eventually realize that the fear of failing is simply the lack of belief in oneself to succeed. And also, the fear is exacerbated when we fear being judged by others or by ourselves because self-condemnation is what the inner pain really is.
If you are able to love yourself and others no matter what happens to your life, what fears will you have when you do fail?
Thus the key to transforming the mind is to develop Self-Acceptance!
Importance Of Addressing Failing
But to address it one has to first develop the intention to address it, so let us look at the negative impacts of the fear to develop the intention naturally.
When we carry a great fear of failing, the fear can inhibit us from chasing our dreams.
How much are you doing the things that you dream about doing?
The Fear of failing can also create blockages to the Knowing of The Self especially in the areas of our desires. The fear can blind one from seeing their true desires because we will subconsciously be compelled by the fear to not pursue it, or even think about it.
The fears of failing can create great blockages in the energetic areas of the body (i.e. cakras) in particular in the areas of the heart, mind and throat— areas concerning the expressions of The Self.
When we fear failing, we can also be afraid of expressing our True Selves and fight for what we believe in. We can end up simply surrendering ourselves by following the beliefs of other people's, and to the extreme, sometimes even believing that our opinions are worthless and our desires not even worth fighting for. The more one lives against the desires of one's true self, diseases can manifest physically on the body as a way to communicate the subconscious imbalances.
Are you aware of your inner desires?
Your dream job?
Your dream lifestyle?
Path Of Creator
Failing In Relation To The Path Of Creator
As we journey into knowing what the Fear of Failing is really about, we will perhaps first discover that it has to do with the fear of making the wrong decisions, i.e. making the right or wrong choices.
But as we take the inward journey even deeper, we will discover that the fears is about how we will be perceived by others when we do fail, and even deeper, how we will perceive ourselves.
Thus the main spiritual lessons that one will have to go through to transform and release the negativity will revolve around the theme of Self-Judgement.
And again, the key to transforming all suffering states of mind is through Self-Acceptance.
In the case of the fear of failing, developing Self-Acceptance can be understood as developing Self-Support, Self-Confidence, and Trust in oneself that everything will be alright.
The Fear At The Idea Level
As the Seed Cause of all forms of Sufferings recedes to Negative Ideas, the fear of failing can be paraphrased as:
“It is not ok to Fail”
The way the Negative Idea is sustained
There are many ways in which the Negative Idea is sustained.
But the strongest type of reaction that will sustain the fear is Self-Judgement.
This includes judging oneself—and also Other Selves—because when we judge people harshly when they fail, we will also fear being judged similarly when we fail.
Thus Self-Forgiveness and Self-Compassion will be great Catalysts to use if one wishes to make great progress on the journey of transforming their own mind.
There will be some that will find the journey difficult; some can find it challenging to love themselves unconditionally because there will be those who deeply believe that Self-Condemnation is necessary for one to grow.
Realize that Self-Negativities will always make one stagnate. Often, it will require years of self-condemnation to realize this fact, to see that it really does nothing but create further suffering.
The key to Self-Transformation will always be Self-Acceptance.
One can focus on the three following areas to develop Self-Acceptance and transform the fears of failing.
1. Develop a more positive Self-Perception
2. Develop more Self-Compassion
3. Develop more Support For The Self
The journey of transforming the mind will help us to develop the wisdom that it's ok to fail in life and the wisdom that failing in life will always lead to greater successes.
Realize that confidence built upon a lack of failures will easily crumble.
So the experience of failures is a great foundation for Self-Acceptance to be built upon.
Realize that one can never go through their whole life without failing in something, so the true life goal of transforming the fears of failing is not so much in doing everything perfectly in life, but rather to learn to accept oneself when one fails to succeed.
From a higher perspective, more wisdom can be gained through the process of failing rather than succeeding. This can be a disturbing fact for some because it means that failing can be a great catalyst to reach enlightenment because one who journeys through such a path will discover an abundance of opportunities to develop Self-Acceptance for oneself and others.
The journey of developing Self-Acceptance will always be enlightening.
As one learns to be more compassionate and forgiving towards oneself for making mistakes, for not reaching one's expectations, one will also indirectly learn that it is ok for others to fail and not meet one's expectations too.
So, from the spiritual perspective, the fastest way to release the fear of failing is to embrace it and see it as a positive thing. That is why this article has placed so much emphasis on the benefits of failing because people often see failing as a bad thing. But remember, having experiences where one succeeds can be as equally transformative!.
The destination is towards a state of unconditional acceptance towards The Self even if one fails in life. It is from such a state of mind that one can be truly happy no matter what vicissitudes arise in life.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
You can develop experienced Knowledge of how much fear of failing you have by observing the Negativities that flows out from within each time you see yourself or someone else fail.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
In your meditation journey when you begin to wander off in the mind imagining failing situations and experiencing the negative emotions associated with it, simply observe it as it is and place your focus on the body journey with a Still Mind.
This is how we indirectly develop Self-Compassion and Forgiveness—by allowing ourselves to spend more time in peace and happiness of the present moment rather than dwelling in Self-Condemnation.
Know and Transform The Self!
There are many free courses that you can try on the Courses page for you to develop greater Self-Acceptance even if you failed in something.
For example, the Self Blessings Meditation will guide you to learn how to develop Self-Acceptance by practising a 5 minute Self-Acceptance technique every night. This practice will help you to see that no matter what you do in life, every thing you do is perfect.