Are you afraid of failure at life? Do you play life safe so you don’t experience failure?
We dread it. We fear it. And even though we know it is impossible, we try to avoid it.
Innocence Lost – Competitiveness
As humanity moved out of the Dark Ages and into the enlightenment of the Renaissance, we embraced creativity, expression and learning.
Somewhere along the way, as we developed the technology to move from an agrarian society to more of an industrial, globalized society, we ramped up an aggressive sense of competition that infiltrated our collective consciousness.
Through our universal evolution, the healthy competitiveness that helped us when we had to hunt for our daily sustenance, became a super-charged competition to “one up” everyone and everything around us.
We compete at work. We compete at home. Most damaging of all, we often compete in our relationships. Often, we do not even know why we’re competing, but we are driven by the need to be right and to win.
As we have shifted our focus to winning “at all cost,” we have created for ourselves a terrifying dread of losing (or being considered a loser). We have told ourselves that the thing we must avoid is failure.
So, we “hedge our bets” and create plans (and backup plans…and backup plans for our backup plans) to keep us from experiencing the “agony of defeat.”
(I used these hyperbolic expressions very consciously, not to see how many clichés I could fit into one paragraph, but to prove to you, through language, how this idea has permeated our consciousness.)
Competition is not bad, but I want to point out what has happened to us, sociologically, as we have replaced our natural drive for fulfillment with a drive for “excellence”.
This is harmful because it sets us up for an expectation that can never be met. Perfection exists as the expression of the present moment. It is not something that we can create or become. It just is.
The moment is perfect when we exist in it consciously. It is perfect because it has occurred and because we exist as a sentient within a time/space paradigm.
Failure then, is a perception. Failure is a perceived lack or shortcoming. In reality, we live in an abundant universe, and the lack of anything only exists within the confines of our own minds.
Our shortcomings are merely the difference between the expectation we held in our own minds and the reality of the experience we are creating for ourselves in the present moment.
How to Handle Failure
1. Observe It.
These “discrepancies” between expectation and experience will happen. When we observe them, instead of judging them, we are free to release them. It is as simple as saying, “My experience doesn’t match this expectation. Since I created both, I may alter both at any moment.” It is then that we have become aware enough to make a different choice, and thereby, alter our reality.
2. Release It.
Everything in our lives is made of our perceptions, judgments and beliefs about the world around us. Our mind creates them all, even if we are unaware of the process. We are the consciousness—the awareness—from the center of which all life proceeds.
We choose, in the center of each moment, which opinions, beliefs and truths we hold. These create our experience of life. We are always the creator of our circumstances, never the victim of them.
3. Re-create It.
Make it a game!
First, be aware. Second, make a decision.
You may continue to create the reality that you have constructed from your thoughts, feelings and focus; or you may choose to create new, better thoughts and experience a different reality.
It is your choice. It always is.
The fun part is that you create it. You decide. You make the choice.
Final Thoughts on Failure
We give our perceptions, opinions and beliefs far too much power. The belief in failure is no different from any other belief we hold. The difficulty in letting go of failure lies in the fact the “idea” of failure has become so ingrained in our consciousness that we automatically believe in its validity.
Think of it this way, and reclaim your power.
Failure is a belief in a missed expectation. That is all. You created the expectation as well as the idea that you could “miss” or “fall short” of it.
The truth is that You Are. All the rest is your commentary on your own experience of that existence.
Decide wisely on the beliefs you choose to create and embrace. Create an exciting, life-giving and nurturing commentary and you will live it out in your experience.
Steve Rice is a speaker and renegade who lives on the edge and tells stories that make a difference for those ready to take a leap. You can learn more about Steve and the shift he describes in his debut book: An Imperceptible Spark: Finding the Courage to Live a Life of Joy at his blog at Karmic kappuccino.com