‘Look, there’s a pretty girl over there by the food court. This is it! Go talk to here’ I tell myself in my head. I begin walking toward her and….. fold. There’s always an excuse not to do it: ‘She’ll think I’m a creep’, ‘She’s probably busy and does not want to talk to anyone’ and so on. But, what if I were the love of her life? Would she be pissed because I’m making things happen? Wouldn’t she want me to at least say hi? There’s some logic in that argument, isn’t there? And yet, I keep folding and folding. It’s not because of the excuses, nah, I know that the true reason is my fear of being rejected. The all-popular all-shared fear of failure.
Nobody wants to fail, especially in our modern culture. Open Instagram and you’ll see why. Everyone is winning big! On the beach, hiking, smiling, enjoying, and buying. Failure is not seen as something good, but rather as something to be repudiated.
Is this healthy though?
This answer deserves the most blatant NO.
The Liberating Aspect Of Failure
Failure, and being OK with it, is liberating. Emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, financially, and all the other ally’s.
When you’re scared about failing, you cannot grow. Failure puts you on your limits. Whenever you fail, you realize where or what you’re lacking, gaining precious information in the process. This newly-found information will tell you what you need to do to get better at whatever it is that you want to get good at.
Did you know that more people commit suicide because of perfectionism than because of hopelessness? Let that sink in.
Perfectionism sucks monkey balls. It is a prison a lot of us found ourselves in. If you’d just knew how many posts (and how many potential girlfriends) I haven’t finished or talked to you’d be amazed. Why? Because I want it to be perfect. And perfection my friend is a hard hard point to reach.
Done is better than perfect. And when you realize that, and you stop trying to be perfect all the time, man, you get a weight lifted off your shoulders. It’s liberating.
Why are we so scared of failure? Deep down, it’s because we fear that if we fail, nobody will like us anymore. But that is just wrong. It’s easier to connect with someone’s failure than with someone’s success, for the simple fact that we fail more often than we succeed. It’s easier to connect with a loser than with a perfect, unreachable human being because I have news for you, there are no perfect human beings. That is just an Instagram myth.
When you want to be perfect all the time, what happens is that you censor yourself. You are always taking care of your image and your outlook. It’s frustrating and it doesn’t let you be you for the fear of being found out (what if the girl thinks I’m a dork!). However, if you’re ok with failing, you’ll be free to express yourself. This is how you achieve authenticity. This is what you and I and everyone else crave, authenticity. Being OK with failure opens the door for deeper and more meaningful connections with other people. And we are social animals after all!
Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be looking for success, of course not. But more than looking for success, I’d say look for growth.
If you approach failure the right way, you’ll inevitably grow. No longer stifled with the fear of it, you’ll be able to put yourself out there and get better and better.
The loser is the one that wants to look good all the time. The one that wants you to believe he is great and flawless (forever concerned about your’s and other’s opinions). He’s a loser because greatness cannot be achieved that way. There is no growing in appearing to be something, just in actually being it. And being it involves failing and trying and failing and trying and succeeding. And then failing again.
Don’t be afraid to fail, just be prudent. (here’s what I mean)
I’ll leave you with a quote from the great Epictetus.
“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
Thanks for reading,
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