#fail #failure #success #doit #doitafraid #fear #motivation #happy #healthy #willsmith
Earlier this year, Will Smith made a video about failure and began by saying “fail early, fail often and fail forward.” The question is, why don’t we have this attitude towards failure? The fact that Mr Smith made such a positive video concerning failure says that most people hold the opposite attitude towards it.
What is Failure? Many people have different definitions of what it means to fail. I’ve heard that failure is when you’ve not succeeded yet. I’ve also read that failure is where you learn to succeed. That’s a nice perspective. Another definition of failure that I’ve come across is that it is a massive part of being successful ie to succeed, you will fail. That’s also lovely. But let’s be honest, whenever we think of failure in any situation, we think of losing, not winning, defeat and every other negative description we can think of.
Why is this?
In conjunction to my previous write up, “The Inner Child,” I will once again stress the importance of roots and their effects. You probably don’t understand what I mean by this. In order to understand anything, it is vital to analyze it from its beginning or early stages.
With the case of humans, the focus here should be on the first institution (outside of the family) that children are introduced to-school. And I can honestly say that most of us (if not all of us) were discouraged and put down (mentally) as kids whenever we failed in school. Be it in sports or academically, failure of all shapes and sizes was painful. That F in Maths and that 7th position in that 100 meter race became a symbol of your inadequacy. Such a symbol gave way for feelings of humiliation and defeat.
Unlike how motivational speakers today encourage us to fail at things because they help us learn and grow, as kids we were taught to see failure as the enemy. We were trained to aim for that A+ and other accolades, and whenever we didn’t attain them we understood that we had “fallen short” of the standard provided to achieve such status. For some of us, we may not have been told directly of what our failures meant. Our parents, teachers and class mates may not have outrightly said “you got a D because you’re not that smart,” but the implications were there. Students who got A’s and 1st position were praised and celebrated, whereas students at the other end of the stick were either ignored or frowned upon. Each time I saw that big, red F in my Maths report in high school, a myriad of thoughts went through my mind, with the conclusion that I wasn’t smart enough to succeed at Maths. As a result, I hated Maths and shied away from it. This is what fear does, it makes you hate. It also makes you runaway from things. Most of us who fear failure hate it so much that we subconsciously hinder ourselves from trying new things and going out of our comfort zones, and this in turn prevents us from actually succeeding because a vital ingredient of success is trying (and practice, and many other things).
We need to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). This is one of the hardest things to do-changing the way you think; but it’s necessary in life. I’m not saying it’s even bad to be scared because we’re all scared of something. Sadly fear is something we can’t do without, it’ll always be there. But don’t let it hold you back. I think we’ve all heard this phrase before (if you haven’t heard it before, now you’ve heard it): do it afraid.
Stay blessed and happy AND healthy.