How have the top failures in your life shaped you? Failure is s difficult pill to swallow. Especially for those who are uncomfortable with doing something wrong. In addition, it’s like warning signs go off in your head. “Stop! Don’t do this ever again!” And sometimes, to add to that, there is an element of embarrassment.
Growing up, we were always encouraged to reach for the stars. Aim as high as you can. But sometimes we were not taught how to get back up once we fall. And we didn’t reach the stars. Many of us knew that we just had to carry on. But sometimes the feeling of failure never settled. It never went away.
Understanding failure at a young age is a very beautiful and encouraging thing. Not only does it means you tried something new, but it means you get to try it again! And writing this now seems strange. And actually, quite difficult. After going through life thinking a certain way, changing it isn’t easy. But it is possible.
Trying out Failure
Whether we like it or not, it is engraved in us to want to feel like we belong. This means, that naturally, we look for a place where we feel safe. It may be family, friends, or the workplace, or even alone. Each of us feels safe in different places. And knowing where you feel safe is a good place to ‘try out’ failure. But why would you want to fail?
It is not about failing. It’s more about becoming comfortable with it. And how do we become comfortable? With getting to know it. Understanding it. Once we understand something, we naturally feel more comfortable and at ease. Think about doing math. How torturous! I’m sure we all got quite a few things wrong when we started, but naturally, 30 +30 became the easiest thing ever.
Moreover, becoming comfortable with failure can be liberating. It frees you from demotivating thoughts. Like, “I’ll never get this right”. And rather the natural occurrence in your head may be a little stubborn. And think that “I won’t stop until I get it right”.
Embarrassment in Failure
The feeling of embarrassment may go hand in hand with failure. It’s certainly like that for me! Which is my biggest downfall. I shy away from many things because I would not want to fail. I would not want to feel embarrassed. So let’s talk about embarrassment. What does it mean? And where does it come from?
According to Psychology Today, embarrassment is a self-conscious emotion. It is alongside the feelings of guilt, shame, and pride. Furthermore, they go on to say that embarrassment happens in relation to other people. Therefore, it is a public emotion. It makes you feel exposed, awkward and filled with regret for whatever your wrongdoing happens to be.
Now we could go deeper into the meaning of each of those emotions, but that would be raddling on forever. In summary, embarrassment stems from multiple sources. And to truly overcome this hurdle, it is likely to overcome it from the source.
The safe space
As said in the definition, embarrassment is a public emotion. Therefore, it is important to know yourself in relation to your surroundings. You know your role and you are comfortable in it. You know yourself and your values and you are appreciated for it. For example, if you feel most comfortable with your family, or alone, there is a reason for that. Whatever that reason may be, it is the exact reason why you can negate the embarrassment. So remember that the next time something weird happens!
Whether your avoiding failure is because of embarrassment or another reason. It is a healthy exercise to try and combat those feelings. Think about the last time you failed. Was it a long time ago? Is it time to try something new?
Failure is a big stepping stone in accomplishing great things. Hence we become comfortable with the feeling, to also accomplish great things. In many success stories, we hear of failure in the beginning. But the way the subconscious mind responds to failure enables them to try and try again. And from reading the article on the subconscious mind, we know that our minds can be re-programmed.
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