Anxiety about Failure
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.”M. Scott Peck
I have been anxious about failure lately.
Ever since I have gone independent, the prospect of failure has suddenly become more tangible, real, and scary than ever.
Of course, I know it is completely natural. Fear of failure is just a stepping stone to success. I just need to take more action to overcome the fear. __Insert any other self-help advice__
But reading about it in self-help books is very different from facing it in real life.
This is what brought me to a realization last weekend:
Success and failure are contextual.
In fact, success in one context could be a failure in another.
Two years ago, I was over the moon to secure a job in a growing e-commerce startup. It was right in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic. Moreover, it came after not being paid for 2-3 months in the company before that.
Cut to today. If I end up getting a job in the next few months, I will consider it a failure.
The definition of success has changed. Now, I want to be successful as an independent consultant. In the future, I may want a profitable business to feel successful. In that scenario, staying self-employed would become a failure.
As you grow, your goals and priorities change. With that, your definitions of success and failure also evolve. The goalpost has moved.
So, one way to reduce the anxiety is to look back and see how far you have come.
The fact that your goals have evolved indicates your personal growth and evolution.
It is part of life, I guess.
At least, that is what consoled me over the past few days.
Have you ever faced this kind of impermanence in success and failure?
Do you often feel the anxiety of failure?
How did you deal with it?
Reply if you have any thoughts! Or just to say hi! 🙂
Until next time
If you liked reading this newsletter, sign up to get them straight into your inbox, every Wednesday!
Most Popular Newsletter Editions
- Vishal’s Newsletter- Edition 15 Shame, Food, & Yoga of Eating
- Vishal’s Newsletter- Edition 49 Regret minimization, dreams, & acting
- Vishal’s Newsletter- Edition 10 Annual Review, Happiness, Paradoxes of Modern Life
- Vishal’s Newsletter- Edition 27 How did I learn to cry?
- Vishal’s Newsletter- Edition 86 3 reflections from 1 year of self-employment
- Vishal’s Newsletter- Edition 11 Desire, Ambition, Greed, & Many Worlds of Enough