“It’s not the fear of failure that holds us back…
it’s the fear of rejection”
30 days of life lesson quotes. In my books I talk a lot about fears and I think I am beginning to understand why there is such negativity associated with failure. It’s because losing is emotional! It hurts. Failure is not really about the defeat – failure is about how we feel about it afterwards. We put our valuable time and energy into something and if we don’t win or our ideas don’t get picked, we feel rejected. No one wanted us. It’s like being the last kid standing in the playground. Rejection feels awful.
Whoa! That is a reason to be afraid. No one wants to be a loser so setbacks and failures become associated with feeling unwanted and unloved. That sounds just terrifying. We fell short of our goal, made a mistake, or came in second and somehow we feel like we are wrong, stupid, or no good. Failure does not make you a loser but, unfortunately it can sure make you feel like one… and that can lead down a really bad path full of guilt, insecurities, doubts, and unworthiness. Failure I can handle. I tried and it didn’t work. No big deal. Try again. But rejection is downright frightening. Who would want to try anything if we feel that we will be condemned for our efforts, or if making a mistake is wrong!
Logically we know we are not failures, but the defeat feels very personal so how are we supposed to handle the emotions? The result is that we learn to avoid the feelings associated with failure at all cost. That means we simply cannot try again. We avoid risks or don’t take chances because another rejection is just too painful.