I am here working with the word ‘failure’ because I’ve realized that I’ve had very strong negative reactions to this word, to the point where I would literally avoid expanding myself into new unknown territories or areas of life because I was so afraid of failing. So I’d rather stay in my comfort zone where I knew I would not fail, and as a result – I failed myself in my decision to expand myself to the utmost of my potential.
I have seen failure as something very bad, as a taboo that I have to avoid at all costs. I see failure as shameful and embarrassing, as something that reflects poorly on one’s character. Interestingly enough, I have images of Japanese warriors committing suicide due to having failed coming up – and so also the point of disgrace and punishment. I also recall the saying that ’failure is not an option’ – but not from a motivational point of view, but from a fearful point of view.
fail·ure (f l y r)
1. The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends: the failure of an experiment.
2. One that fails: a failure at one’s career.
3. The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short: a crop failure.
4. A cessation of proper functioning or performance: a power failure.
5. Nonperformance of what is requested or expected; omission: failure to report a change of address.
6. The act or fact of failing to pass a course, test, or assignment.
7. A decline in strength or effectiveness.
8. The act or fact of becoming bankrupt or insolvent.
c.1200, “be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose;” also “cease to exist or to function, come to an end;” early 13c. as “fail in expectation or performance,” from Old French falir “be lacking, miss, not succeed; run out, come to an end; err, make a mistake; be dying; let down, disappoint” (11c., Modern French faillir), from Vulgar Latin *fallire, from Latin fallere “to trip, cause to fall;” figuratively “to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, elude; fail, be lacking or defective.” Related: Failed; failing.
Replaced Old English abreoðan. From c.1200 as “be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose;” also “cease to exist or to function, come to an end;” early 13c. as “fail in expectation or performance.” From mid-13c. of food, goods, etc., “to run short in supply, be used up;” from c.1300 of crops, seeds, land. From c.1300 of strength, spirits, courage, etc., “suffer loss of vigor; grow feeble;” from mid-14c. of persons. From late 14c. of material objects, “break down, go to pieces.”
The word fail/failure has a distinct negative association
“A Successful Failure, is when Failure is taken Personally – and the Purpose of Failure is not Grasped. Because Failure, has been Changed into the Illusion of Energy and is Experienced as some form of ‘Feeling’ – Failure, when Grasped – is the Map and the Road to Self-Perfection.” – Bernard Poolman
It is interesting to see how I experience the words entirely different if I say: ”it failed to function”, ”the experiment failed” or if I say: ”I failed to do it” – where the latter is where the negative association is the strongest. So I see that I’ve taken the word failure personal as something that reflects directly on who I am, hence the sounding of ’fail-you-are’. I also see how failure as a taboo, as something we fear, as something that’s embarrassing is something that’s been preprogrammed very specifically to limit us to not try new things and to motivate us through fear to succeed as the positive polarity aspect of failure. So it is interesting to consider that as negative as the word failure is defined, exactly as positive is the word success. The two words therefore go together in unison and cannot be separated from one another. It is interesting because when I look at failure from the perspective of an experiment failing, it’s not something bad. Within that, it’s merely a practical consideration of trying things out in order to get a specific result and when it doesn’t work out, one tries something else. But when it comes to the idea that “I am a failure” – it’s like it encompasses, imprisons and weighs down the totality of who I am, even if the point of failure specifically happened in only one aspect of my life. It’s interesting with the connection in the etymological origin of the word to ‘trip/cause to fall’ because I remember times in my life where I’ve fallen in public, like falling down the stairs at a train station once, and I would feel so embarrassed and like a total failure, like I was being exposed as not being in control of myself. So there is failure in the practical sense as something not working out the way it was intended and then there is failure in an almost ‘moral’ sense, where our weaknesses as human beings are exposed – which is something we’ve made into a taboo, because; within facing the weakness of others, we also face the weakness in ourselves. Based on my reflections on failure here, me being ‘a failure’ would then imply that the totality of my being was created with an intended purpose and me not meeting that purpose. Thereby I would have to know for what purpose I was created and so it would also be up to someone else (my creator) to determined whether I have failed or not, but even within that, by utilizing the example of the experiment – a failure is not a dead-end, it’s merely a fall in the process of learning how to stand/walk. So being a failure or failing in something is not the end-all-be-all of who I am. It’s merely a point of cross-reference for where I require more specification or change/amendments to be full functional and optimal.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to react in fear when I see/read/hear/speak the word failure/fail/failing within and as me where I literally cringe inside myself and want to hide from the word to not become it where I can barely stand looking at the word/being with it, because I see and experience it as superior tom e
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear the word failure/fail/failing because I have attached an experience of embarrassment, judgment and shame to the word where I’ve made it a taboo in my own mind, a word that is so powerful that it may not be seen or spoken or heard, because once it touches you, you are out, you are social outcast, you’re done
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that by ignoring the word failure and anything to do with the word failure, I can ignore failure itself – when in fact by doing so I was giving failure tremendous power over me and was in fact failing in many ways through trying to avoid failure, not realizing that failure simply means that something is not working out the way it was intended
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that failing is ’bad’, ’wrong’ and ’embarrassing’ and because of that have done anything I could to avoid failing, namely never moving out of my comfort zone of things I knew I was good at, into new unknown territories – thus limiting myself extensively and ironically failing myself within the purpose of expanding myself to my utmost potential
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself fear being judged as a failure by others and so separate myself from my own judgment of and fear of failing/being a failure by projecting this fear and judgment onto others
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not accept or allow myself to make mistakes and fail, but instead believe that I MUST be perfect, I MUST be successful and that ‘failure is not an option’
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not accept the fact that failure is indeed an option when one is moving into new unknown territories and when one is experimenting to get to an intended result – and that this is not a ‘dead-end’ but in fact merely a step on the way, just like a child doesn’t give up learning how to walk when they fall the first 10, 50 or 100 times but keeps going until they can walk
When and as I see that I am reacting to the word failure/failing/fail I stop and I breathe. I remind myself that the word failure simply means something that is not yet aligned to its full potential or capacity or intended result and as such that if I see that I have failed or that something I’m doing is failing, it is simply a practical point of cross-reference for me that what I was doing wasn’t working optimally and that I have to do something else, change what I do. I commit myself to let go of my reactions towards the word failure/failing/fail. I commit myself to embrace the potential of failing as a temporary point of realignment required.
Redefinition of the word failure:
Something not turning out the way it was intended in order to be fully functional/optimal and/or not meeting specified requirements/results
Without Failure – Birthing Harmony on Earth is Impossible.
Without Failure – Perfecting Individualization is Impossible.
Without Failure – Enlightenment Perfection is Impossible.” – Bernard Poolman
More blog-posts about fear of failure:
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