Fear of Failure

Complete 1 page APA formatted article: Fear of Failure. TOPIC: Fear of Failure OUTLINE: Definition of the Term: Fear of failure is a life-restricting phenomenon. It arises when an individual fears that hewill not be able to achieve his desired goal or objective. This essay will aim at analyzing: the factors which contribute to this fear, the negative outcomes of being petrified of failure and lastly, the methods that can be adopted to overcome this self-defeating emotion. The social self and the individual self: While the individual self may seem oblivious to the dictates of the society or toward the norms of success, nevertheless, the social self tends to overshadow the individual self thereby, contributing to an inner conflict. Moreover, this social self also secretly cherishes to be approved, acknowledged and be deemed as a success. Thus, many people are apprehensive of failure because through their unparalleled achievements, they want to quench the craving of their social selves. The correlation between fear of failure and conditional self-esteem: From childhood onwards, we are exposed to the belief that, love, rewards, happiness and recognition can only coexist with success and achievement. Failure on the other hand is juxtaposed with, dismissal, rejection and disapproval. During the adolescence years, this belief is time and again reaffirmed- both in the classroom setting as well as within one’s domestic domain. For instance, children who are considered as high achievers are often showered with more love, attention and encouragement- both by teachers as well as by parents. Consequently, a child’s self-esteem and self-regard becomes rigidly dependent on his achievement in either academic or social endeavours. This conditional self-esteem is carried into adulthood as well and constantly gives negative feed-back to the individual regarding his so-called failures. Instead of engaging in self-appraisal for a job well done, a person sets up exceedingly high expectations for himself and engages in destructive self-criticism whenever he falls short of these expectations The over-emphasis on quantitative change as opposed to qualitative change: In today’s capitalistic society, social success, monetary profits and social admiration are the ingredients by which a person’s worth is ascertained. The notion that a person is successful only to the degree that his achievements can be calculated in a quantitative manner should be critically re-valued. On the contrary, the struggle exerted by an individual during the process of attaining his goal, should not go unnoticed. The contemporary society needs to take into consideration the fact that. a qualitative change even of a minor magnitude can lead to a multitude of long-lasting changes. Overcoming this self-defeating fear of failure: It is note-worthy, that a fear of failure prevents a person from achieving self-actualization and from immersing himself in the process at hand. A person needs to realize that, within any given situation, it is the quest or the search that truly matters and not merely the final outcome. Introduction: Most people spend their entire lives leading dissatisfied, half and incomplete lives. This feeling has been aptly conveyed by the renowned American psychologist and philosopher, William James when he claimed that, “most of us feel as if a sort of cloud weighed upon us, keeping us below our highest notch…Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake” ( qtd. in Cave and Doyle 6). The haunting fear of failure weighs like a cloud upon us- preventing us from exploring our innermost potential. Thus, often times, we feel as if we are half awake. Our dread of confronting rejection refrains us from actively and fully participating in the life that stares at us in the present- in the here and now. The following discussion will suffice to substantiate this point. BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. Cave, Janet, and Robert Doyle. Mind Power: Assess Your True Potential. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1994. Print.

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