Why you should never be afraid of defeat

Failure.

It’s the ghost that haunts the minds of everyone who has a dream. Before you see it, you don’t even want to believe it can happen. But once you’ve seen it, you only hope that you never have to face it again.

It’s not that way for everybody though. People who learn the importance of their failure learn to overcome it and are no longer afraid of it.

But how is this possible? How can someone defeat their fears? It begins with identifying the fears which raise legitimate concerns, and those that are only distracting us from achieving our goals.

Let me give an example.

Say you are afraid of getting in a car accident. In this case, you wouldn’t take the risk of leaving your seatbelt off just to overcome that fear. That would be reckless (and against the law). This is a loose example, but it gets the point across.

Another fear could be applying for a certain job. Maybe you think you’re not qualified and somebody else would do better in the position. But this fear is simply holding you back from acquiring something you want, something you’ve worked for.

Fear assumptions

For the example above, I would say this.

Have you met all of the candidates? Have you interviewed each one and evaluated them for the qualities the company wants in their employees? Probably not. So just go for it!

This is what I call a fear assumption. It involves accepting the outcome of a certain action before even taking it. We come to conclusions that we couldn’t methodically come to with the information we have. In the end, we are basically claiming to know the future and that is incredibly ignorant.

Opportunity often disguises itself in fear, when in reality there is nothing to be afraid of. Watch out that you don’t make silly fear assumptions, and you will start to find opportunity you had no idea was there.

Progress

I always like to say that if you are afraid to do something — like in the situation I described above — it just might be exactly what you need to do.

Here’s a little bit of truth for you.

Everybody fails. Everybody.

If I speak to someone who says they rarely fail, then I would feel sorry for them.

Because either they are lying or they’re not even trying.

In order to succeed, you must fail — sometimes over and over again. Ask Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Thomas Edison, Oprah, etc. People who have achieved much success in this world are at the top for a reason.

We may make fun of them or critique them for things that they do, but in the end, they are not much different from you.

Many times the only distinction is the amount of times they have failed. Be real with yourself for a moment. If you had millions of eyes on you 24/7, how hard would it be to live a spotless life?

The point where their life path deviates from your life path is when they are faced with a challenge.

They don’t give into their fear because that would mean compromising the ultimate goal, the prize they have worked for, strived for, and failed for. They realize the real failure happens upon refusing to get up and try again.

It’s a mindset. Every time something goes wrong and defeat is knocking on the door, it’s back to the drawing board. But this time with something more — another piece of the puzzle that will eventually bring them to their goal.

Maybe you decide to go for that job. Completely prepared and more qualified than any other candidate, but you still don’t get the job.

Don’t worry.

You still have a dream and a vision. Other people can’t always see future value in you and that is OK.

But you can. In fact, you are likely the only person in your life that can see yourself 10 years down the line. You could be the next Bill Gates, but nobody else knows it.

Acknowledge failure

I think we can agree that hiding from reality is essentially pointless. Eventually, it will find us and impose on us whatever implications we deserve — good or bad.

It’s similar with defeat. By simply ignoring it, we are doing ourselves no good in the long run. Perhaps it helps us cope with our failure and move on, but if we get nothing out of it then what was the point anyway?

When you learned to ride a bike, you probably fell many times(maybe not). Afterward, you would contemplate trying again — is it worth it? Won’t I just fall yet another time?

Well if you try again without learning a little bit more about how to do it, you’ll surely fall again.

So don’t simply try to forget fear. Use it. Learn from it so you do better the next time around. Harness it to thrust you on into the future you know is inevitable — and one day — you will get there.

 

What do you think about this subject? Have you seen this play out in your own life? Leave your thoughts below.

 

How do you define success?

What is a life that has been completed? What is a future that has been fulfilled? I could sail across the world and see all that has been built. But when my life begins to wither and my legacy start to melt, I wonder as I look to heaven “Will I even last myself”?

I live in America. The land of opportunity and home to the fearless.

Or is it the land of the greedy and home to the narcissist? I think that is for all of us to decide ourselves.

Either way, this is a capitalist society where the ultimate goal, the “American Dream” as we call it is financial prosperity. This society revolves completely around money. We look for any and every way to get it because we love it that much.

But consider this.

Prosperity corrupts good character. The love of money makes a humble person greedy, and the possession of money makes a trustworthy person untrustworthy. Opportunity turns to greed and freedom turns to slavery.

This is the cycle. The sad thing is so many get trapped in it and so little find their way out. Is there even a way out?

Well, allow me to suggest something else.

The American Dream is wrong(or simply misinterpreted). The way we view prosperity is wrong.  Money is not the end goal on the road to success.

No, I believe success to be something very different. Something you cannot hold in your hand or use to get ice cream on a summer afternoon.

The byproducts of success should not be your own satisfaction and prosperity, but the joy and love you show to others. Because if you are truly succeeding, you won’t be the only one impacted.

Do you want to lead a meaningful life? Do you wish to be successful? Well first, you must know how success is measured. It is not calculated by the amount of dollars you give away, or even the amount of hours you spend doing humanitarian work.

No, it is defined by the way you love.

Let me explain.

Love is not the feeling a player has toward his sport. If it were, he would expect no salary.  People who say they love their cars do not really love their cars. Because if it stopped running one day, they would simply find other means of travel.

What is the one thing that doesn’t envy? Love

What is the one thing that expects absolutely nothing in return? Love

What is the one thing that will outlast every single one of us? Love

When a family member gets sick, do you give up on them? Of course not! You join their fight and encourage them until the day their time is up.

That is love.

And what can fill the void that loved one left? Nothing really.

Because love is unique. It provides a satisfaction that nothing else can. Not money. Not fame. Not your legacy.

Imagine this. You have a bag of apples but only one is left. After this, you will never be able to eat anything ever again. You look up and see a man who is alone and obviously hungry, so you decide to approach this man and give him your apple to eat. That is love.

But what makes love different?

It’s simple. Love has an eternal award.

I will leave you with these words.

 One day when you find yourself with one last breath, just a few seconds left, I guarantee your wish won’t be one last dollar to spend. It’ll be one last evening with your family and friends or one more apple to give to that man. Then your fear of death will fade away as you remember the words they used to say, “there is no fear in love, my death won’t be in vain.”

3 ways journaling can help your social anxiety

A few years ago I would never have tried journaling. I assumed it was just a girly or feminine way of talking to yourself. I wasn’t about to jeopardize my masculinity so I could write some lame feelings down in a diary. What could I possibly benefit from that?

Fast forward a few years, and now I’m a huge advocate for journaling.

Why?

Because I learned how much it can help with my social anxiety.

 

If you know me, you know I don’t talk much. There are many people who are the same, and it’s not from a lack of intelligence or spite towards people around them. Sometimes when presented with a social situation, a surfeit of emotion overwhelms me and I lose my words. All the sudden I have no idea how to interact with the other person. It’s frustrating. What journaling does is help me articulate my communication confidently, and in a way that is appropriate and effective for whatever situation I’m in. For example, you may want to say hello to a random passerby, but be too nervous about a number of things. Am I going to say hello correctly?(this sounds silly but it’s true) Should I keep walking after the hello? Should it be a hello, or more of a hey there? These are real concerns for many people. Thankfully, I’m going to show you some tips for how journaling can help alleviate this kind of discomfort.

1. Prioritize fears and problems

Whilst writing down things about your day, don’t shy away from discussing the negatives. Some fears and problems can often times be resolved by simply thinking about them. Journaling forces you to think about the problem enough to get it down on a piece of paper. We are all dealing with multiple problems at any given time. But some of them need more attention than others. For example, the fact that I am failing a class would be more important than the stain I need to get out of my shirt. When you’ve identified an important problem — my example is failing a class, make a list of things that can help you solve that problem! My list would look something like this.

  • Make more time to study
  • Go in for tutoring
  • Ask more questions in class

Again, you may not need to write everything down, but doing so forces your mind to work it out — and that is the goal.

2. Identify negative behaviors and promote positive ones

Sometimes in the mess of life, it is difficult to always be self-aware. Sometimes we will do things that hurt other people– and not even notice it. Writing down events from our day will help us identify negative and positive behaviors. But it doesn’t stop there. After you categorize your actions, make a point to focus on doing the positive things, and dropping the negative ones. By becoming more self-aware, you — in turn — become more confident in the actions that you do take.

Here is an example using the situation of the passerby.

You feel anxious greeting people as you guys walk by each other. In the journal, you can write something down like — ‘greeting people with a smile and a simple hello is a positive behavior’. Then as time goes on, you can make an effort to do this with everyone you pass by. This might sound odd, but eventually, you’ll get to the point where it won’t be so routine. You’ll be confident enough in your ‘social abilities’ to say whatever you want when you see a specific person. But the journal helps you identify some of these things so you can focus on them.

3. Reduce stress

This is the one you’ve probably heard of before. When I fought with my brothers, my parents would tell us to write down our feelings. Needless to say, I thought it was really dumb. The reason for this was because writing something down allows us to really think about it. Why am I feeling this way? How am I making this other person feel?

It’s sort of like self-awareness training. And it helps with social anxiety.

After realizing the issue — and writing it down — we create a stress-free mind that is able to process it with much more clarity.

If you tend to stress about many things, write them down.

All of them.

It might take a while, but you’ll quickly realize that things you once worried so intensely about now seem insignificant.

I would love to hear how these tips work for you. Let me know in the comments!