Have you ever dreamed of becoming a failure? Have someone ever encouraged you to resoundingly fail in a project? Do you look up to somebody’s mistakes? I would bet you do not.
The protection provided by our environment against failure
From our birth ―and even before―our home environment manages to take care of us and keep us as safe as needed. In the beginning, it can be limited to a physical and physiological protection. Nothing must do us harm or make us sick.
As we grow up, it gets more difficult. New factors emerge: relationships, school life, out-of-school activities, among many others. In addition, a new way of protection at a psychological level arises. It aims to avoid emotional suffering as well as any feeling considered to be negative (anger, sadness, shame…). Nevertheless, we will keep on counting on our environment’s indispensable assistance to do our homework correctly, choose friends, decide which branch of studies we will follow and also to deal with any issue that may arise in these processes.
To sum up, we learn to avoid mistakes in a gradual and unnoticeable way. In other words, we need to do things right and we will be fine.
We are walking towards overprotection, i.e. a modus operandi with a view to prevent, under all circumstances, someone (normally a son) from experiencing any discomfort or hardship. It is about trying to cushion problems that have arisen naturally.
Guiding versus conducting
On this quest for caregiving, it is common to mix up the concepts of guide and conduct.
When we guide, we express our opinion, our point of view. Taking a final decision is still to be tackled by the person we are guiding. When we conduct, we get involved, however subtly, in the decision making process.
When we guide someone, we make room for experience and tolerate risks. The person we are guiding can learn to fail without damaging his self-esteem. When we conduct, we are limiting the range of experiences this person will get to know. When failure happens, his self-esteem will be jeopardized.
In fact, a vast array of studies have shown that we learn faster through mistakes, as the acquired information will be better integrated and the respective results will be experienced to a greater extent.
Maybe some names such as Steve Jobs ― who got fired from his own company ― or Thomas Edison ― who claimed when he finally succeeded to create the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” ― sound familiar to you. Among others, they made big mistakes before becoming illustrious. Bearing this in mind, do not let the possibility of failure to get in your way towards your purposes.
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
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Images source: https://pixabay.com/en
Translation: Víctor López Virgós