Failure Is An Event Not A Person

Failure is an event not a person
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“Failure is an event not a person.” – Zig Ziglar

In her article posted in Psychology Today, author and Counsellor Tina Gilbertson explains the real meaning behind the phrase “fear of failure”. When people say they’re afraid of failing, logistical losses only comprise a part of the real fear. She says that what people are really wary about is the feeling of being a failure as a person.

The root causes of this perception can be traced back to childhood. According to Gilbertson, family values affect how one perceives reaching for goals. These family values (humility, security, having it all together, being selfless, not taking more than your share, hard work, perfection) have the tendency to create apprehension, self-doubt, shame, and pressure. She emphasizes the importance of examining one’s values and getting rid of those that are irrational and potentially life-damaging.

One study shows that failure causes oxytocin drop-off. When people lose their sense of pride and the admiration of their peers, this hormone goes on a significant low which causes distrust. Ultimately, social relations will be affected which will make the person even feel more of a failure.

Psychologist and life counsellors advise not taking things too seriously and maintaining a good sense of humor. These traits are found to be helpful in coping with failures. A good sense of humor also allows one to learn from their mistakes and to have the energy and enthusiasm to try again. Being hard on oneself only worsens the situation as the person become obsessed with his/her failure.

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