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How Not to Let Failures Affect you

Updated on July 10, 2017

It was my short period of teaching English to a bunch of first years. Before the session was about to end, I arranged for a presentation on the lessons and poems that were taught by me. Many of them were nervous and even extremely nervous and so nervous that they skipped my class. Few of them were shivering, fumbling and even failed to open their mouth as soon as they saw an audience. While there were others who did it fine as if it was a cake walk. The others who failed ..It was a failure they will always remember.

Public speaking: They say it is one of the most dreaded things in everyday life. Nobody usually likes to on the stage and speak. The people who come forward for such things are rare. I have also read that people who are completely secure with themselves usually have no problem facing others and even speaking on public platform. Since there are very few people who do not have inhibitions talking on public platform, may be there are very few people among us who are completely secure with themselves.

As the teacher who has seen them for four months, I had known and understood my students well. So I did a small psycho analysis of their mind and connected it with my own experiences.

Those who could not speak were the ones who always believed that they would not be able to speak on a public platform. Repeatedly they say to themselves, I am not the kind of person who can do public speaking. My friend can do, and many of the students from good schools can do this, but not me. I am different. I am not like them in this regard. I can’t do it. Whenever they saw anyone in a presentation they reaffirmed that they were not like this guy giving presentation. As this thought was repeated and reaffirmed, it got strengthened.

When they got an opportunity to speak on a platform, they failed. They must have said to their mind, “See, I told you I could not do this.” So the thought got confirmed. So the next time they were put in a similar situation, the assertion reappeared.

I remember a Bollywood actor once spoke about his falling from the top of a horse and injuring himself. He was on bed rest for a few months. The first thing he says he did after he recovered was horse riding. This was for not letting the fear of the horse settle down in his mind. Fear has got a companion – failure. Fear of failure. If you fail once, you will fear it next time. Once bitten twice shy.

Let’s understand how failure affects your mind. It tells you that you cannot succeed. It creates fear of failing again. It tells you that you don’t have a certain quality or skill.

What if you say, you CAN indeed succeed? What if you let go the fear of failure? How about learning, strengthening and restoring the belief that you possess that skill.

Take public speaking: Cut and stick pictures and newspaper articles of successful orators in your diary. Say you are like them. You can do it. You have it in you.

Accept the fact that you got fear. Do not try to hide it. Neither to yourself not to others. Know that everybody who is a good orator today, once feared the stage. So when I am supposed to speak, why don’t I simply concentrate on what I should say.

That is exactly the formula. When you are on stage, neglect your fear as something that is natural, inevitable and commonplace. And instead of thinking about the fear, think of the points that you have to speak on.

When you do a certain action and you fail, the action slowly vanishes from your mind but the failure remains there.

Substitute the failure with a CAN. You Can. And you will beat it.

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