I have seen it in reel life and real life, that a boy loves a girl and hesitates to tell his feelings. Reason? What if she would say “I am not interested”, or she would insult me publicly? The boy thinks that he would be devastated for two main reasons: 1) failed to get his wish, his lady love. 2) perceived as a failure in his friend circle and acquaintances. To avoid these two immediate after effects of proposal, he secretly loves his girl and never approaches her. He ends up to be a failure, but an unrevealed failure. There was equal probability of acceptance and denial of his proposal. Why he could not focus on acceptance and its reward? I think, two main reasons for this behavior: 1) lack of self-confidence 2) lack of resilience.
I have seen several teenagers in high stress during exam days. They are often stuck at the thought What if I would fail? Being perceived as a failure or a loser is such a taboo in our lives that we consider failure as grieve as death. This is the reason why a teenager, who performed bad in exams, commits suicide after the results announced. It is worth noticing, the boy knew that he performed bad in exam right there in the examination room. If we think that his bad performance is the reason for his suicide, he should have committed it right after the exam. Why to wait till the results are announced? He resisted because he loved his life and wanted to live as long as he could afford to. After results he ended his life because of the two reasons: 1) failed to get his wish, good grades. 2) perceived as a failure in his family, friend circle and acquaintances. Poor boy could not fail secretly, nor could avoid the exam. He came last even after performing his best and he could not stand the humiliation of coming last. Why he could not value his life over exams? I think because results crumbled his self-confidence and he lacked resilience.
If you are thinking that we grown up adults don’t suffer from any of the above stated situations, let me present grown up versions of these scenarios. I have witnessed many people not living up to their full potential. I have seen myself deferring my dream project. I have seen people, who are exceptionally excellent at something, stuck in wrong profession and end up doing something else for their entire lifespan. They, including me, don’t try to try something different. One question keeps on haunting ‘What if I would fail?’ We get fixed with immediate result of poor performance and are not able to move on and foresee future ahead. It is similar to a situation when a baby gets stuck in crying process while he tried to run and fell down. He doesn’t try to get up and run again, instead he waits lying there for his mother or anyone to come and pick him up and console him. However, in most of the cases the baby is not hurt and is capable of standing and walking all by himself. I am sure many of us have seen this situation. We need to make this baby learn resilience and a life skill of trying.
We teach our kids that birds fly, but we don’t teach them that birds fall down before they start to fly. We emphasize on knowing the right thing, but we don’t teach importance of getting something wrong. We teach them to focus on goals, but we don’t teach our kids to try different pathways that lead to the goal. We don’t make them aware that sometimes they may get wrong understanding and that is not failure, nor unacceptable. Being wrong is as much possible as being correct. We should teach them to pick themselves up when they fall down and keep trying until they reach the end. If we could teach this to our young kids, the adults they will become will be surely much improvised than us. They won’t be deferring their dreams and would be trying diverse things and living to their utmost potential.They would have a quick answer to the question ‘what if I would fail?’ and answer would be ‘I will start again’.
We adults can lead by example by trying to live your dreams and stop deferring them. Lets be ready to make mistakes and have fun while utilizing our full potential. Success teaches one way to solve a problem while failure teaches different ways to go wrong and it is all about trial and experience. I would like to quote a dialogue from Tamasha movie ‘Ending pasand nahi aayi…koi baat nahi …change kar lenge…apani hi story hai’ [Translation: If you didn’t like end part of the story, change it. It is your story and you are the writer.]. Lets not end a life after bad ending, but try and head towards next ending, at least a better failure. Lets run our own race and get better than our previous self.
See you again. 🙂