Failure. I recently experienced it with a goal that was quite important to me. I actually thought I had insulated myself quite well, reminding myself that it was an extremely ambitious goal and that success was not likely. I had also put some cognitive effort into accepting that, even if my ultimate goal was unsuccessful, the exercise had been productive and positive anyway. Armed with some prepared self-talk and very content with my life and achievements to date, I was surprised by how hard the experience hit me.
When it happens in relation to goals that matter to us, it is not an enjoyable experience and one that we often try to avoid. I haven’t had to deal with many failures of this kind in the last two decades. I had assumed this to be a fortunate aspect of my life but I am now questioning this assumption. Perhaps I have been selling myself short. Would I have achieved more if I set higher goals? Why are we afraid to fail?
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