Intolerance to failure: why it appears and how to combat it, in 4 keys

Intolerance to failure: why it appears and how to combat it

We live in a society that pressures us to do our best. However, it does not do so by encouraging us to improve in those aspects of life that seem significant to us, but by making us fear the idea of failure.

Intolerance to failure is the consequence of being constantly educated so that every step we take in our lives gives an image of triumph. In this article we will see why this cultural phenomenon reproduces itself generation after generation and what we must do not to let it affect us in a suffocating way.

Intolerance to failure: how does it start?

I’m sure you’ve heard of fathers and mothers who do everything they can to make their children’s lives fit that image we all have of social and personal success. However, this is not only the case in these obvious examples. Since our childhood, most family members have imposed, in a more or less clear and more or less intense way, vital goals. These are routes that we are supposed to follow in order to fit in with the idea of success .

Of course, these kinds of objectives do not coincide exactly with what we are really interested in, and sooner or later it becomes clear that it is not our fault if the activities proposed by the adults are not satisfactory.

However, even after we have moved on to concentrate on our interests, there remains something in our way of thinking that has to do with the logic passed on to us by our parents and society in general: the perfecting of the skills one possesses, and the fact of showing these skills to others , is what speaks about who we are. What gives us value.

Thus, in our adolescence and youth, we identify with references that shape everything that one wants to become. These examples are inspiring, but as we will see, they also contribute to the fear of failure.

The emotional impact of referrals

When someone becomes someone we admire, two things happen. On the one hand, we think about all the positive qualities of that person , but not about the negative ones, since the biased vision we have about that referent makes the first ones eclipse the second ones, because of how impressive they are.

On the other hand, the fact that we identify with that inspiring person makes, gain power over the way we create our self-esteem . This means that when it comes to judging our achievements and the performance we show in various aspects of daily life, those references serve as our horizon.

The people we admire are something we compare ourselves to with a certain degree of assiduity. However, we do not have so much material to compare our failures with. As a result, we treat failure as something abnormal, something that shouldn’t be there, even though the hidden part of the lives of all those admired people is full of it.

How to learn not to be afraid of mistakes

In order to develop talent, it is necessary to fail countless times, and in fact during the learning process, failure is the norm. However, although in theory we are aware of this, we often forget it; we act as if it were not true. What we have to do, then, is to come to our senses again and forget the old complexes and with extreme perfectionism , which will lead us to block ourselves and not try to start any initiative.

To enter into this new philosophy of life, it will be useful to follow this advice.

1. Replant your interests

To begin with, it is necessary to be sure that what constitutes the activity from which we judge who we are and how far we can go is something that really motivates us . If this is not the case, it is normal that the effort put into it is not enough, and therefore only the feeling of failure remains.

2. Set affordable goals

If you set realistic, short-term goals, you’ll be much less likely to obsess over the small failures that occur as you go along.

3. Keep track of your progress

Document the progress of your projects, so that it is easier and simpler to take into account what you have achieved. In this way you will be able to see that the mistakes you make are relative , because they are part of a general trend of improvement.

4. Create belief modification routines

It is necessary to make the excess of perfectionism disappear, and for that it is necessary to modify beliefs. Although this process is much simpler and more effective with the help of personalized psychological attention through the service of professionals, you can try to do it on your own.

To do this, spend a couple of moments a week writing down your impressions of the relationship between your achievements and your failures . First write down how you perceive your failures, and then compare this with how you should perceive them in a more reasonable way, where it is clear that mistakes are part of the learning process, not obstacles.

Then, reflect on those thought patterns that in your day-to-day life make you intolerant of failure. In this way, you will know how to identify the moments when these beliefs appear.

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