What’s The Right Spiritual Attitude Towards Failure?
Marie Curie, one of the greatest female scientists, has said, “Nothing in this world is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
Pujya Deepakbhai, a spiritual teacher, says, “Slowly, slowly, we should learn from our experiences, and understand that there is nothing to be scared of or be afraid of in life.”
Fear in any form and in any aspect of our life is debilitating. It is often believed that ‘with failure comes fear.’ But I had a fear of failure itself!
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Fear of failure
Failure has not pained me in life as much as the fear of failure. But today I very easily and happily say whenever I fail, “So what if I failed? I now know the reason why I failed. And I’ll make sure that I eliminate this weakness of mine, soon.”
Each failure comes to teach us unique lessons which we would not have learned otherwise. Our fears help us identify and understand our weaknesses. The most common reason for fear of failure is, “if I fail, others will make a negative judgment of me.” And when we fail, we experience enormous suffering, not because others judged us wrongly, but because of our fear that others will now judge us and not like us anymore!
I too had this fear. It was not until I met Pujya Deepakbhai that I realized the deep science behind the origin of this fear, and also got to understand that owing to this fear, a lot of weaknesses had crept into me, which I was not even aware of; all of which inspired me to get out of this mess as quickly as possible.
We are interested in, and feel good, when someone says, “You are good”; but this interest of showing to people that ‘I am good’ is our ego, which becomes big after listening to such words. And therefore it will get hurt when somebody will insult us or says something bad about us. Are we interested in receiving this bad stuff from people? No! Yet, the ego will have to suffer from the blame of being bad from people. So, only if we are ready for the same, should we maintain our interest in people saying ‘You are good’.
The science behind this fear
Pujya Deepakbhai reveals the science behind it, saying:
It is due to our merit karma that people call us good. But ego gets absorbed in it that, “Oh, I am good. I am so good. I am very good.” Now, Nature wants to remove this ego, and therefore when demerit karma comes into fruition, Nature tries to get rid of that ego by hurting that ego. And at that time, we feel, “He blamed me. He is a bad person. I am good.” We will argue for our goodness, which is a very wrong thing (because this protects our ego and keeps it intact; moreover we bind more demerit karma by blaming the other person).
We have to instead understand: “I believed that I am good. Now my ego is being destroyed by Nature and that person is just one of the evidence to give us the fruit of our demerit karma.” Therefore, we should not blame any person. Only then our ego will go. So now, we must understand that it is a dangerous mistake, a big fault to keep interest in being praised by people.
Given this understanding, he helped me shape my attitude in a big way!
While interacting with people, the intention should be to see the other person as Pure Soul (for this is what we all really are) and behave with the person, without any hidden intention to look good or be praised or be liked by the person, because these very intentions lead to unnecessary fears in our interactions or in our work, and keep us suffering all the time.
Fear inevitably gives rise to doubts
In Param Pujya Dadashri’s book, he says
“Problems are created for those in whom doubt arises. The rule of the karma is such that it visits the one who has doubts.” He asks, “After sitting in a train, does a doubt arise in your mind that, ‘two days ago there was a train accident, what if that happens today’? Now, even if you think about the possibility of an accident, is it going to stop from occurring if it is meant to? And what about the person who does not think about it? It will occur for him too. But a person who sits in the train without having such thoughts is whom we call fearless. Such people are likely to get less injured and will come out of the situation with minor injuries (even if the accident was to happen). Therefore, keep a strong mind. Nothing can be achieved as long as there is doubt. If a person is fearless, he will be able to accomplish whatever he sets his mind to. Therefore, have such fearlessness, that you are convinced that nothing can happen to you.”
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