Fear of failure? | INFJ Forum

Fear of failure?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by jimtaylor, Oct 22, 2010.

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  1. jimtaylor

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    My question is simple yet can be very complex, do you fear failure? If so what is your definition of failure? If not, why don't you? I ask out of curiosity because I am in-between. I honestly do believe we learn best through our mistakes and so making them is not something I fear but failure in the bigger picture does scare me. Meaning that I am not able to achieve something meaningful in my lifetime scares me but making a mistake in the present worries me less because I learn what "not" to do next time. Of course the implications of failing in the present can lead to failure in the future but I also believe that you can in time correct your mistakes. So I feel a little failure now and again teaches us to be stronger and more resilient in the future.

    I am just interested in what other people feel on this. I have always felt I was a little different in this feeling especially when comparing myself to friends and family. They are all fearful of failure in every meaning of the word. Making a mistake and not being perfect on everything scares them, so often, they will not try out of fear of failure. It does not make sense to me because there is no way as humans we could possibly be perfect, so why fear something that is bound to happen sometime? Of course I do understand this feeling in a way when it comes to interacting socially but I have even learned to overcome that fear and just talk to people but that took some effort to learn. So have you also noticed this with other people or maybe within yourself?
     
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  2. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    I don't find myself fearful of mistakes. It is a shame that we do not celebrate mistakes as opportunities for learning. We need to change in that respect in our schools and in society.

    I do feel a very daunting... looming... fear of being nothing, contributing nothing... ect.

    So I think I am right there with you on this.

    Edit: Also these quotes -

    "Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure."

    "I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success."

    -Thomas Edison
     
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    #2 Wyote, Oct 22, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  3. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    Failure is normal and to be expected. I fear success. It seems that the when people depend on you, you get more responsibilities, which means that people expect more and more and more and more. It becomes a vicious cycle. I cringe when I hear "If anyone can accomplish this it is you" or "you are so organized and efficient" because that is usually right before or right after someone dumps a bunch of crap on me to get done. So, logically it seems that one should be more afraid of success. Of course, the more you do, the more chances you have of being wrong or failing.
     
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  4. Matariki

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    Yes, the fear of failure is strong within this ENTP.

    Failure is nothing new to me though, Ive been failing since elementary school, my grades were so poor that I didn't even pass.
    My teachers used to make a laughing stock out of me, I was called stupid and labeled as a failure. So its been childhood fear of mine. The fear of failure and the pressure to preform well was one hell of a burden for a kid to carry. It got to the point where I would cheat during tests just to get into the next grade. Being from a large family of 10 has also made an impact, I felt as a child the only way to get my parents attention was through my intelligence, so when I started failing school and watching my class mates take leaping through the education system, I would do just about anything to pass, from staying in during lunch breaks to staying in after school for hours on end. But in the end my depression and anxiety took over.

    I was considered a nuisance and a thorn in the backside, I questioned the education system, and during the middle of classes, the teachers and the way how they taught. Its no surprise why I was often sent to the handicapped room for the special needs children. I put on a brave face but underneath was a completely different story. My true face came out during the two years I failed art school.

    As for making mistakes, I don't regret them. I learn from them. I've realized that to get anywhere in life you need to make mistakes, recognizing our mistakes is half of the battle won, its a risk that we take. I welcome mistakes, that doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated when I make them, but its a lesson that I appreciate.
     
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    #4 Matariki, Oct 22, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  5. Nighthawk

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    I do fear failure. I've read it is a typical NT emotion as we value competence quite highly. It's no so strong to paralyze me from trying to accomplish things however ... at least in the intellectual realm. I don't do so well in the relationship realm however, so fear of failure there is greater ... and it sometimes does prevent me from taking action. Same with athletic endeavors, since my hand/eye coordination are not on par with the greats. Fear of failure constantly looms in the back of my mind, so I work hard to overcome it and succeed ... particularly in my career and core competencies that matter to me.

    I've also noticed that I tend to downplay my abilities and talents to avoid the perception of failure. If they are considered lower, then I don't have to justify high performance. If it does happen, everybody is pleasantly surprised. This happens a lot when I estimate how long it will take me to do things at work. I usually finish well ahead of my forecasted time. This is something I still need to work on.

    I also agree that success can be even worse than failure, as people will ride you like a throughbred horse to get every iota of work out of you. They will come to you for everything, while the people who don't perform get a free ride and go home early from work every day.

    Learning from my mistakes has taught me a lot (especially in relationships) ... so failure does have it's good points. I just don't like experiencing it.
     
  6. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    I don't fear failure when I'm not invested in the thing I will fail at. Lately I've become uninvested in nearly everything, so I fear nearly nothing. It's all a matter of what the worst that could happen is, and whether or not you can accept that.

    I only fear other's expectations of me when someone is genuinely counting on me.
     
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