“Focus on one objective at a time. Like a microchip, the brain, set on a target, will call into play those mental processes that will bring your efforts to fruition. Your actions will conform to your expectations, thereby bringing about the event. If you believe that you will reach your objective, you will continue to work at a task until you have accomplished it.”
Curing All Fear of Failure
Edited from notes on an audio essay by Earl Nightingale
A clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Ari Kiev writes, “In my practice as a psychiatrist, I have found that helping people to develop personal goals has proven to be the most effective way to help them cope with problems. Observing the lives of people who have mastered adversity, I have noticed,” he writes, “that they have established goals and sought with all their effort to achieve them. From the moment they decided to concentrate all their energies on a specific objective, they began to surmount the most difficult odds.”
So writes Dr. Kiev in his book, A Strategy for Daily Living, “The establishment of a goal is the key to successful living. And the most important step toward achieving an objective is first to define it.” I’m sure you have at least 30 minutes a day in which to list your thoughts about possible goals. Set aside such a period each day for a month. At the end of the time, choose from the possible objectives you have listed, the one that seems most important, and record it separately on a single card. Carry this card with you at all times. Think about this objective every day. Create concrete mental images of the goal, as if you’ve already accomplished it.
The doctor points out, “You can determine your special talents or strengths in a number of ways, ranging from psychological tests to any analysis of the unexpressed wishes in your dreams. No one method works for everyone.” You might start, for example, by clipping and saving magazine and newspaper articles that interest you for 30 days. After which, look for the pervasive trend or trends suggestive of your deep-seated interests and natural strengths. Whenever you discover a strength or talent, think of five possible ways to develop it. Write these strengths down on your card as well, and check it periodically to keep them fresh in your mind.
If possible, have your card laminated and place it on your bathroom mirror so that it is the first and last thoughts of your day. Then focus your day’s energy on this goal and on activities that utilize these natural strengths.
Dr. Kiev continues, “Focus on one objective at a time. Like a microchip, the brain, set on a target, will call into play those mental processes that will bring your efforts to fruition. Your actions will conform to your expectations, thereby bringing about the event. If you believe that you will reach your objective, you will continue to work at a task until you have accomplished it.”
So, take the advice of the psychiatrist Dr. Ari Kiev and don’t be afraid of failure. As Herodotus wrote, “It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen.”