Beyond The Fear of Failure – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 21, 2011

Today’s Thought

“The fear of failure is the shortest route to it.”
~ Ray Davis

Success writer John C. Maxwell, in his book Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success, says the following.

“Failure is an inside job. So is success. If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first. You can’t let the failure outside you get inside you.”

I was recently reading an article where they were comparing Japanese and American students’ approaches to learning. The writer pointed out that it is not uncommon to see a Japanese student fail numerous times on his or her way to learning something successfully. In Japan, there is no stigma to failing along the road to success. It is an expected and accepted part of the learning process.

In the United States, we attach a tremendous amount of stigma to failing. So much so that American students are generally not willing to go through the process of failing to learn. American students tend to focus their attention on subjects where they can be successful and shy away from subjects where failure might be involved.

So instead of going through the failure to learn process we often hear our children say things like, “I hate math.” They don’t really mean that they have something personal against math. What they are saying is, “I would have to fail too many times to get math and I’m not willing to do it.”

I’m not here to say that one nation’s approach to learning is superior. However, this fear of failing extends beyond school and impacts our adult life as well. Many people have big dreams or goals they would like to accomplish, but, again, they are still not willing feel the sting of failure to get there. Instead, they learn to play it safe just as their children do with the math.

That’s where my little aphorism at the top comes in. When fear failure so much that we are unwilling to try, unwilling to risk learning new things and failing a little; we cannot achieve our goals and dreams. All because of the stigma of failure.

Recondition yourself to overcome your fear of failure. In an outstanding article, Olimpio Zapanta offers five steps for overcoming the fear of failure.

  1. Divorce failure from your self-esteem.
  2. Failure is not all bad. It can be a great teacher.
  3. Failure and success are intimately linked – failure is often a prerequisite for success.
  4. Successful people fail constantly. That’s how they succeed.
  5. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect before you go for it.

With these five great steps and determination, don’t let the fear of failure sidetrack you from your destiny! Remember that “A Success” is what we call someone who had the courage to persist through failures.

Success and failure are not the result of circumstances. They are not the result of intelligence or luck. All of these things can contribute, but the overwhelming predictor of success is the refusal to give up. Your dreams await. They may be eleven steps away. Don’t called it a failure on step 9.

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams. He is author of the Anunnaki Awakening science fiction trilogy.

The Trust/Fear Cycle – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 27, 2010

My Thought for Today:

“Fear consumes us unless and until we give in completely to trust.”

Let me ask you a question. What makes it hard for you to trust other people? Take a moment and think about the reasons you have a hard time trusting people? Come up with a few reasons before you continue reading.

I’m guessing that if you examine your reasons, they center around past hurts and the fear of feeling that way again. Maybe you feel others will take advantage of you or you have even experienced others taking advantage of you in the past. Maybe you fear looking foolish by “putting yourself out there” only to have someone betray you. These are all valid reasons to fear trusting.

Let me ask you this. What steps – mental or even physical – do you take in your life to avoid having to trust others for fear of being hurt or being taken advantage of? Think about how you feel when you are asked to trust. Think about how you respond when asked to trust. Now ask yourself why you feel that way?

Do you put up walls or even aggressively push people away? Do you believe you are doing this “protect yourself”?

Now step outside of yourself and focus on the other person who is considering the possibility of having to trust you. Is it possible he or she has also had past hurts? Has also learned defense mechanisms to avoid or limit exposure in a trusting relationship?

Perhaps you have both been hurt in the past and would have no intention of hurting the other. However, your past conditioning prevents you from finding out because you have shields up. Instead of experiencing and growing trust, you both do things that continue to reinforce your belief that trusting others in dangerous. You wind up hurting each other simply due to a failure to see this situation as unique and to be authentically you.

Now expand this scenario to every relationship in your life. In fact, extend it to all the relationships on this planet – individual, ethnic, national, political, religious. Too often, we are operating with our trust shields up for fear of being hurt.

How much pain, bloodshed, and unhappiness do you suppose this mindset creates on our planet – not to mention your life – every day?

“But, I have been hurt,” you argue. You’re right. You have. That person you want relationship with has as well. So has that other ethnic group, religion, or political party. Can you not see their pain through your own?

We have all been hurt, not because we trust too much, but because we trust too little. We are aggressive and defensive in an attempt to protect ourselves when simply seeing each situaion as fresh and unique could lead to a different outcome. When being our authentic selves instead of our on-guard selves could create new connections and possbilities. When remembering our common humanity and acknowledging our common fears could breakdown desperate paradigms and transform this world.

So, what is the answer? How do we change it? Well, none of us can do the work of changing this situation for others. We can only be cognizant of the ways we contribute to it in our own lives and strive to do better.

Maybe, just maybe, we will find that when we drop our shields and trust more others will be willing to do the same.

Stay inspired!

Ray

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The Parable of Fear and Success

My Thought of the Day:

“The fear of failure is the shortest route to it. The fear of success is a close second.”

Here is a brief little parable about fear, failure, and success that dropped into my mind out of the ether today. Thought I would share

Once I feared failure, but failure came and I survived.
Then I feared success, but success came and I thrived.
Then I feared losing my success, but my success ebbed and flowed and my life kept moving forward.
Finally, I chose not to fear, but simply to do my best and make the most of each moment; allowing the results to take care of themselves.

Stay inspired!

Ray

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Collective Mental Empowerment Part I – The Affirmation Spot for Monday June 22, 2009

Today’s affirmation is:

“Change the world…I am changing the world one loving action at a time.” (Click to download this affirmation in MP3 audio)

Man_StressedToday in Part I of II we will explore the ways in which broad swaths of humanity are systematically, divided and disempowered (i.e. The Problem).  We briefly look at the methods used today and through the centuries – consciously or unconsciously – by religious, political, and ideological leaders to control, manipulate, and get the masses to serve  the leaders’ interests rather than their own.

The key is that you cannot counter disempowering messages until you clearly recognize them in the mental environment around you. This is going deep for a Monday, but the issue of collective empowerment and the tools of disempowerment are critical to our ability to advance. In Part II, we will discuss some possible solutions.

The Problem: Collective Forms of Disempowerment

When most people think of empowered thinking or motivation they think of it on the scale of the individual. This is appropriate since all change that comes to our individual lives or the collective world is generated within us first. However, the collective mental environment can and does have a very real impact on all of our lives and outcomes.

So, nothing discussed in this article should be interpreted to encourage you to fall into the trap of “waiting until the world is perfect” before you act to better your circumstances. Today’s post is not designed to provide a reason to avoid moving forward in your own life, but is rather a nod to the fact that our collective thought environment does impact us all.

What is the state of our collective thought environment today on planet Earth? Are people largely empowered to pursue who they are, their goals and dreams, and live out their purposes; or are people largely discouraged from doing so? Do those conditions really differ so much from “free nations” to “unfree nations” or are the means of the disempowerment simply more sophisticated? Does freedom consist of being able to take a vacation once a year and pulling a lever to pick a leader every few years? Isn’t it about true self-determination and the right to live your purpose?

“None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.” ~ Goethe

I would argue that most people never question the religion they were born into, rarely question the political system they were born into, rarely question the national motives of their government, fail to see the ways their behaviors are drastically altered by advertisers and societal conformity-meisters. I am not suggesting that any particular system is right or wrong; only that most people have no idea about the truth, wisdom, or benefits because they have never looked into it for themselves. They have obtained their wisdom, beliefs, and habits second-hand.

Given this, most of humanity can be persuaded to see those who differ from them as threat, less than, or even unworthy to live. How did we reach these conclusions? Did we even reach them for ourselves or have we been swept along by the mindless forces of societies carefully conditioned by thought-shapers?

Adolph Hitler’s Information Minister Joseph Goebbels clearly stated the point of view of those who seek to disempower the people.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

~ Joseph Goebbels – Adolph Hitler’s Information Minister

“It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.”

~ General Douglas MacArthur

I would argue that most us have not made the conscious choices on these issues based on reason or from a love-centered perspective. Instead, we have been propelled along by fear-centered, conditioned thinking that operates only at the level of mere survival and places the highest value on comfort.

We are content to allow “the experts” to think for us. We place a high degree of faith in the fact that these experts and institutions would never break our trust and have our best interests at heart.

This mindset is shaped by events and crises planted in our minds by media, government, religion, and the people around us – themselves conditioned by the same forces. The mindset is encouraged by “positive” messages like “All is well”, “Keep shopping”, “We’ll take care of you” or “negative” messages like “It’s a dangerous world out there”, “We’ll protect you”, “Don’t question the leaders”. Concepts like patriotism, religious heresy, and social outcasting are used to keep the majority in line and in control.

You may have heard some of the tell-tale signs of this disempowerment escape your own lips at times:

  • “You can’t fight city hall.”
  • “They would never…”
  • “That’s just the way the world has always been.”
  • “Corruption is to be expected.”
  • “What can one person do?”
  • “I can’t do anything about it.”

I would further argue, that while some of this is harmless advertising or persuasion, much of it is carefully planned and implemented to shape the world in a way that empowers a few and disempowers the many.

Occasionally, a moment of awakening happens, as events in Iran over the past few days have again demonstrated. These moments often erupt with anger and violence like the jolt of an earthquake when the Earth’s crust finally must give way to the force.

Suddenly the level of discomfort becomes sufficient for people to act out. The thought shapers fully expect that is will happen occasionally. Yet, they know they can generally wait out the people and things will die down.

These situations could be avoided or lessened significantly by reducing the stresses that oppression, of all kinds, inevitably creates. In the next article, we will explore ways to do that. For now let’s define the problem.

The problem can be summed up in a simple equation.

Fear-Based Thinking + Short Circuit of Love-Based and Reason-Based Thinking = Mental/Spiritual Disempowerment

In other words, we are disempowered to the degree that we make our decisions based on fear rather than love or reason. This scenario is usually presented to us in the Chicken Little Formula. The sky is falling and unless you act on a prescribed solution right this moment you are going to lose something of value. Alternatives are few or one and there is no time for discussion. Often we are told there is no alternative (TINA). Sound familiar?

When we are forced think from our fear-center we are not able to evaluate situations from reason or love….it’s physically impossible. So, if someone wants you disempowered, they must keep you in perpetual fear of someone or something. Our political, religious, and media leaders do a very effective job at promoting fear and activating our fear-center of thinking.

“Hurry, ” they say. “There is crisis. We must act NOW!” When a herd of cattle acts now from fear they can run right off a cliff.

Constant Crisis = Perpetual Fear

The Economy

The Climate

War and Peace

Global Pandemic

End Times

Earth’s Destruction


Your disempowerment always accrues to those spreading the fear as more power for them…always. If humanity is to progress and prosper, we need to deactivate our fear centers and activate our reasoning and love centers. Doing so immunizes us against the constant fear being planted in our subconscious.

There are three broad systems (with many guises and derivations) that implement the fear and execute the transfer of power from the people to those generating monster shadows on the walls of your mind.

It must be said that the mere existence of these systems is not the real cause of our problems. For none of them could exist without the consent of a lot of people. It is the way that billions of people on this planet voluntarily cede their thought processes, their attitudes, their beliefs, and ultimately their actions to these systems that makes them possible. The real culprit that underlies all negative emotion and the propagation of these mindsets on the planet is FEAR.

The three disempowerment systems that drain collective human empowerment are:

  1. Political tyranny – tyranny happens in the political realm when the many give away their innate dignity and freedom to choose to a political/financial elite out of fear – often manipulated or perceived fear. Two scenarios are common:
    • A strong leader such as a Hitler or Mussolini comes along promising a return to greatness and initially playing on peoples’ innate desire to achieve. Slowly, the dictator accrues more and more power to himself, using the ultimate goal as the excuse. There is often a cult of personality that develops around the leader. This proceeds until no one can question the leader.
    • Tyrants often find it effective to have external threats or internal crises (real or manufactured) to help them unify the people against something big and scary and consolidate power.
  2. Religious Dogma – we should be clear that religious dogma is not religious faith or spiritual practice. Dogma rules the spiritual realm when we trade an ever-living relationship with our spiritual core or the divine for a system of static rules and tradition administered by an elite religious hierarchy. The hierarchy place limits on the human beings under their control by positioning themselves and their rules as a false intermediary between the individual and God. Most people on the planet believe in a divinity and an after life in one form or another. The fear factor when people believe religious elites hold eternal fates in their hands, is very high. People obey for fear of losing their eternal souls. It’s a ready source of control and manipulation. Generally, these systems seek to discredit all other means of worship and sometimes even counter the basics of their own teachings to support or actively participate in attacks on believers in other systems.
  3. Ideological Conformity – ideological conformity is a kind of modern, more sophisticated synthesis of tyranny and dogma. It incorporates formal conditioning with “the cool factor”.  People are more concerned with what is perceived as cool than what is right or what makes sense. It was not really possible until the age of mass media. It is perhaps the most pernicious because it uses modern advertising and mind conditioning techniques to encourage the masses to place mental and sometimes physical shackles on their own hands, feet, and minds. Modern advertising and psychology have the methods for mass manipulation down to a science. The completely systematic pattern in this system is to take a legitimate concern such as terrorism or environmental degradation, blow it completely out of proportion to its reality, and then condition, condition, condition until people willingly buy into the ideological elite’s solutions to the problems. This usually involves a loss of personal freedom, the imposition of self-policing of the ideology, and an ever-present burning crisis that makes the whole system necessary.

Fear is Why These Systems Succeed

The common thread in all of these systems is fear. Fear that is used by a few to manipulate, limit, and control the aspirations, thoughts, and dreams of the many. These mindsets reduce the vibration and the possibility in the collective mental/spiritual environment and place false limits on individuals and humanity as a whole. This system benefits the few who perpetuate it, but reduces horizons for those of us who allow ourselves to be controlled by it.

Fear and the Brain

Stress and the Brain



These strategies are highly effective in telling us what’s cool and what’s uncool, who to admire and who to despise, who to point the guns and the bombs at, and who is in God’s favor and who is not. Oh, and by the way, they’re also good at selling us products because it is the exact same process.

“From a marketing point of view, you don’t roll out new products in August.” –White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, on why the Bush administration waited until after Labor Day to try to sell the American people on war against Iraq, “New York Times” interview, Sept. 7, 2002 (Source)

The strategy in each system is to activate the fear center in your brain. You’re afraid of external threats, going to hell, terrorists, financial meltdown, global warming, or the next pandemic. There is a legitimate reason for associating fear with each of these things. If any of them were to actually occur, it could be frightening. Fear short circuits reason and absolutely disempowers those who succumb to it.

What the fear-masters have recognized is that as long as you are afraid you won’t question or reason out their solutions. The key is to keep you perpetually in fear mode. The fear center of the human brain reacts completely on survival instinct and emotion.

Reason-centered, or better love-centered, thinking does not even get tagged into the ring to have its chance. They can manipulate the majority any time they want as certainly as getting cash out of an ATM – as long as you and I let them.

“He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.”

~ Andrew Carnegie

Have you noticed in the past few years how many “worst crises” we’ve ever faced have been foist upon us? How many of them have actually been true? How much real solid evidence or facts were we given to back up the claims? Have you reasonably looked at alternative information or courses of action or have we simply reacted in a manner consistent with the ready-made solutions?

The truth of the scenario quickly loses ground amid the herd mentality thinking that follows. Something need not be true it simply needs to be scary enough to convince us to relinquish a little personal power. With each crisis, we give up a little bit more. What have we given up in response to these repetitive fear-centered activations?

Of course, the final illusion in all these systems is that we readily see it in other peoples’ beliefs, but not our own. This fun fact makes it easy for the differences to be stirred up as sources of conflict by those imposing the systems of mind control.

This is a big topic and there could be books written on it. The key is to remember that when you or any of us are making decisions from a place of fear we are not thinking clearly. We can be convinced to act against our own best interests and even our most cherished beliefs.

That is the problem. In Part II, we will discuss some ways we can mitigate these techniques and begin to empower our thinking and that of the people around us.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

Random Thoughts #8 – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday January 8, 2009

lightbulb Occasionally, I like to share random thoughts that have been floating around in my mind. I don’t know why they are there. The fact that they persist tells me I should share them with you. May they add meaning to your day and provoke consideration.

  • When love and peace win people are empowered. Where war and fear reign people are enslaved.
  • When there is a pill for everything there is a solution for nothing.
  • No government can grant you freedom you will not grant yourself. No government can deny you empowerment you have claimed for yourself.
  • Happiness is a limitless resource not a zero sum game.
  • The journey of a thousand miles may begin with the first step, but the first step is prompted by an empowered thought.
  • Life comes with no warranties. It is full of opportunity and peril and a little of each in the other. Seize your opportunities!

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!