Fear of Failure

Person Covering Face With Hand

Anthony is a divorced middle-aged man living with his teenage son Robert, an aspiring engineer. Robert is waiting for the results of his entrance examination. He wishes to enrol in IIT.

On the day before the results, Anthony gifts Robert an expensive laptop for his engineering studies. He even promised his son that they will celebrate his success together by going out to a five-star hotel for dinner.

 Anthony was unaware that Robert is under intense pressure. The expensive laptop only fuelled Robert’s worries as to –

What will happen if he does not make it?

People will call him a “loser’.

Man in Black Shirt and Gray Denim Pants Sitting on Gray Padded Bench

The next day, while checking the results at his apartment, Robert finds out that he has not qualified for IIT in JEE Advanced results and, afraid of being called a “loser”, he jumps off the balcony. 

Anthony rushes to the hospital with his blood-soaked son. The doctor informs Anthony that Robert’s condition is deteriorating because Robert does not have the will to live.

Anthony was devastated. He would sit with his injured son, for hours together. With time, Anthony came to know the reason for his son’s action. He came to know that Robert had fear of failure.

Anthony started watching “comedy films” and “comedy content” with Robert. Anthony started talking to Robert that completing “the engineering course” is more important than getting into IIT. Learning is more important than from where you are learning. 

Anthony told Robert that he should keep trying and if he fails he should try again. He should learn from his mistakes and try to avoid the mistakes the next time. Failing will help him learn more.

Robert’s fear of failure, about being judged as a “loser”, was only his mind game. Anthony showed him autobiographies of famous personalities and how they overcame their failures. Anthony wanted to make Robert aware that no one is “perfect” and all have to taste “failure”, only then they can succeed.

Anthony had searched for engineering colleges that Robert could join, depending on his entrance examination marks. Anthony just wanted to show Robert that there are many options available for Robert.

Robert with all this care and efforts put in by his father was getting better. His health was improving and he was taking an interest by searching the engineering colleges that Anthony had suggested.

After a month, Robert was back home and was energised to start his engineering course. Robert studied hard and became the topper in his college. Looking at all this Anthony was happy.

Despite losing the IIT seat, Robert studied hard and topped his engineering exams. He tried to win instead of bowing out of the fear of losing, and put in a lot of efforts in his studies. 

Robert in his upcoming life behaved like a fighter and forgot the tags of winner and loser, he only concentrated on “doing” and “trying”. This helped him overcome his “fear of failure”.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

 ― Thomas A. Edison

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