Overachievers And Failure

overachievers and failureThis past weekend while watching television, I forget the show, but they were talking about the relationship between overachievers and failure in a completely different perspective than I am used to thinking.

Overachievers And Failure

Okay, I admit it… I watched A LOT of TV this weekend and right now, I am catching up on season six of Game of Thrones. We all know that Jon Snow died at the end of season five and he comes back to life in season six. Yay!

But after he came back and was figuring out what to do next he was lamenting his woes to Davos Seaworth about how he, Jon, had failed as the Lord Commander. It was then that Davos told him to more or less get back out there and “fail again.” Actually, I think he told him to “fail again” two or three more times.

Now when it comes to achievement and success, we look at it this typical way. You go for it, whatever it may be, you fail, you learn, then you go back at it again until the time that you succeed and achieve what it is that you set out to do.

It’s the whole ancient Japanese proverb of “Fall down seven times, stand up eight,” kind of thing.

But like I said, I was watching a lot of television this weekend, and in another show it was implied that overachievers (whom I consider to usually be successful) actually have an inherent fear of failure. That when it comes to overachievers and failure they don’t get what they get done because they are necessarily resilient to setbacks, or are adept at taking risks, it is mostly because they are just plain afraid of failure.

So… which is it then? Is all success equal regardless of the mode of operation that gets you there?

Dividing them into two separate camps of those who are successful, I guess that it is possible to have those in one camp who succeed and achieved but only out of fear.

Then in the other camp, you have those who have achieved because they are not risk averse, who are consistent in their endeavors, who keep at whatever they are doing until they get it right, and who put in the hard work until they get what they want.

After giving this some thought, I have to say that a fear-based approach to success is not the best way to go even though it might get you there, you are still living in fear. And living in fear is for starters never fun, and depending on your views regarding the Law of Attraction, etc… fear only attracts what you are afraid of and on top of that, even more things to be afraid of. Although success might be achieved, that success is founded solely on negative energy. In other words… if you fear failure, doesn’t that make it more likely that you will attract it?

Maybe it is a part of my slacker mentality coming out but I’d much rather embrace failure as an option as it leads to learning and refinement of MY process of doing things. I’d much rather fall down and laugh at myself than to be afraid of falling down all of the time. I would much rather live in faith rather than fear that all of my hard work day after day will eventually (if not soon) pay off.

So I don’t buy the whole argument that when it comes to overachievers and failure that fear is the only thing that can make someone successful or not. Fear might be a decent motivator for a short term – but never should fear based success be the model to follow for all successes in life.

Otherwise, as I said earlier… all you are doing is living in fear and where is the fun in that? Right?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 22 July 2010

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