The Biggest Causes Of Worry and Unhappiness

When do we feel extreme stress and worry?  During exams, job interviews, public speaking... Why do we feel extreme stress and worry during these situations? Because we are afraid of failing. So the biggest cause of worry is the fear of failure.

How can we overcome the fear of failure?

Actually, it's not very hard to overcome the fear of failure. Because many situations that we perceive as a failure are not really a failure. It’s just our perception. And we can change our perception if we change our perspective or definition.

For example, we perceive a mistake as a failure. So we are afraid of making mistakes and we try to be perfect. We don't have to be perfect. We have to be better and we can be better by making mistakes. The lessons which are learned from our mistakes are really hard to forget. So making mistakes can be a way to learn and improve ourselves. If we look from this perspective, we can perceive making mistakes as a way of learning.

Now, I'm going to discuss some definitions of success, because definitions significantly affect our perceptions.

Is success earning a lot of money and being famous?

I think, almost everybody, in this world, knows Elvis Presley. Although he was very popular and rich, in the last years of his life, he had psychological problems. He was using many prescription drugs and he was eating junk food to feel better. He died only at the age of 42 because of his unhealthy lifestyle.

Whitney Houston was one of the most popular singers and actresses in the world. When she died because of cocaine intoxication, she was only at the age of 48.

Robin Williams was one most popular comedians in the world but his end was a real tragedy. He hanged himself in his home.

There are many rich and famous people who died at an early age because of drugs and alcohol. Why did they use drugs and alcohol? Because they were unsatisfied and unhappy.

Is success reaching our goals?

You know Christopher Columbus. His goal was going to the Far East and he thought he had discovered a route to the Far East. Although he never reached the Far East, wasn’t he successful?

Do you know Magellan? Generally, we know him as the first explorer who circumnavigates the Earth. It’s partly true.

He organized a Spanish expedition to find a westward route to the Spice Islands. The fleet which commanded by Magellan departed from Spain and went to the West. Magellan managed to find the strait that he believed and passed through it. He sailed across the Pacific and reached the Philippines. Unfortunately, he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. Only one of his ships managed to reach Spain and completed the first circumnavigation of Earth. Although he couldn’t finish his voyage, wasn’t he successful.

“How many times have we read about people who achieve their ultimate life goals only to say, “Is that all there is?” because they feel they have no place to go from the top? A classic example of this is several Apollo astronauts who prepared their entire lives for the ultimate mission: to land on the moon. When they finally did it they were euphoric, but after returning to earth, some of them developed a level of emotional depression beyond what most people could imagine.” Anthony Robbins (excerpted from “Awaken the Giant Within”)

What is Success?

"Obviously, we all have different dreams and ideas of what we want to create for our lives. In addition, I’m very clear that who you know, where you go and what you own are not the true measure of personal success. To me, success is the ongoing process of striving to become more. It is the opportunity to continually grow emotionally, socially, spiritually, physiologically, intellectually, and financially while contributing in some positive way to others. The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached." Anthony Robbins (excerpted from “Unlimited Power”)

Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself…” Viktor Frankl

Earning a lot of money, being famous or reaching our goals is not a success (or not pragmatically right definitions of success). Here is my definition of success: Success is evolving while moving forward on the way that we should go.

According to my definition, Elvis and the others were not successful, because their evolution had stopped. On the other hand, Magellan and Columbus were successful, because they moved forward on the way that they should have gone.

Here is my summary: The fear of failure and wrong definitions of success are the biggest causes of worry and unhappiness. If you want to overcome the fear of failure and be happier, you should change your perspective and definition of success. You can use that definition: Success is evolving while moving forward on the way that we should go.


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