Psycho-Cybernetics Part 17 of 30: Avoiding F.A.I.L.U.R.E.
June 2, 2009 by Dr. Lam
Today we are going to talk about how to avoid our Automatic Failure Mechanism by painting a detailed picture of what failure is using the acronym of F.A.I.L.U.R.E.:
Frustration, hopelessness, futility- Frustration over your life circumstances and a view of your life as futile comes from one of two perspectives: unrealistic goals or poor self image. When we set ourselves up for failure by creating perfectionistic goals rather than practical ones, we are driven to try to attain things that may not ever happen. We might just set ourselves up for failure. It is not bad to have great dreams but when those dreams become the source of frustration, we need to reevaluate the dream itself. Or, we need to see whether we have such a poor self image that we cannot see but dissatisfaction with everything that we do or try to do.
Aggressiveness (misdirected)- Frustration leads to aggressiveness like day leads to night, as Maltz says. When we are confronted with frustration, we turn that energy into anger and aggression. We reach a boiling point that makes us lash out to those around us without our even knowing it sometimes. We must not allow our frustration to turn to this aggressiveness. One of the best therapies to break this frustration-aggression cycle is exercise: channel your misdirected energies into physical activity that will help your body rather than shooting out at everyone around you without regard to why you are doing that.
Insecurity- Maltz talks about how two patients who both receive similar cosmetic surgery and with similar benefits have completely different responses. One person has a life-changing experience and moves forward. The other individual can barely see the improvement and is mired in self doubt and hatred. The difference lies in one’s own self image. With a bad self image, one cannot move beyond it despite physical proof to the contrary. With a good self image, one sees the improvements and accepts those changes. Sometimes we can raise ourselves from our own insecurity by setting a new life goal that we can move toward. Without goals in life, we are a ship that does not know which way we should go and that can breed insecurity.
Loneliness (lack of “oneness”)- Loneliness sometimes is a protective mechanism in which we shield ourselves from emotional pain but not establishing ties with others. But by doing so, we freeze ourselves into a terrible condition. To talk, laugh, party, dance, and enjoy the company of others is pleasurable and can enhance our own success mechanism. To stay standoffish can lead to our own crippling Automatic Failure Mechanism.
Uncertainty- Philosopher Elbert Hubbard said, “The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one.” The idea is that if we don’t make a decision then we will not have any consequence. We must make mistakes and move forward and not be ruled by the uncertainty of a decision. Maltz uses the example of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes will make a decisive deduction and sometimes be dead wrong. Rather than cowl in embarrassment, he makes a turn and moves forward with more decisions ultimately to arrive at the right one. We should not be crippled by our decisions but be able to make wrong ones so that we have a chance of arriving at the right ones.
Resentment- Being resentful makes it virtually impossible for you to have a good self image in which you helm the captain of your own ship. Resentment means that you are allowing others to rule over you, but you can rule your own destiny. Stop blaming your parents, your spouse, your circumstances, your boss, or any external factor or person that you believe is limiting you from your own success.
Emptiness- Oftentimes we see people who are seemingly successful despite being resentful, lonely, insecure, aggressive, and frustrated. But many of these individuals who have strived for monetary gain may be left with only a feeling of emptiness. I like what Maltz says, “Life becomes worthwhile when you have worthwhile goals.”
The two companion blogs on S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and F.A.I.L.U.R.E. are so rich with content that I would advise you to reread them again when you have time or at the conclusion of the entire blog series and stop and meditate on each letter. I would also recommend buying the book, The New Psycho-Cybernetics, and reading those chapters because there is just too much good content there that I cannot and should not reproduce in my blog series out of respect for the author.