Dealing with Disappointment and Fear of Failure


I am 21 years old man and little bit stuck,I wanted to ask how to deal with disappointments , especially when those around you are highly dependent on you and you fail miserably when you didn’t even try hard enough?

And How to accept responsibilities when you always had fear of failure ?

—Sean Kernan, India


Dear Sean,

The responsibilities we are given can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if we feel we are alone in the effort. A fear of failure compounds the burden. If I understand your question completely you feel others are disappointed in your efforts. But really how we are feeling about ourselves colors how we experience the words of others.

I encourage you to start becoming aware of and draw on support both from the resources around you and from God. It is possible to fall into a habit of thought that whatever is happening is entirely up to you to ‘fix’. Thinking in this way leads to being overwhelmed and possibly wanting to give up entirely. If you recognize this habit break it now by seeking resources. Reaching out as you are doing with your question is essential to open the door to assistance. You are not alone in your efforts, none of us are. On the physical plane what resources are available to help with those who you say are dependent on you? Inviting support could be your best possible next step. Be persistent in your search if the first efforts do not yield the help needed. That is how we need to be with all of life’s challenges. Be persistent and creative in your efforts.

Spiritually we are not alone either and this is most important! God is waiting for us to call. Tune into God’s presence every day in the stillness of prayer and meditation. Meditation is essential so we can relax, still the mind and be open to divine whispers of guidance. With regular spiritual practice we become open to the divine flowing through us as we serve others. If you do not have a meditation technique you could look at this free introduction to the basic technique of meditation that Yogananda brought, Meditation Mini-Course. If you find this helpful there is so much more to learn about spiritual practices and you might want to investigate our online courses.

A third point to keep in is the need to recharge yourself daily with divine energy, inspiration and joy. Our ‘batteries’ become drained when put out effort without recharging. Meditation, discussed above is so helpful for this. Also are you taking time to exercise? This is essential to keep up your energy. Are you taking time to be with supportive friends who nourish you? Are you taking time to eat well and rest well? Be mindful of what you need to replenish yourself so that you can support others from a place of strength.

This is an important time in your life to learn how to live in the highest way and your current challenges give you the motivation to do this. I encourage you to start taking the beneficial steps that will help move you forward on your path.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti