Effect of repeated failures on the self

Acharya Prashant
4 min readMay 15, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Sir, in this age of competition, sometimes we try very hard for various types of examinations. And sometimes — and many times — it is possible that we remain very close but we end up at a failure side. If it keeps continuing, it’s not that we don’t want, we want that, but doesn’t that regular failure hamper our self-confidence? If it does then how to deal with it?

Acharya Prashant: So, are you asking how to deal with repeated failures? That’s the question?

No, dealing with repeated failures is not a problem provided you are failing at something worthwhile. The more important question is, “What are you failing at?” Equally, the more important question is, “What are you succeeding at?” We just say, “I am successful, or I am a failure.” Why don’t we complete the description? What exactly are we successful at? What have we obtained? Or, is it so that we didn’t bother to go deeply into that and we just went by the commonly, socially accepted definitions of success and failure?

Do what is worth doing — relate this answer to the answer that I gave to your neighbor — and then failure would not mean so much to you. Equally, success too will not mean so much to you. It is the doing that will matter. You will say…