How is your relationship with failure?
It doesn’t come in a pill, and let’s face it – you wouldn’t take it if it did.
But failure is in fact an essential ingredient for healthy growth.
Failure is not the opposite of success, but it is actually an important part of success. We tend to think of failure as something that ‘gets in the way’ and ‘sets us back’, something that doesn’t happen to successful people.
But in fact, successful people often do the most failing. That is why they are so experienced, and their experience is why they are so successful.
Success is about the whole journey, not just what happens at the end of your life. Every time you fall and get back up, you are already a success.
Someone who has climbed all sorts of obstacles, pushed through fears, challenged their beliefs, and stretched what they thought were their limits, is going to feel a greater sense of satisfaction than someone who reached a goal without even trying.
Besides, if you had the chance to erase all of your past ‘failures’, would you also willingly give up all of the lessons you subsequently learned?
When things don’t turn out the way we expected, we are often so focused on what went wrong, that we can’t see everything else that has shifted around it and opened up new opportunities.
Any time you fail at something, ask yourself: what opportunity is this situation presenting to me?
When something ‘goes wrong’….. you have an opportunity to make it better.
When something breaks….. you have an opportunity to rebuild it even stronger.
When something turns out the way you did not want….. you are presented with an even clearer picture of what you DO want.
When the approach that you have always used no longer works….. you are blessed with an opportunity to expand your thinking.
When you are presented with a challenge….. you have an opportunity to increase your skills.
When you think you are incapable of handling something….. you are about to find out how clever you really are.
When you fail…
…It means you are having a go.
…It means you are going after your dreams.
…It means that you have a chance, because you are trying.
…It means you have just gained more experience.
… It means you are closer to getting you what you want.
…It means you know another way not to do something.
…It means you are becoming stronger.
…It means that you will have more confidence the next time you go to do it again.
…It means that you are becoming more of an expert in what you are doing.
…It means you can help someone who wants to do what you are doing.
To be honest, failure means whatever you decide to make it mean. You can make it mean something limiting and negative, and use it as an excuse to not to get up and try again. Or, you can choose one of the more empowering meanings from above, and discover your potential.
Failure is the edge of expansion that we need to cross. It causes us to learn more, grow more, and become more. So get out there and fail! It’s the most valuable education available.