Why Failure Is Good For You And Necessary For Your Success
Here is another #lifelesson for you:
You probably failed more than once in your life – like millions of other people and myself. Actually, without failure, without trial and error – nothing would exist. Or at least not as developed as it is: Failure means development. Nature had to fail a million times before humankind could emerge out of a bunch of mutations.
Failure is a big topic for me right now in my life. I am, so to say, mastering my failures.
There is one area of my life that seems like I can not figure it out – yet. I’ve been fumbling and trying and changing and arranging and failing and attempting new approaches to it for 4+ years now.
Yes, call me persistent, because I am. I sometimes feel like a freaking piranha with things that I really want to figure out. I kind of hate it, but I don’t let go before I EAT THAT BITCH OF A PROBLEM. But that’s just me.
Wanting to change one area of your life and not being able to come even close to your goal has a high frustration level.
I wake up many mornings, feeling like a complete failure – and now listen carefully: Not that I failed, but if I WAS the failure myself. And that’s fucking toxic but a common error of thinking, too.
I identified with not reaching what I wanted to be true in my life; I took it personally.
It went so far that I actually had thoughts that came close to suicide (I will probably never take my own life, and even in my darkest times I love it too much and always have an anchor – like my husband, my family, my purpose – so do not worry, please) but I came to a point where I understood, or PROBABLY CAME CLOSE TO UNDERSTANDING, why people take their own lives. How desperate and hopeless they may feel and how much they IDENTIFY with their negative experiences.
I wished I had a button that I could press to erase my whole past and start over new. I wanted to just disappear and maybe reappear in a different life, a quiet and simple life – perhaps somewhere at sea.
And I can imagine that people do that, just leave everything behind and take on new identities. That is not an option for me. Well, not yet at least 😉
So each and every time after I dove into my failure and wished I could undo things, but I know that is not an option and that I had to take on responsibility.
And that taking responsibility doesn’t mean beating myself up, but to simply acknowledge what went wrong and then course correct.
There is no need to drown in tears, panic and bad feelings – yet I did many times.
But that realization also gave me a new sense of power each time.
I started to understand that I AM NOT my failure. Failure is just an event. It just is. It’s like a child learning to walk. You drop a hundred times before it’s you get the hang of walking.
You never said as the cute and clumsy toddler that you were: “Ok, fuck it, I probably will never walk, so I’ll stay here on the floor, crawling for the rest of my life.”
No. Everyone around you walked upright, and why shouldn’t you? You didn’t IDENTIFY with dropping back on the floor.
Did you ever observe children when they learn to walk?
They even laugh their asses off when they drop on the floor, maybe clap their hands in excitement about making it on their own feet and then get back up.
It’s hilarious and wonderful. And yes – that was you, too! You have it inside of you. Everyone has. We all are bold adventurers. We all can make everything happen. And we can make it easy, or we can make it hard.
It’s always just a choice.
The disaster is, though, that somewhere along the time when we grew up, we learned that failing is something bad.
We learned that failing means that we are not enough. By being judged in school (and whatever else), we learned to focus on what we are NOT good at. If you sucked at math – you were forced to work harder to become good at it. Meanwhile, you maybe were a stunning artist, that got barely recognized, or even less supported or acclaimed.
Our school system is from the past, and it changes, slowly. Our thinking is from the past. Focusing on what doesn’t work – simply doesn’t work.
It doesn’t make any sense to now resent your teachers and everybody who showed you this “wrong” way of thinking – and if you have to, if resentment IS coming up, let it come up and then DECIDE to forgive and let it go.
The way out is to rewire your brain. Start to detach from your failures, mistakes, errors – however you want to call it.
They are only events in your life, but they are not YOU, and YOU are not them.
They don’t define your sense of worth.
But they DO define you as a person.
And that’s great news actually because when you make them your friends, you can learn awesome stuff.
Every time you drop back on the floor, you know what doesn’t work, and you can focus back on what probably does work AND what you want.
Stay focused on what you want. Not what you think you should want. Not what you think others want you to want. Not what you think would be appropriate to want or what you maybe could have if you wanted it. Nope, nope, all of it nope.
Focus on what YOU want. What your heart desires. On what you know is yours, like you knew you WILL walk.
And then move towards it, step by step. Be your own best friend on that journey and cheer yourself up instead of pulling yourself down.
It can be a super helpful practice for you to take 5 minutes every evening and recall what went well during your day.
Write it down.
You can write down what went well and what you achieved.
Acknowledge even the small things, like cooking lunch or cleaning the bathroom. Everything counts. Even tying your shoes.
We do so many things each day and totally forget that many of them are not guaranteed.
Make yourself a hero!
You can make your notes each night in your phone, a notebook or index cards that you put into a box.
It will make you feel good immediately, and if you feel especially down, you can review ALL YOUR AWESOME ACHIEVEMENTS.
You and you alone can rewrite the story of your life from one of failure and despair into one of achievement and power.