Failure – it’s a very FINAL word. It’s demotivating, depressing and avoided at all costs. The problem is: if you aren’t failing – you aren’t trying. If you aren’t trying… what results can you really expect? I would like to invite you to look at failure in a whole new light. Imagine viewing failure as nothing more than a feedback mechanism. Imagine what you could do…. if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Find a new meaning for failure
How we feel about anything is dependent on the meaning we give it. If failure means we are useless, stupid and weak then it makes sense that we will avoid anything that could end up that way. We naturally want to protect our self-worth. What failure really means is that we haven’t achieved the results we set out for. It means we are working on achieving something. We are stretching out of our comfort zone. We are daring to do something we aren’t certain of. How wonderful! Our self-worth is actually increased when we invite risk, try new things, push our boundaries and challenge ourselves.
Embrace ‘Not Yet’
Traditionally, failure is like saying “The End” after a story. It means there is no chance of success. You can only fail when you stop trying. If you’re still trying – you haven’t failed yet. As long as you can say ‘not yet’ it means you haven’t given up finding a way to achieve your goal. By saying ‘not yet’ we introduce potential, we encourage growth and keep the focus on moving forward.
Mix it up
A single minded approach is bound to cause trouble. When you focus on a single thing, at the expense of other interests, it is bound to be more challenging to keep positive and motivated. The brain is a connection machine – it functions best with variety. How many great breakthroughs were achieved when the individual wasn’t actively trying to solve the problem at hand? AHA moments are more likely when you aren’t trying to ‘force’ your mind to come up with a solution. Give your subconscious space to work on the issue – it is vastly more powerful than our prefrontal cortex (where conscious thinking and problem solving takes place).
Often, when we don’t succeed at something, we learn things that end up being even more important than the original goal. Sticking at something builds resilience, tenacity and strengthens your ability to delay gratification. Delayed gratification is rated as the highest indicator of whether children will grow into successful adults. The skills you learn while TRYING are the skills you need to succeed – in every aspect of your life.