Redefining Failure

I don’t know about you, but I spent my life in fear of failure.  And what exactly IS failure?  After all, every great success story has a lot of glorious failures that precede it – often failures that are credited and celebrated in hindsight.  Despite this, thinking of failing holds us back… However, it is not really the ‘failure’ that we fear – for most common things in life, it is really the internal dialog of criticism we fear.  And that, of course, makes sense – because being berated and picked on is NOT enjoyable. It does not feel good. And when it is ourselves that is doing it, then we can’t even get away from it.  Hence, we choose to not even try something new because we cannot handle being beat up by ourselves again.

So, to actually change, we need to redefine failure.  All success and change comes from *trying*.  Trying something and having it not go the way you expected is called *learning*.  The next time you do it, it will be better because it won’t be brand new.  When we live outside our comfort zone, e.g. “try” new things, of COURSE there will be some stumbles and mistakes.  Define THAT as success.  Success is trying new things – regardless of how they turn out.  Otherwise, we only stay imprisoned in our comfort zones.

When we try to be perfectionists, we actually hold ourselves back in growth and in experiences.  After all, if we ‘must’ do it perfectly in order to feel okay afterwards, then we rarely feel okay.  And if we know we’ll feel miserable, then we convince ourselves to not even try.  So sometimes we mess up.  So sometimes we have bad days where we revert to old habits.  We all have bad days, and if we let that derail us from our vision forward, we end up stuck where we are.  But true success is becoming ‘aware‘ of the fact that we had a “old habit” day, praising ourselves for that awareness, and then getting right back to it!  When we do that enough times, the new will become the habit!  The past is always the past, even if it was just yesterday. Congratulate yourself in THIS present moment for again choosing to make any step towards who you want to be.  Nothing is truly lost by a step backwards if we just acknowledge it, let it go, and then take another step forwards.

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