Since January 2012, i have failed a grand total of 32 times, a personal record of mine in the 28 years i’ve been alive as a human being. Am i failure? Do i curl up in the corner and admit defeat?, or do i dust myself off and keep going?
Looking back at my failures, they have been the most painful yet humble experiences i’ve ever experienced. From the times i spent crying, wondering why i’m so unlucky. Feeling down around my family and trying to stay strong in order to not worry them. To looking around at my peers and wondering why i’m so far behind in comparison to everyone else… It all seemed unfair.
Yet the rational side of me has always questioned why things are the way they are.
It’s not until i remind myself of the reality of the situation when i start to make sense of my frustrations and understand that it is the way it is for a reason. All of us have personal problems which we have to resolve.
Some are more fortunate than others in certain areas whilst others go through hardship in others. The reality is, none of us are born perfect.
‘Danielle Laporte’ wrote a short yet powerful piece recently which really struck a chord with me on the aspect of how to guarantee failure by proceeding and moving forward. It resonates with me because it encapsulates the very essence of what life’s really about.
As a species, we are designed to value the things we work hard towards. The rules of life is built by this fact and is challenging for a reason. Our sense of confidence, courage, happiness and satisfaction lies in the concept that all of us need to work hard towards something that allows us to feel contribution in our lives and to the world we live in.
A goal given is not as valued or appreciated as a goal that is worked.
A critic critiquing a dish for example will never value the level of effort put into it than the chef who spent hours in the kitchen preparing the sauce, picking the ingredients, simmering the stove and finalizing the finishing touches.
In other words, it’s our hard work and effort we value the most and not the goal itself.
It’s for this reason why most of us get frustrated and unable to make progress. We fail to recognize why we’ve gone wrong and instead choose to focus on the effort we put into the things we did and begin blaming others on our downfall.
Having experienced this at first hand, i eventually had no choice but to change my focus and to understand that everything in my life is ‘within my control’.
This does 2 things –
1) It forces you to be humble and accept humility.
2) It diverts your attention from the work you put in, to how you can make amends for the future.
What changes can you make that will improve your situation?
The reason why we fail isn’t because we’re failures, but simply because along the way, we did something wrong which caused us to fail.
Failure then, isn’t something to be afraid of or to stop you from moving forward. Failure provides you with 2 very important things –
1) The experience of where and why you went wrong.
2) The wisdom and opportunity to try something else and to find a solution.
This is what makes success happen and is the formula to making your goals a reality. The path along the way will provide you with experience, knowledge, character, a sense of achievement and a rock solid belief in yourself which will do wonders for your self-confidence.
When looking at it from this context, it becomes evidently clear that it’s not as bad as we think it is, nor as bad as ‘not doing it’ and staying within the confines of our perceived limitations.
Feel the fear and fail anyway. You will thank yourself for doing it with 100% certainty!
photo credit: notsogoodphotography