“Some of us feel ashamed of failure and others overlook it,
but neither will help.“
Most tend to see failing as something that is frowned upon. We let failure define us and allow it to cause our incline to plateau. For years, I’ve labeled myself as “the one who always falls short”. While identifying with this, I allow discouraging thoughts to attack and tell me there is no bright future anymore. And I believe that I’ve messed up too many times to make a comeback.
Something I’ve discovered and am continuously working on, is seeing failure as a teacher. Some of us feel ashamed of failure and others overlook it, but neither will help. It should actually be something that is seen as valuable, no matter the size. Without failure, we wouldn’t notice the opportunities to learn, change, or succeed. It builds us and helps us become more intelligent for the next level in our lives. Once I discovered this, I knew I needed to switch my thinking and stop condemning myself, and instead, embrace failing.
Below are 4 steps of how I switched my mindset into loving failure:
1 – Don’t resist the mistake, accept it.
This is a big one for me. I have often resisted so much of what went wrong in my past, that it turned into paralyzing myself in self condemnation and discouragement. I still face this battle, but then I learned the power of acceptance. We think we have to reject and cover the mistake to keep our power and our self image, when in reality – accepting our flaws is what gives us the most power. Resisting hurts us. It makes us stay in the painful thoughts of, “How could I have missed that?” “No, I reject this because I don’t want this to happen.” “I’m going to act like this never happened.” The pattern of this resistant mindset traps us in the problem, and it never allows us to come up for air and think clearly. When we decide to let go of the past mistake, we are introduced to peace and a sound mind. It allows us to embrace and acknowledge what happened, so we can then go back and see where the misstep was.
2 – Retrace your steps.
Once we accept and affirm the flaw, next is retracing how the flaw occurred so we can patch the holes. Examining is the hardest part sometimes because of having to relive pain, but yet it is the most essential part of the growth process. Has anyone ever wondered why we even have memory? It’s because we are designed to learn, to grow, to adapt, and to change. Memory can be used against us or for us. If we didn’t have memory, how could we reflect and overcome our battles? It’s important not to become a victim to the memory, but to use it for our benefit. The key to keeping our minds focused on finding the solution, is by asking ourselves questions like, “Ok, I accept I went wrong, now where did I go wrong?” “I missed that, but how?” Once we dig so far deep of asking the ‘how’ questions, we uproot the issue, and then plant the solution.
3 – Implement the solutions.
The coolest part about this step, is only after one time of getting the courage and the strength to implement the change, we feel so much more confident. The key to building our momentum, is keeping our eyes peeled for opportunities and repeating the process. We aren’t going to feel like doing the right thing all the time, but trust me when I say that once we do it, a reward comes after. The feeling of doing the right thing is in itself, a rewarding feeling.
4 – Keep going.
Henry Ford was so familiar with failure, he said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” He didn’t let anything stop him, and that’s the same mindset we need to have. While we continue to press on, we will mess up, and it’s okay! Forgiving ourselves, accepting ourselves, and building ourselves are the keys to keep going. Always remember, experiences we have are what shapes our character. To help me remember to keep going throughout my day, I have an app that sets off reminders throughout my day that reminds me little things like “are you accepting or resisting?” It motivates and encourages me to not let the momentum of my progress slip through my fingers. Here’s the link to the downloadable reminder app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mind-jogger/id409841508?mt=8
We are not less capable because of mistakes we make, mistakes can actually make us more capable.
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