I Didn’t Always Love Failure
I used to hate making mistakes. I would hide my mistakes or try and argue my way out of something I said without admitting I was wrong. I saw mistakes and failure as a sign of weakness.
In fact, it was so important to me to not fail or not let people know I was wrong that it began to really hold me back. I wouldn’t ask questions to learn more about something because that would mean admitting that I didn’t know the answer. I would hold back from fully committing to things because if I didn’t really apply myself fully then it didn’t really matter if I didn’t achieve as much as I wanted to. I did just enough to get by but didn’t really push myself or apply myself and I’m sure I’m not alone.
A Different Way Of Viewing Failure
It took some time for me to begin to see it any other way. One of the things I learned along the way and started to repeat to myself, and others, feeling that it made a real difference was:
“There’s no such thing as failure – only feedback.”
It’s a different way of looking at it. Re-framing failure as a learning opportunity felt a lot more comfortable and allowed me to accept failure as well as feeling better about ‘risking’ failure by pushing myself.
It DID help a little, especially when repeated over time but it still didn’t really change much. I had to notice that I was thinking negatively about failure and remind myself of this. I needed to deliberately change my responses to align with this idea.
That’s not a bad thing in itself and that practise of reminding myself to think differently was helpful but I much prefer the way I think about it now.
You’re Wrong About Failure
What’s the opposite of failure? Most people, when I ask this question tend to say that success is the opposite to failure – or other similar answers that relate to it. That is simply not true. You could say that they fail to get the right answer, this is because:
The opposite of success isn’t ‘not success yet’ it’s running away from success. The best way of doing that is to stop yourself from taking action. To run away from opportunities because you’re scared. Failure is a step towards success. Attempting something and getting it wrong is much closer to success than sitting there reading this and doing nothing about the opportunities you really want to embrace.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”Wayne Gretzky
Failure is THE WAY to success
I have spoken to a lot of very successful people. By that I mean people who consider themselves successful and those who are objectively seen to be successful.
(Remember – everyone’s idea of success differs)
Not a single successful person has got there without making mistakes along the way. Mistakes are how you grow. They are how you learn. They are PART of success.
How I see failure now
Failure definitely exists. I no longer feel the need to hide behind another word for it (like feedback). Yes, it does offer feedback and if thinking of it that way helps you, go for it. But to me It IS failure and I love it!!
Just because some other people see it as a bad thing doesn’t mean we have to. It does’t mean YOU have to. Let’s embrace failure together and learn to love our own and other people’s.
Like when we watch a child learning to walk for the first time. When they fall over, we know that this helps them learn to get up again and to use their balance to walk further next time.
It helps us get better
It helps us see that the ‘scary thing’ really isn’t so bad after all.
Failure Creates Learning Opportunities
Back To Square One?
It’s a common belief (and fear) that failure will put us back to square one. This is simply not true either. I “failed” at my first business (I was young and not properly focused on it) but when I started a new business I already knew what to do (and what not to do) in relation to getting started. I wasn’t at square one – I had lots more experience. Experience I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t failed first.
As with so many things in life, it can take a long time to change habits – like the habit of holding yourself back and fearing failure. But it doesn’t have to. When you engage with the whole of your mind and embrace the power of your subconscious, these changes can be much quicker and far more enjoyable. Get in touch to work with me one-to-one or check out my next Self Hypnosis Workshop and discover how to use the power of your own mind to change pretty much anything you can think about changing in your life.