The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult. That goal or dream that requires you to reach down deep, to fight with everything you’ve got. And in that moment of reaching you don’t know if your best will be enough.
It’s not the failures that are in the history books, the novels, the adventure tales… except when that failure is a stepping stone toward success down the line. Those we call cliff-hangers. You know the ones, right? The hero risks everything to hang off the ledge – literally – in order to accomplish the goal. (But can she hold on long enough? Will she be found out? Plummet to her demise? Tune in next week…) She always does make it, you know – after getting bumped and bruised, learning along the way. Victory prevails!
I like to look the process as going from Oops to Awesome.
Edison is a great example. It’s told it took 1000 tries to invent the lightbulb. But did he fail 999 times? He told a reporter once that none of those were failures – that the lightbulb was an invention with 1000 steps.
But sometimes the oops gets us stuck – keeps from even attempting to start. Why? Because failure stinks. It feels crappy to not succeed and failure often evokes feelings of shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, anger. Have you been there? It can be paralyzing.
So we play small, avoid the potential failure, live within the scope of the “known”. It’s comfortable, after all. Familiar, even. Or is it?
Research tells us that avoiding mistakes, setbacks and failures actually has lasting negative effects. When we don’t risk we wind up with low self-esteem, crumby self-confidence, shameful self-talk. AND we tend to wile away the hours numbing out (alcohol, Facebook, binge watching Netflix).
Interesting that the effects of avoiding trying are the VERY thing we hoped to dodge in not taking the risk in the first place, isn’t it?
Failure is life’s greatest teacher, and if you adopt that frame of mind there’s a huge opportunity to make mistakes the stepping stones toward success. Taking oops to awesome is actually a simple tweak. It’s all about talking to yourself kindly when you do experience mistakes, setbacks or failures. It’s the difference between hitting or hugging yourself when things don’t go according to plan.
Here are 3 simple steps to make friends with your failures, setbacks, and mistakes:
We can’t escape mistakes or failure. But we do have a choice of how we look at the experience. Every successful person is someone who has failed before. But the magic is that they refuse to regard their failure as fatal.
Will you remember the famous men who have to fall and then rise again,
So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. – Sinatra
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