Why success starts with failure
It might be one of the hardest life lessons, especially in the age of the internet. And yet, it’s one of the best things we can overcome to achieve our success. Learning resilience in the face of failure is EXACTLY what’s needed when trying to achieve anything worthwhile. If you’re someone that feels disheartened by something you haven’t succeeded at, you struggle to get yourself back on the horse or maybe you don’t even try in the first place... I suggest you keep reading, this is for you.
If while learning how to walk, a child took its first step, fell down and then never tried again, we’d be fully grown adults crawling our way around. Without falling, or in other words ‘failing’ in the very first stages of our development as humans, we would have never succeeded in learning how to walk.
The same goes for reading, writing, eating, talking, swimming, throwing, running and using a toilet...you get the gist? The point is that to learn anything in your life, you needed a certain level of resilience. My guess is, that you can do a fair few of those listed above, and this means that to get where you are now, at some stage in your life you possessed that very resilience.
The fact of the matter is that with age, a sprinkle of social conditioning and some limiting beliefs (of which we all possess) there’s every chance you’ve gradually paralysed yourself into a place of believing that starting anything that could fail, might kill you... and is, therefore, to be avoided at all costs. But WHY does this happen?
The most common reason is that a lot of us place a sense of safety on the approval of others. This is because way back when, your tribe would help you to keep safe, retrieve food, care for the young and so on. If you ventured out by yourself you would likely get eaten, or worse. Now. This means that we have an innate feeling within us that encourages us to stay within the guidelines of what we perceive will be approved of by our peers. But this is no longer necessary, not to mention extremely limiting. For the most part, we can keep ourselves out of danger without the assistance of our peers.
In today's world, while everyone is busy (parading their achievements online, with added filters and edits to make things appear even more flawless), it’s not easy to then view failure as something beneficial. You don’t often see people posting about the job they didn’t get, or the business idea that didn’t work out, or the money they lost investing in a project that failed... However, funnily enough, this is usually what’s happening before you see the post about what went well - what we see online is the very tip of the iceberg.
So, what does this mean? Well, we know that the fear that exists no longer serves us and is now holding us back. What we are experiencing is just a feeling, so how do we tackle the feeling?
We actively do things to experience that feeling and simultaneously convince ourselves that we are safe whilst doing so.
No this isn’t easy. Yes, it’s a challenge - but it comes with so much reward. On the other side of your fear of failing, which we now know is just a feeling, there’s a version of you that strives to achieve the best. This version of you is resilient in all of their endeavours and because of this, plays hard and wins big. Does that not sound incredible?!
This is why it’s so beneficial to befriend discomfort and become familiarised with fear. The point is not to eliminate these feelings but embrace them, acknowledge and realise that they are just that, feelings. In avoiding these feelings altogether and staying in comfort, you miss the opportunity to access your true potential.
Dive in – sign up to a class that you’ve never tried before, apply for that job you feel underqualified for, try a new sport. Actively seek out things that you likely will fail at and become well acquainted with that discomfort, the success of this one life you have depends on it.
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