Failing is winning!
It's December where did the time go? The clock is ticking taking us to 2020!
Have you noticed all those posts on social media? You know the ones that are reminding you of all those goals you set yourself back on 31st December 2018?
Did you tick a goal or 2 of your list this year, did you give up or did it not quite work out how you planned?
Whatever it may be , read on this is for you.
Have you ever worked towards something, planned it out, paid attention to all the finer details. Played it over in your head how it’s going to go and then when crunch time comes it goes horribly wrong?
You don’t know where to hide; you wish you could press the repeat button and start all over again? You walk away beating yourself up?
Well, please don’t be harsh with yourself. I have a confession to make.
I have been there too, not just once, twice, three times over if not more.
I have failed! I still do.
Some failures I found easy to brush off. Others left me bruised and hurting.
- Getting up and speaking to an audience and freezing, the words coming out all wrong
- Giving up on sitting an exam because I thought I was going to fail anyway
- When I gave up on a project because I failed to ask for help
Believe it or not, there has been lots more. What I know about failure, and I am sure you will say the same; it holds me back!
I would love it if I succeeded the first time, every time. If all fell into place just how I planned it. Then I would not have had to re-sit my GCSE maths exam three times.
The fear of failure sometimes prevents us from even trying to begin something. The experience of failure knocks us backwards. It’s hard to bounce back from crushing our confidence and supporting that negative voice in our head that says “I told you, you could not do it”
You're left with that feeling of why even try? Am I right?
It’s even harder when you feel you’re doing your best, and your best just isn’t good enough.
I wanted to share with you what I have learnt and what I share with my clients.
Failure is inevitable. I know it doesn’t feel good, but it is part of life.
Instead of fearing failure, know that you can bounce back and regain your confidence when you do experience failure.
To succeed is to have failed first.
‘What do I mean’ I hear you say!
There are a lot of people in our lives who can help us reach our goals.
There are also lots of people who can hold us back too.
The important thing to do is recognise the difference between the helpers and the people that will hold you back or knock you off track.
It could be the person who interviews you for a job and said “No”, it could be the result slip that does not read the grades you need, it could be your group of friends who say you can’t do that.
Or it could be the friend who helps you understand that maths equation or the teacher who inspired you in your science lesson. Or being rejected by the one you thought was the "one".
The thing is no one wants to see you fail; each experience is teaching you a lesson.
Each time you see yourself fail at something or the answer is “No” you have a choice. You can look at it one way and give up. Or you can look at it as you’re not quite there yet, but if you keep going, if you use those lessons to keep building you will get to your goals. Giving up will not do that.
Did you miss the lesson?
When we fail we can learn.
If you never failed, you would never learn. You’d just be perfect in every way … and who is perfect? We are all fallible.
If you fail at something, ask yourself:
- What did you learn?
- How will it help you succeed in the future?
- How will you do things differently next time?
- Who can you ask for help?
Asking for help and understanding lessons learnt can help us see that our time and effort was not wasted — we’ve come out of this smarter, more experienced, more knowledgeable than if we had not tried.
They failed first too, you know.
Everyone you know would have failed at something.
Even celebrities have failed along the way.
Failing is hard. To keep you motivated take examples from people who have been there and done that thing called “Failure”
- J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series was rejected several times before it hit the bookshelves.
- Jim Carey was booed off the stage at his first stand-up show.
- Katie Perry was dropped from 3 record labels.
If they had given up, they would’ve never found their massive success.
That’s only to name a few, I am sure if you asked the people around you, they could share stories with you about how they failed.
Use the people who have faced failure before you as motivation.
Don’t think just NOW think in the long term too.
I am guilty of this, and it has been a harsh lesson to learn.
Don’t focus on immediate results. You don’t need to succeed in the here and now to be successful!
Believe me, when I say this, you are not going to master a skill overnight. Sometimes it takes time, effort and practice to understand that math's equation or answer that interview question to get that dream job.
Success comes as a result of hard work. Maybe you are going to give up, or maybe you’re going to keep going.
Only by keeping going will you see results that those people that you see as “Successful” have seen.
Remove expectations of it happening now, it causes you distress and manifests the urge to give up.
Take the long term view. It’s like planting a seed. The seed seems to take a long time to grow. For some time you don’t really see much happening.
And then it comes to the first little shoot breaks through.
What we don’t see is what’s happening below the soil. Its roots are pushing through the soil, growing and rising— setting the foundation.
And then, you see the flowers and then the fruit.
Success is the same way. Look at your failures as setting sound foundation’s.
Take the long term view and grow your seed.
Watch what you say to yourself!
When things go wrong, what do you say to yourself?
Remember what you say to yourself has a significant impact.
So you have a choice when you fail. Either you can think “I am a failure.”
Or you can think “This particular attempt I did not get the result I was working towards, but I know how to improve,” or “This time I didn’t succeed, but I can do better later on.”
By thinking you are a failure, there’s a problem. The statement implies that you are currently a failure, have always been a failure and will continue to be a failure.
By thinking you can work on it to improve gives you the opportunity to turn things around. It helps with your motivation, rather than get in the way!
It can be tough especially when you have lots of failures one after the other. But look at each one as a specific, non-permanent event.
Just changing how you talk to yourself, can have a massive impact on your success and perseverance.
“I heard a voice that told me I’m essential. How all my fears are limiting my potential. Said it’s time to step into the light and use every bit of power I have inside” – India Arie
List it, List it, List it!
List all your success!
If you’re having difficulty regaining your confidence and bouncing back, remind yourself off all your success.
Write it down, draw it, or take a photo whatever comes natural to you. Remind yourself of every success, however small or insignificant it may be to you.
It can become so easy to focus on all that negativity of having not got the outcome you were looking for, rather than focus on the positive.
If this happens to you, it’s ok — our brains have a negativity preference, so it’s just the way we work.
It doesn’t matter how big or small they are — look for the small wins. It will feel great and sometimes we forget until we stop and account for it.
Stop that label does not fit you.
No one want’s to fail. Failure is not a reflection of who you are.
Your reaction to failure is!
Our brain is complex! It responds to perceived threats; sometimes they are not even there. Like the perceived threat that we are making a fool of ourselves or other people are laughing at us or talking about us!
It’s over to you. Will you pick yourself up or not? If anyone judges you based on your failures and think you are not good enough or something else, that’s their problem, not yours.
What Plan? You can rewrite it.
There’s a saying that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Well, that’s what Albert Einstein said.
So if you want a different result, it’s time to take another look and try something new.
- Ask for help
- Revisit the subject area you are stuck on; could you find another way to understand the material?
- Are you realistic? Sometimes we think we are going to fail before we have even tried. “What’s the point I am not going to pass anyway” sound familiar?
Let’s put this into perspective. I mentioned people who kept on going and going, but sometimes you need to stop and reevaluate.
My client Sam really wanted to be an actor. She kept going for auditions and being turned down. She tried, and she tried, her confidence knocked.
So then she had a choice either she kept on going or evaluate the situation.
The big question for her was “Is this what she really wants.”
When it came down to it, and she was really honest, her heart wasn’t in it. She wanted to do something different; she was just following an acting career because that’s all she ever knew, to keep going the break was sure to follow.
BUT she had a fear of trying something new.
She took a leap of faith and focused her energy and time on something that she enjoyed.
It’s ok to be sad, give yourself time.
Failure is a loss too!
So if you fail, especially at something you’re really passionate about, give yourself time to grieve that loss. Know that it is ok!
Give yourself time, find someone you can talk to about it. Focus on the positive and then commit to giving positivity your focus and energy.
What this does is reframe how you feel about failure — it makes your feelings your choice.
It might not feel like it; FAILURE is your inner guide, not your enemy.
Let me sat it again; failure is your inner guide. When it show’s up, it’s there to help you on your way.
Your success is born out of failure. There is plenty of proof in the world that this fact is true!
As for my client Sam, well she went back to university and is now training to be a drama teacher and loving every minute of it. Through her knock backs, she found her true passion.
Now it’s your turn. Embrace the fear of failure and make it work for you; let your inner guide show up.
If there is something that you really want to do, then you owe it to yourself to give it your best shot.
As for me, I pick myself up and try again! Through it all, I know it is going to be oh so worth it!
To your success.
Let me know how you are getting on. I would love to hear from you.
ps. I am going to be joining a amazing panel of women on 12th December discussing what it takes to find your purpose and live your dreams. Join us
The Cool Girls Club is a global network of inspiring women who have found their purpose and are living their dreams. Yes! There is a network for girls like that!