Let’s talk about failing today.
You’ve probably heard the idea that there are no failures, just learning opportunities. Every time we fail at something, there is something to be learned from it, to take forward and to grow from.
People will say, “That is awesome. That makes sense. I’m going to go do that!” But we don’t put it into practice. Just because you hear a great concept, doesn’t mean you use it all the time.
But this is a super important one. When we fail or perceive ourselves as failing, with it comes two very painful emotions…guilt and shame. We fell short of our expectations of ourselves or our perceived understanding of someone else’s expectations of us, and that is what makes it feel like a failure.
When we allow ourselves to feel that way all the time and we don’t have a practice for seeing our failures as learning opportunities, that just builds up within us, chips away at our self-worth, and keeps us from being the awesome individual that we can be.
So I’m going to offer a practice to you. This is where you are actually going to keep track of your “failures”. You’re going to write them down. Now you can use this as a one-time exercise where you go back and try to think of your last ten failures. Or you can keep an ongoing list of things you see that you’ve failed at.
What you do is write down your failure and in a column next to that, you write down what you learned from that. What came out of it that you are going to be taking forward in a positive way?
One benefit is…through the process of writing, you are getting energy OUT from within you. You are literally giving yourself permission to see the learning opportunity instead of the failure. Because when we just think our head will do it for us, often times that doesn’t happen.
Another advantage of doing this is that you will start to see that some things aren’t really failures. You don’t have to necessarily care about them. Let’s say that you posted something about your business on Facebook and you made a mistake, a grammar or spelling error. You can say that the learning opportunity is that I need to check my work more carefully. Or you can say, you know what, I don’t really care that much about that. I’m human. It’s not that important. I am NOT going to go triple-check my posts. You can start letting things go, that left unchecked in your mind are sounding like failures when they aren’t necessarily things that are important to you.
Finally, what it offers you is an opportunity to see patterns of failures. When over and over you see the same thing coming up, that means that you didn’t stop and ask yourself…What’s the learning opportunity? What do I want to take forward? Because if it’s still coming up, then you are not changing anything. This is a very black-and-white, pencil-paper way of seeing, “Ah, I do that over and over. Okay let’s stop that. What do I want to take going forward?”
That’s a little tip on putting a practice into place for turning your failures into learning opportunities.