Imagine if you decided in your youth to never get on that bike again after the training wheels were taken off because you skinned a knee and fell over the first time out. You would never learn to ride a bike, but would learn even less about how balance works in the world around you.
How we deal with failure and how resilient to failure we become will tell us a lot about how important what we are going after is to us. What we can learn about failure when we approach it with the mindset of thinking beyond the moment of the failure in and of itself, is amazing. Let’s start with how we deal with others telling us about our failures.
“When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.” – Maria Popova
You’re going to have a ton of people telling you, you are doing it the wrong way. They will attempt to try to critique your style, and sometimes with positive intent completely take you off target. Part of being resilient through failure is in testing it yourself and going deep. Take advice as advice, not the gold standard of what their version of success may be. Not all measures are equal, especially when it is someone else’s opinions. You be you and learn what that misstep tells you from an inner-monologue with yourself.
“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” – Debbie Millman
The myth of overnight success is just that, a myth. I’ve shared how Michael Jordan and Thomas Edison failed so many times before they ever basked in the sun of success. Myself included, it’s taken me three years to start to see the personal bests in my running life and focuses. It’s taken me a year of writing with three other people on a shared blog site before I ever built the guts and credibility to do it on my own. When you go after something big, something that is going to leave you changed forever, it’s going to take a while and many failures before you reach it. It’s a paradox really, because you will learn when you do get there, there is more you can do. You will want to keep going and evolve.
Build pockets of stillness in your life. Examine your failures with out the voices and eyes of others. You really need some white space and a place you can get it all out and examine it. Stillness will clear your head and give you back perspective. It centers you. It’s simple, yet, we don’t do it enough. Listen to your Jimmy Cricket once in a while, there could be something you haven’t slowed down enough to listen to.
Failure in of itself is not the end, but the beginning to a great narrative ahead in what it takes to reach the optimal version of yourself. Remember to not listen to everyone at one time or act on what others tell you all the time, know that it’s going to be a long road and there is no short term success in anything you go after that’s worthwhile, and build into your schedule pockets of stillness to examine deeply what those failures can tell you.
I wish a great weekend for you and a great start to next week. Thanks for taking the time out to read what I have and can share from my own story. It means a lot to me.