Failure is an interesting word with many layers of meaning. Some people will view it as an end, and some will view it as a beginning.
There are a variety of emotions; that come with failure: embarrassment, nervousness, anger, unhappiness, and shame to name a few. Those feelings are difficult, and many people will do anything they can to escape feeling emotional discomfort. You are taught these feelings in your childhood. Children are encouraged to maintain good grades and discourage them from getting bad grades.
But is failure all bad? As Thomas Edison has stated.
“I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
Failure is not about being consistent
When you are consistent, you keep doing the same thing over and over with the hopes it will give you your desired results which it will in due time. There is power in small gains. For example, if you just add 1% each day to your routine, in a year’s time you will have progressed by 38% and if you do nothing for the same year you would actually end the year with a negative -.03%. When looking at it in these terms you easily see the benefits in giving at least 1% to your desired outcome. Also, don’t overcomplicate things by making it a ritual if you are trying to lose weight and you do not follow the diet perfectly, it’s ok as long as you are making positive strides towards your end goal.
Perfectionism does not exist in failure
The root cause of perfectionism is failure because if you are constantly perfecting, you will not have the opportunity to fail. Take a closer look at perfectionism and you will see the emotion is fear. People who want to be perfect at work, perfect on weight loss, or perfect at raising their children are fearful of failing.
But the truth is, you are not failing. You are learning and moving closer to your end goal. I used to spend countless hours cleaning my house in the hopes it would not mess up. Putting dishes in the sink or your feet on the couch was unacceptable. I was portraying a perfect home. In my childhood, I was taught that perfection was acceptable and anything less was not a hard standard to live up to.
This fear of not being accepted continued into my adulthood. I was consumed with my hair, skin, and weight. I had a lot of criteria for my outer appearance but none for my inner beauty. It took many years of self-development and loving myself to understand that everything I needed was inside of me and I could make mistakes and learn from them and live a life of contentment.
Self Judgement in Failure
As you strive through your failures, be kind to yourself, and do not self-judge harshly. Self-judgment results from thoughts individuals have about themselves and the meanings attached to those thoughts. Judgments mean forming opinions about yourself and will likely be harsh thoughts.
Self-judgment is learned from your environment, starting at a young age. You are told many times “no” and “stop” as a toddler. Parents do this for the protection of the child, but the child at such a young age doesn’t have the capability to reason, so they take the parent’s words as absolute truths, and from there, judgments begin to form on what we can and cannot do.
It’s only a failure if you accept it as an absolute loss. Learning to view failure as a win can be difficult. Begin to look at your failure as an opportunity. You are riding a wild horse towards your achievements and success.
Don’t get tired of failing no matter how many times it happens just try again. For example, when a baby is learning how to walk, they don’t give up after they fall down several times, but they continue and continue until they have master walking and running. At no time does the baby say “this walking thing is not for me” and give up. Giving up is not an option, so they continue to try no matter the bumps and bruises they have to be acquired along the way. The joy of that freedom of walking and running is the hope they want to enjoy.
Freedom in Failure
In the same way the baby learns to walk, you to will have the success you dream of and desire as long as you can handle the bumps and bruises you will acquire along the way. There will be risks that you take to move ahead. When taking risks, you are exposing yourself, fear will set in, and people will think you are crazy, but do it anyway. Success is thousands of failures that turn into thousands of lessons which will ultimately allow you to live your wildest dreams.
In this life, you do not want to live with regrets and broken promises to yourself. You can and will succeed. If you are not afraid to fail. I guarantee you on the other side of fear and failure is the freedom and joy you are looking for.
What are you holding back today because of the fear of failure? Be ready and willing to succeed.