10 LESSONS FROM FAILURE
1. Humility- Failure is an amazing way to be humbled. We can all at times get too big for our boots and failure grounds us and snaps us back to reality. We realise we are not as invincible as we thought we were. J K Rowling famously said that ‘Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life’
2. Me, myself and I- Failing gives us an opportunity to come into a better relationship with ourselves and learn about the way we communicate with ourselves. I was quite surprised to hear the things my mind was saying when the Kickstarter failed ‘Everyone thinks you are a loser’, ‘You can’t do anything right’ etc. These voices need to be heard in order to then be changed and healed. What do you say to yourself when you fail? Is that how a loving friend would talk to you?
3. Helping Hands- When we get knocked to the ground it feels so good to have a friend to peel us off the asphalt. During this whole process the support I have felt from my friends is amazing. I used to find it hard to ask for help, because I was too proud, but the more I fail the more I realise how important it is to reach out to close friends and ask for support. Who can you ask for a helping hand right now?
4. The bigger picture- When I first got the news about my Kickstarter I went into catastrophising mode. ‘It’s the end of the world!’ But when I had some time to really look at what was going on, and to talk to friends about it I realised that it really is a tiny blip on the radar. I have a LOT to be grateful for, and that’s why the next point is…
5. Gratitude- I might have failed in one area of my life, but there is so much else going on to be grateful for. Yes, my career has taken a bit of a kicking, but I still have so much to say thank you for. My supportive friends, my loving family, my great health, my growing faith, my developing talents, abundant food to name a few. List 10 things you are grateful for, right now! It’s an instant pick me up.
6. Inner Strength- The more we fail the stronger we become. Every time I get knocked back and rise again I realise how much I can handle. Resilience is such an important quality to develop in ourselves and failure is a true test of this.
7. Faith- For me faith can be defined as an “Unshakeable belief that everything is working out perfectly”. My greatest failures have in the past become setups for my greatest achievements. Although in the midst of failure it can be hard to understand, I know in the fullness of time I will get it. The bigger part of me knows that everything is working out perfectly. Trust and let go.
8. Change the Game Plan- Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results. I know myself that quite often I have to make the mistake a number of times before I stop doing it. Failure gives a chance to look at the game plan and reflect. Why didn’t this work? What have I been doing that’s not useful? How can I improve?
9. Exercising Choice- We can’t choose what happens in life, but we ALWAYS have a choice about how we respond. Something can depress us or inspire us to do greater things. I always choose the latter (although I must admit first of all I do end up feeling a bit sorry for myself). Ask empowering questions. How can this failure empower me? How has it strengthened me? How do I go up from here?
10. Contrast- Life is two sided. We can’t ignore that basic truth. When my Kickstarter failed I said to Mum ‘I just want for me and everyone I know to be happy ALL the time’ Of course this is a ridiculous ask! When we see something we don’t like, instead of getting upset about it we can make a note to ourselves: ‘This feels bad so I want to move away from it’ Note what you want to move away from and then think about what you want to move towards and make a plan to do that. Personally, I want to move towards; authenticity, connection, self expression and humility (and away from dishonesty, loneliness, stagnation and pride) What about you?
I have written an awesome poem inspired by this experience which I will share soon and my favourite line of it is:
“One of the things I’m proud of lately,
Is that when I failed I did it daring greatly”
Talking of daring greatly, this Theodore Roosevelt quote always inspires me:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
Keep going! I encourage you all to fail BIGGER and BOLDER. To dance on the uneven terrain and to leap with faith. You are loved. I believe in you 🙂
What have you learnt from failing? Or from watching me fail?
Love you lots