The Growth Mindset tells us to embrace failure. But how do you see mistakes as opportunities to grow in real life, with real emotions and responsibilities? It is beautiful on paper and most agree with the principals and teachings but putting it into practice is a whole different story.
Listen to the Podcast here or read below:
Start with the word “failure”. “Failing” means you tried something you weren’t ready for YET and didn’t “succeed”/reach your goal. But if you keep practicing/learning/putting effort in it, you will eventually get there.
The only truth is your own sincere self-observation.
Think back of a failure you personally experienced.
Can you honestly say that you had a dream, turned it into a realistic plan, worked hard for it and failed at it? If your answer is yes, ask yourself each question again.
Maybe you gave up thinking that by now you SHOULD have succeeded? And if not, you failed…
When you want something, if you really want it, know that you can have it. It is not about talent or abilities: these will only help you get started. It’s about will power, hard work, time, courage and love.
The courage to go at your own pace, to not let fear stop you. The love to allow yourself to learn, grow and integrate at your own speed, on your own terms.
If you “failed” at something, it means that you either didn’t try/work hard enough, give it enough time, love or faith. If you feel like you “failed” and decided to move on to something else instead or working harder, it simply wasn’t your dream. But if it was and you realize it now, go back at it and keep trying/failing, trying/failing, trying/failing, … until you get it. You “fail” when you play with the edge. You fall at the end of your comfort zone. And when you fall/fail, it just means that you have found what to work on next, what you need to focus on, practice and learn to get to the next level. No challenge, no failure. Stay in your comfort zone and you’ll never fail. But you’ll never grow either.
Now when you fail what do you do?
Know that you will never stop your emotions from arising. Anger, sadness, stress will kick in. Let them be. Feel them, allow yourself to be bummed out, sad, mad and discouraged for a minute. Give yourself permission to feel them all without beating yourself up, judging yourself or trying to fix anything or move forward immediately. The way out is through: let yourself experience how it feels to sit with failure for a moment.
Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel, take some time to reflect, acknowledge what you missed and take your share of responsibility. It is empowering to accept what we could have done better because it creates room for growth. Be honest here. There is always room for improvement.
After that, remind yourself that not a single successful person on earth had a “perfect ride”. Watch this 3min video and imagine the best basketball player in the world getting to the top without ever loosing a game. Would that sound possible to you? No. Because “failure” will teach you lessons that success never will. Failure tells you what to work on next. “Failure” is a wise teacher. She says “not yet”, “look closer this way”, “don’t work until you can do it, work until you can’t miss it”, “keep working”, “there is more”, “more”, “more”.
So make sure to identify honestly what “went wrong” when you “failed”. Because if you don’t know what mistake you made, you’ll make it again (and the truth is that nothing ever goes wrong. It is just a perception. “Something going wrong” is just the gap between our expectations and reality…).
Finding what we missed takes time because the reason why we didn’t complete the puzzle (= weren’t ready yet for “success”) is precisely because we missed a piece of the puzzle. It takes a lot of self-observation, honesty and love to look into the eyes of a failure but if you want to grow, you will find the courage to reflect on yourself and dig deeper. Now Go Meditate 😉
Failure doesn’t happen to you. It happens for you.
Let the storm of disappointment pass and then pause. Reflect honestly and accept that failure is just a part of the process of learning. From there, know that practice will get you anywhere you want. But understand that you only have time and energy to dedicate yourself entirely to what you really really want. So be mindful of what you work for. If you haven’t yet, identify what print you want to leave on the planet and dedicate your life to it. Once you know what it is, ask yourself what you need to learn, work on and practice to get there. Make a plan, take it from here and Go For It.
It’s about resiliency. It is about using your failures to learn.
It is about giving permission to yourself to be human, to not be ready yet. It is about compassion to yourself.
It’s about embracing your growth mindset.
When you allow yourself to “fail”, you allow others to fail. You learn what to improve, how to reach the next level, go higher, succeed. You learn how to grow, get wiser, humble and happy. Without “failures”, without “mistakes”, you would think you’ve reached the top when you’re actually at the bottom. Failure is a harsh teacher but it remains a great teacher.
We have all been the child who tries something a few times, get lucky once and says ” I did it! look!” and can’t do it again. They thought they got it. Well they just got a glimpse at it. And that glimpse will give them a reason to keep practicing. They will now fail a million times before they can’t actually miss it. And when they do (succeed), they won’t even take the time to show others because they’ll already be working on the next level…
There is no such thing as a failure or a success, life is just a learning journey with nothing to attain.
A « failure » isn’t the end of anything. But the beginning of an adventure. Embrace that idea and get excited.
When you find your IKIGAI, you can never feel like “failing” ever again. Because you crave all the lessons to feed your path. Feedback is always a gift, mistake a check point and failure the proof that there is room for improvement, innovation, growth. Always.
Now look back and notice. Every failure was a chance to readjust. If it hasn’t been, maybe now is the time to take the course you missed? 😉