Hi. Today, something that will be familiar to some of you (but well worth revisiting). It’s been tweaked and dusted off…
Too Scared to Try
Many people won’t even try because they’re scared of failure.
And because they won’t try, they won’t learn as they could. They won’t grow. They won’t build strength. Or resilience. And they won’t explore their potential. Neither will they develop new skills, insight or understanding. If only they would recognise the value in some occasional failure. If only they would understand that failure is, in fact, a myth. A self-created reality. An experience that we bring to life through our words, thoughts and beliefs. Something that doesn’t exist until we say so.
Just like success, failure is whatever we determine it to be.
A Story of Two Runners
Kelly completes a 10km Fun Run in fifty minutes. Before the race, she had hoped to finish in less than an hour, so fifty minutes is something of a major triumph for her. She is genuinely happy. Kelly’s friend, Joe, runs the same distance and records the exact same time. However, he wanted to cover the distance in forty-five minutes or less. Consequently, Joe is devastated. He describes his experience as a massive failure and as a result, his psychology and his physiology are both a reflection of his belief; the belief that he has failed. He could have labeled his run many things but he chose ‘failure’.
He labeled it.
He believed it.
He lived it.
Joe was genuinely miserable.
The Power of Labels
He could have called his result a lesson, a surprise, a minor speed hump, an anomaly or simply, an experience. He didn’t. In reality, his misery was not ‘because of’ the run or the time; it was because of him. Specifically, his reaction to, and interpretation of, his result. If the run time (fifty minutes) had caused the subsequent misery then everybody who recorded that time would have ‘failed’ also. Clearly, they didn’t. The time was the trigger (for him) but he was the creator of the misery. The negative reaction.
One result, two very real self-created experiences: misery, joy.
In life, stuff happens and then you and I give those experiences a label. And when we ‘believe’ the label, we create our own personal reality. Good, bad. Hard, easy. Success, failure.
A New Story
But what if we simply chose not to fail? Ever. What if we shifted our paradigm a little to the left? What if we chose to re-frame our picture? To tell ourselves a new story? A better story? A healthier story? What if we removed the word ‘failure’ from our vocabulary and chose to have lessons, opportunities, challenges and experiences instead? Is this possible? What if Joe said “oh well”, shrugged his shoulders and simply let it go, instead of throwing himself into an emotional tailspin? What if failure wasn’t an option for us? What might we try? Do? Create?
And who might we become along the way?
Let’s Consider Babies
When a baby tries to walk but is at the point in their development when they lack the strength, balance and co-ordination to do so, what happens? They fall down. And then they try again. And again. Sometimes they laugh. Or cry. Sometimes, both. And then they keep trying and trying. And laughing and crying. They don’t evaluate or label their experience, they just have it. They haven’t failed; they just haven’t walked yet. Unlike me and you, they don’t label their experiences and they haven’t yet learned the possibility of failure, so they happily keep falling down until one day they take a few wobbly steps. And then a few more. And before long, they’re running. All their trying pays off.
They have fallen but not failed.
So, will you fall down and get up or will you fail?