We’ve all done it. We’ll all do it again. I know I will.
I only became a straight-A graduate student on the Dean’s list after serving several semesters on academic probation…and even being suspended from college at one point. (Told you, we all fail from time to time 😉.)
Now, think about failures in your own life. I’ll wait…
Bummer, right? Well, not necessarily. Not if you learn from it, that is.
Failure = Transformation
Like with many situations, if we adjust our thought around it, we can use our failures to fuel our transformation.
My coach and friend, Justin Yule, is big on “mindset.” A couple of months ago we were talking about how failure can just destroy some people. He, being a wise man, addressed the topic of failure and how it can be a blessing, albeit one that is often difficult to see at the moment.
One of the things that really stuck with me after that conversation was his belief that you can find four blessings in every failure in your life if you know where to look.
You’re probably thinking the same thing I was thinking: “Four? Really? Prove it!”
Blessing #1: Learning
When you fail at something, you (hopefully) learn what doesn’t work and adjust your efforts accordingly. In this case “failure” is simply one more experience that shows you what you need to learn to achieve your longer-term vision. For example, you may have acquired a new skill or developed new character traits that will help you be successful in the days to come. Plus, with the blessing, you are in very good company. As Thomas Edison noted, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Blessing #2: Redirection
Think of your path before a “failure” and then after. You will probably see that that “failure” had to happen to redirect you to a new, better situation or opportunity. So if you are satisfied with your current job or relationship always remember that it never could have happened unless something else had “failed” previously.
Blessing #3: Reflection
When you fail at something, don’t rush on to something new without proper deliberation. After a failure, you have to be willing to sit in it. Make an effort to reflect on a “failure” and you may expose the underlying reason you failed. Are you holding onto a limiting belief that’s holding you back? If allowed to go unrecognized, you’d be doomed to have the same type of failure repeatedly. So remember to “stop.” Take a few deep breaths. And then think about what just happened.
Blessing #4: A New Path
Some of our greatest “failures” are actually just the prelude to a huge success. Think of it as a failure that sets us up for the blessings in life we have today. Heck, the Bodysmith, and therefore this newsletter you’re currently reading, wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for some previous “epic failures.”
At the end of the day, it almost always comes down to “mindset.” We need to embrace the perspective that life is always working FOR us instead of always working against us. With this point of view, it’s much easier to become inspired to act without fearing failure. Because if you think about it, is there really such a thing?