I’ve been considering rather a lot about failure recently. It sounds odd and maybe unconventional to strategy this rose-colored glasses start-of-the-year with such an outlook. But it isn’t pessimism, neither is my intent to drown myself in others’ shortcomings. Instead, alongside this journey to overcoming my worry of failure, I’ve realized that the adage holds true. Every failure is a chance to be taught, change, and develop.
This philosophy on failure proves it all of the extra: our missteps and defeats aren’t the tip of our story. They mark a degree on our roadmap towards success. And in reality, after we take a look at failures with out criticism and as an alternative analyze the knowledge they’re providing, we’re ready to transfer ahead with extra knowledge and energy.
Featured picture of Simone Boyce by Michelle Nash.
Free Vision Workbook
Make it occur. This useful resource will make it easier to deliberately set (and understand) targets to stay out your goal.
Thanks for Signing Up!
Looks such as you’re already signed up or your e-mail deal with is invalid.
Looks such as you unsubscribed earlier than click here to resubscribe.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure and Achieve Your Goals
Culturally, we’ve posited failure as the worst possible experience. We’re meant to feel shame when a business fails, a relationship fails, or even a workout plan fails. But is there a way to redefine failure—to release our fear of failure—so that we can freely explore the opportunities around us? Keep reading for my tried-and-true tips for embracing failure, honoring your efforts, and taking on new challenges with grace.
Our missteps and defeats aren’t the end of our story.
Nothing in Life is a Zero-Sum Game
I picked up this beautiful insight from Holly Whitaker’s restoration memoir/social critique, Quit Like a Woman. In a bit on “Relapse Failure,” she walks us by way of the various truths about failure that we regularly neglect. Namely, that failure by no means sends us again to the beginning line. You’ve most likely heard that development (or therapeutic, success, insert no matter you’d like right here) isn’t linear, and that’s precisely the case. Along our journey, we come into contact with challenges that ship us in new instructions, epiphanies that velocity up our progress, and setbacks that will gradual our development. But we’re nonetheless on the trail and nonetheless pushed by hope. And now, armed with our failures, now we have a larger understanding of how we are able to attain the success we’re after.
Whitaker writes: “[…] I failed multiple times. Those failures weren’t some setback; they were rungs on a ladder—precious, painful, and defeating experiences I had to endure in order to learn the things I needed in order to succeed.” Failure is data and a good looking, inextricable half of your story.
In some ways, failing says you aren’t scared since you’ve been courageous sufficient to innovate, pursue passions, and develop in methods those that have by no means acted on their worry of failure can’t ever know. As a girl in her late 20s, once I suppose again on my journey to this point, I can see with such readability the various methods I’ve failed over time—and the various methods these failures have rewarded me in the long term.
I didn’t get into my dream college. But you recognize what? I wouldn’t change my school expertise for the world. I didn’t get any of the 68 jobs I wrote particular person cowl letters for my senior 12 months (sure, actually). But going by way of rejection after rejection helped me get intentional in regards to the skilled path I needed to pursue. And once I didn’t get into graduate college to change into a therapist, I knew: being a author was the dream I needed, and have all the time needed, all alongside.
Everyone fails, and the extra we embrace its inevitability—and push ahead with out worry—the extra deeply we are able to join with an trustworthy and passion-driven life.
You Have to Honor Your Growth Before Anyone Else
While failures are a built-in part of the process of growth, others often won’t see it this way. Here’s the hard truth: until you achieve visible success, you won’t receive external validation of your efforts. The only way to combat that? Stop seeking it. I’ll say it again: you have to honor your growth before anyone else does. In Atomic Habits, James Clear is quick to emphasize this reality, contextualizing it through our habits and what he calls the “valley of disappointment.” He writes:
“[…] people feel discouraged after putting in weeks or months of hard work without experiencing any results. However, this work was not wasted. It was simply being stored. It is not until much later that the full value of previous efforts is revealed.”
Like Whitaker’s belief that failure teaches us what we need to succeed, those moments that go without praise or acknowledgment from others still remain significant parts of our journey. And perhaps even more than those moments of reward, they teach us what we’re working for—and why we really want it.
Remember: Failure Is Always Worth It
From this moment onward, whenever you fail (because you will fail), remember that whatever we pursue, whatever we try or attempt, is both a practice and an endeavor. And it’s one that’s worth pursuing just as much the goal itself.
To illustrate this, I’ll share what’s perhaps my favorite line from Quit Like a Woman. Reflecting on the experience of quitting, Whitaker writes, “It is hard, and not in the way that it’s impossible, but in the way that makes it worth doing.” When we try, fail, and perhaps eventually succeed, we prove our resilience to ourselves. Over and over again, we remind ourselves that we can overcome the obstacles we encounter and navigate the roadblocks along the way.
In releasing my own fear of failure, I’ve learned that reflecting on the experience of failure—what it feels like and the emotions that come up along with it—have been some of my greatest teachers along the way. So when you fall short of the mark, miss that opportunity, or experience a perceived setback, ask yourself the following:
- What is this experience telling me?
- What is the next step I can take that acknowledges where I’m coming from and sets me in the direction I want to be headed?
A Final Note on Failure
If you’re in a place where you feel paralyzed or unable to move forward because of your fear of failure, you’re not alone. Society, social media, and the world around us make us think that we have to be perfect before we can pursue any goal. But you have my permission to be your messy, beautifully imperfect self as you navigate the ups and downs of your journey. Remember: It won’t look like anyone else’s, and in truth, that’s exactly the point.