Yesterday, I posted on instagram about failure and what it has come to mean for me. And I realized that I actually had quite a lot to say on the subject, of which I just scratched the surface in my post (because, let’s be serious, nobody is going to instagram for the stimulating prose…) Let me start by revisiting that post here:
“You’re looking at the queen of trying and “failing.” 👑 I’ve just recently come to reconcile that failure is not necessarily failure though. Failure is simply an indication that you were brave enough to try something, with curiosity and excitement, despite what the outcome could be. Failure is, as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it,”doing the thing” that ignites a fire in you. Failure means you tried. Failure means you learned how NOT to do something. Failure validates and inspires a change of course. Failure tells you that you’re learning where you’re not supposed to be. Failure points you in a new direction- towards a new adventure. Failure, my friend, can be the best friend you can have in a circumstance. To fail is to have tried. It means you’re living. Wow.💥”
I want to preface this by saying that I was not born with this attitude, nor did I grow up with it. I was a hard core card-carrying member of the pessimist club. Because why not? Life has been full of the suck during the adult years, and what the heck did i have to be positive about anyway?? AMIRIGHT?
Sooo…as one might expect, that life is kind of miserable, and I finally came to the conclusion that I could continue with the “I lose at the game of life” attitude, which made me absolutely precious to be around, or I could actually *gasp* embrace the life that’s been delivered to me- even if it wasn’t the puzzle I ordered.
I’m incredibly lucky to have aligned myself with some pretty fabulous men and women (through one of my vast networks of “failures”), who have taught me how to view things differently. How to see myself through a different lens. And who have embedded in me a deep yearning for DAILY personal development. And that has made ALL the difference.
When I say “daily personal development,” I mean that every single day, I watch and/or read SOMETHING that gives me new perspectives, empowers me, reinforces positive ideas, and overall helps me grow as a person.
This is where I got started:
I have since binge-watched and read everything with Brene Brown that I can find. She’s my spirit animal. Also, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic…? GAME. CHANGER.
Is it tough to fit personal development into an already crazy busy life? No. It’s absolutely not. It’s actually so easy, it’s almost embarrassing. During my 25 minutes of morning bathroom time while I’m getting ready, I have my phone right there next to me, with SOMETHING playing from youtube. During my lunch break, I shut the door to my office and read (also some type of personal development) or work out.
The point is- I didn’t go into personal development willfully. I did it as part of my all-in stakes for my beachbody venture. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s exactly what I needed to keep myself going. To keep thinking, to keep learning, to keep being better. I need that for myself, and I think everyone needs that for themselves- we just forget.
And that’s how I came to realize that failure doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It doesn’t have to define you as the things you didn’t get right. When you fail, it’s not your endgame. It’s just a signal to make a turn in the road. Or a stop sign that tells you that you’ve gotten what you needed from that experience, and it’s time to move on.
Failure is funny that way- it disguises itself as a monster. The TRICK is to have the insight to remove the monster mask to reveal what truly lies underneath. Failure can be crippling, or it can be an opportunity. It can knock you out of paralysis and force you into action. Or it can sit there, quietly in the background, while you take every single experience you acquired, minus the failure, and go forth with a richer understanding of the world around you. Failure gives you so much more to offer the world.
There’s an old saying that asks, “what would you try if you knew you could not fail?” Well, I prefer to ask the question, “what would you have never tried, if you had never failed?” Because if you don’t fail, you have little motivation to try something new. Failing actually opens us up to trying and experiencing so much more than we otherwise would have!
It’s a process…
**If you want to jump into personal development (and why wouldn’t you??) but don’t know where to start, try Ted Talks, podcasts, youtube, your local library. The resources available to you are ENDLESS, and the more you look, the more you see ♥