Let Failure Guide You To Better Things, Not Cage You In
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Health and Wellness

Flip The Script On Failure And Let It Guide You To Better Things, Not Cage You In

It's always worth the risk. You got this.

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Flip The Script On Failure And Let It Guide You To Better Things, Not Cage You In
Diego Hernandez

"I shouldn't do this."

"I'm not good enough."

"There's no point in trying."

"People are going to judge me."

"It won't matter anyway."

How many doubts echo around in your head before you do something? How many justifications do you make for inaction? How many prerequisites do you put on yourself before trying something that doesn't have a 100% chance of going well?

Play psychologist with yourself for a second. Ask yourself, why is failure bad? You may say something like, "Well, people will see and judge." Go further. Why does judgment matter? Why do the thoughts of others have any effect on what you do with yourlife? Once you have an answer, challenge that answer with another question. Keep using this formula to drill a hole through your mental defenses and discover what it is you are actually afraid of. It will be different for each person.

Dig deep enough and you'll find that one central assumption about yourself, something someone told you a long time ago that influenced how you feel about yourself. You believe it and continue to let it have power over you...but how can something in the past determine what you are right now at this very moment?

It's not even failure that we don't like. It's the fear of it. The before part. The apprehension, the anxiety of a speech, the nerves we get before asking someone out. Once we actually do the thing—say the speech, take the test, whatever it is— it's all over, good or bad. What's next? The next speech, the next date, the next deadline, and so on. The next big thing. It's a cycle of doing and doing.

See, fear is actually useful. It allows us to focus intensely on whatever we're "afraid" of so we can do it the best we possibly can. Once it is done, it becomes the base, the standard on which we can build upon and do the next big thing and keep growing. Say you're a musician and have an intense fear of performing in front of crowds, so you practice for hours to get it right. You finally perform...but it doesn't go that great. So what. It's your first performance. That "failure" you were so scared of, you know what it feels like now. You have nothing to lose at that point, and that is a wonderful feeling. See, you never had something to lose, you just realize it now. So you lift that mental block, improve, and book another performance. You kill it and move on to bigger and better gigs to do what you always wanted to do, which is to share your love for your craft.

The flip-side: when you let your fear of failure keep you from doing something you undermine your potential. You don't quite raise your personal bar, so it keeps getting lower until you eventually just stop trying. Back to our example. You have your first real performance and you're terrified. You put off practicing because the thought of failing is too uncomfortable, and it goes horribly, or you straight up bail. You go back to that echo chamber of negativity to justify yourself and continue to let that negativity define you. "Of course it didn't work out. Why would it have? I was a fool to think I could pull this off." You never book another gig. You settle for less. You get stuck in a negative thought loop and now this thing that you love becomes tainted. Is this better than failure?

Don't get me wrong. Life can be hard and facing what you're actually scared of can be paralyzing but...life can also be amazing. Flip the script. Excitement and fear come from the same base feeling. Fear is simply a negative version of that feeling; excitement is positive. So whenever you are scared of doing something, you are really just excited and want it to go well. Transform those butterflies in your stomach and realize how excited you can actually be about doing something new, something different! Opportunity is everywhere and it all begins with us.

Failure. Rejection. You need it. Otherwise, you'll always be afraid of it and let it control you. Once you fail enough, you realize it's not really that big of a deal. It has to happen in order to keep you moving forward and to not waste time in a mental ditch. Fail every day and you can learn how to let go and move on to the next big thing, to let the cycle keep going. Where the cycle goes is up to you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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