Most of us can easily identify with failure to some extent in our lives. Lets face it, not many people can say they have exactly the life they always wanted. Most of us have struggled with failure at some point, whether it be for a moment, a day, or longer.
But for some of us, failure becomes more. It becomes that voice inside that says “your not good enough”, “you’re never gonna make it”, “you don’t deserve this”, “no one likes you”. That voice creates a raw vulnerability, and then we hear someone casually joke about our latest “fail”, and it feels like confirmation. We begin to think the voice was right; I am worthless. The failure has become internalized.
How easy is it to be successful, when you constantly feel like a failure? Internalized failure makes the simplest of tasks difficult, and defeats our confidence. It becomes a huge driving force that wreaks havoc on anything we set out to do. So with consequences as harsh as this, you can see how the casualness that we associate with failure has me concerned.
But here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today I invite you to take back your life. Begin the dialogue with yourself to evict failure. Now hold on, I’m not telling you to be perfect. Cause trying to be perfect is the easiest way to feel like a constant failure.
Instead I am encouraging you to take steps to grapple with failure. To grapple means to change your position to one that is advantageous, and betters your chances of winning. This is usually a fighting term, but you are in a fight, and it’s important you win. It’s time to start turning the tables and working towards your best self. Here’s how:
- Put it in perspective. Recognize that whatever you are not doing as well at right now in your life doesn’t have to be a failure, and even if it is, it doesn’t have to be an EPIC failure, or the true fail. Instead, it can be the next right step on the stepping-stone to your ultimate success.
- Stop being mean to yourself. I mean it. If you wouldn’t say it to a 3-year-old child, don’t think it is okay to tell yourself. When those thoughts come up, reality check them, and if you can’t reality check them alone, share them with a friend or counselor who will help.
- Be kind to yourself. Ask yourself what you really need to hear, and then say it, and say it frequently. Give yourself time, and space to move forward. Reward yourself when you do something small that went right, or for trying something hard.
- Don’t let others put you down. This might be hard, because sometimes circumstances put us in situations with people that are hard to deal with. The easiest way to do this is to surround yourself with people who are going to be real but also encouraging and supportive. Remember, put downs are not critical feedback, they are mean, unnecessary and often say more about the speaker than you. Make sure the people around you are speaking words of encouragement, and having faith in your best self. If the people around you are not like that, time to find some new people.