Isn’t it funny how, when you’re riding high you wonder how you ever could have doubted yourself?! Yet, the moment the wind gets knocked out of you that wisdom and insight that came so easily just moments ago is nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, you’re left with no clue about what to do when you feel like a total failure. Worse, all of that confidence is no where in sight.
Remember life moves in cycles
As much as you’d like to reach a certain level of success and dial it in, life simply does not work that way. The more you expect the lows to happen the less disappointed you will be in yourself or others when they arrive.
The trick is to expect failure out of a place of trust and surrender as opposed to jadedness. What we resist in life, persists in life so the more you try to stave off your valleys the faster they come. Additionally, the next peak is harder to summit as a result too.
The moment you realize failure is a natural part of everything that serves you is the moment you balance the full joy of success (without the fear of losing it) accompanied by the possibility in failure (without resistance to it).
Use failure to your advantage
You’ve heard that failure is beneficial to success but that reality is reeeaalllly hard to tap into when you’re knee deep in the sewage break you once called a life.
Look back, however, and you’ll easily see that you’ve grown more through your trials than you have through your triumphs. Some part of you knew how to bolster yourself because of (not in spite of) every obstacle you’ve ever faced. The great news is *drumroll please* that part of you is still in there somewhere. You just can’t hear it call to you over the din of your silent wailing.
Take a beat. Breathe deeply. Go inward and listen. Your inner badass has some ideas for you that you can begin implementing right away…starting with redefining failure itself.
Give new meaning to the term “failure”
“Good” and “bad” don’t even really exist except as you’ve defined them. Nothing in life has any meaning. *Dramatic pause to let that sink in* Nothing in life has any meaning…except the meaning you assign it. If you and I are walking and see someone nearly get hit while crossing against the light. You might think they’re stupid. I might think they’re distracted. Someone else might believe the light is broken. Someone else may believe it was the driver’s fault.
Once you understand that the “truth” has an inherent, malleable subjectivity you realize, maybe for the first time, you have a choice in how you interpret the events of your own life. You can focus on what to do when you feel like a total failure. The feeling of being an complete and utter disaster will color everything you do though.
Instead, focus on what to do when your badass self has more data about what doesn’t work. Or really investigate what this time in your life means in regard to your life’s purpose. Sort through your personal toolkit and see what’s in there that has served you in the past. Tenacity? Curiosity? Connection with others? What about the tools you could use that may be a little rusty? Compassion? Grace? Humility?
Once the underlying feeling about “failure” changes to something useful every step you take toward your next success has a richness to it that hastens this downturn and eases the climb back upward.
Let it be easy
Now that you’ve begun looking at life’s disasters as life’s gifts you’ll find you’re inspired to take action in ways you normally would eschew. Face your inspirations boldly!
If you feel like you want to create a Meetup group where failures from every corner of the earth can gather and share ideas and resources. Do it!!
Every part of your old belief system will fight you on this change. Right about the time you’re ready to click “Create Meetup” you may hear this little voice that asks for more research first. Or you’ll remember your second grade report card comment about how you could learn to work independently. Suddenly, every instance of teamwork feels like co-dependency and you’re absolutely certain this is an example of how little you know, how much you rely on others. Now you see future self’s reflection in the mirror shallow, and empty because she never really learned to rely on herself.
You will be inspired. Treat these little messages like marching orders from the Gods and do what you’re told. Stop fighting. What once worked for you stopped. It’s time to allow something new to work for you. The more you fight it, the harder picking yourself up will be in the long run.
These ideas are preventative, too!!
Write these on a post it and stick it to your forehead. The deeper these concepts are engrained the easier life gets over time. You’ll stop expecting things to plateau, start embracing your greater heights and stop being so angry at the world all the time.
Consider this list your “FAIL to Win Practice” and practice the list!! Lemme know how nice it is to have life’s madness feel…well, less maddening!!
Download The Squeeze right now to help you manage any anxiety that crops up. It’s my favorite go-to practice when I start spinning and my first recommendation for people who can’t shut their brains off at night. Lemme know what you think!
Triffany is a certified professional life coach who helps strong women tame their inner hot mess. Start with the book F.A.I.L.* to Win: 4 Simple Principles to Get You Out of Your Own Way and follow up with a class. Everything you touch will get easier as you go.