Failing is never fun, unless you make it so.
When you work hard for a particular goal and you end up not meeting your own expectations, a storm of sour emotions and thoughts start to swarm your mind like flies do when they see a pile of shit on the ground. Though failing is part of life, it’s easy to follow the rabbit down the hole of self-sabotage.
There’s a certain feeling when you’re working towards a goal, some of us have simplistic ideals and we want to make sure our relationships work, so we set a goal. Then, although we had a perfect image in our minds, everything that could go wrong, does.
What’s the first thing that we blame? Ironically, ourselves. Being hard on yourself for not meeting your own expectations is a common psychological trait, it’s the idea that everything needs to be perfect, and unless it is, there’s something wrong with you.
When you buy a new brand of almond milk, bring it home and open it, and realize that it’s the most disgusting thing in the world, does that make you a failure? It doesn’t, but it does however inform you that this particular brand might not be the best for you. You didn’t fail, you didn’t even make a mistake, you made a choice and that choice had consequences, it’s impractical to think that all of our choices are going to be solid every time, but in this scenario you learned a valuable lesson, and next time you go to the store you will avoid that particular brand because you didn’t like it.
This analogy can be applied to failure in many different contexts, but before we get into that, please go through the following infographic to understand how failure can be good for you, and how many of the world’s most successful people had to fall before they were able to rise.
When you’re doing something for the first time, there’s always the factor of risk involved. Things may not go as smoothly as you had imagined, or obstacles appear that you didn’t previously anticipate, yet if none of us are going to have the courage to take leaping risks, we will never really push ourselves to test the limits of our own existence.
In late 2013, I found myself in a rough situation. I had no job, no money, and literally no idea how I am going to improve the situation. I was going through a lot of emotional healing at that time, and wanted to focus solely on that, but something needed to be done. I couldn’t just rely on my parents generosity to feed me every day, it’s really not a part of my nature to depend on other people, so.. I began to work on a project for writing about technology, a topic that I’ve been passionate about since the age of 13, albeit much less so these days. I didn’t really have a plan, all I had was determination and the need to make things right for myself. I spent the first 3 months of 2014 working 10 hours a day, taking notes of how to better improve my chances of success, and wasn’t earning a single penny, not yet at least.
Then, after 3 months of hard work and dedication, things started to take new form. I made my first $50 from my writing, and instantly gave it to my parents, since I lived on their shoulders for that time, and they fed me and provided me with a space to live, it felt like the absolute right thing to do. Gradually from thereon my earnings kept going up, and I was able to relocate in my own living space and happily move on for good.
How did I fail? I guess what’s missing from this story, is the part where I failed.
Luckily, I didn’t fail. However, it was a big risk for me to abandon all my daily activities, my life practically, and dedicate myself towards a single project without any indication of success down the road. I was hopeful, determined, and some of my past experiences with writing and blogging helped me to stay focused on making things work. In many regards, I had no choice but to make it work, and work it did. Since then, I had been invited to write columns for publications like Huffington Post, and other highly reputable brands in the field of technology.
I have since changed my strategy, and these days I’m focused solely on teaching and writing about meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality. You could say, that’s another big risk I’m taking, but I’m once again hopeful, and persistence has yet to fail me in life. My life changed in 2012, when an intense awakening experienced changed my whole course of life within a split moment. Since then, I have been on the road of recovery (from drugs, and emotional trauma) and feel extremely passionate about sharing my journey as means of inspiration for other’s to understand themselves better.
Everything in life is one big risk. The risk of marrying the wrong person, the risk of taking the wrong job, even the risk of making the wrong friends. The key is to take these risks, to trust your instincts and to learn when things do go wrong, because unless you’re learning, you’re deliberately blaming yourself for failure. Sure, you might have people around you trying to discourage you, trying to tell their own tales of failure and success, but who are you going to listen to in the end, yourself or those are trying to take you off the path of success?
Success isn’t linear, and sometimes you have to forget about the things you once were so accustomed to having, but it’s not about that. It’s about your personal growth, the rush of adrenaline and excitement when you accomplish a goal that you had been yearning to fulfill. That feeling, it’s life. Being a bully to your own performance is not life, it’s self-sabotage and nothing good ever came out of that.
My Best Tips for Success
I’m really not a success junkie. I have had good experience with doing the seemingly impossible, and through that I’ve learned how to adjust my own mindset whenever I’m working on something new. The following tips have helped me to get to the point where I’m at today; comfortable with my projects, and without the need to sabotage my own mind when things don’t go as well as they were planned. Expect the unexpected.
- Always learn — no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, research what other’s have done similarly and learn from their mistakes and lessons. Use notepads to write down important notes, organize your own thoughts and vision so that you’re not derailing from what’s important.
- Take risks — whether it’s a partnership, or having to leave something behind, if you can see the good in doing it, absolutely do it. Success involves risk, and the more riskier your choices, the more likely you’re going to succeed.
- Don’t judge yourself — instead of putting pressure on yourself, truly believe in what you’re doing and allow yourself to have time for growth, change doesn’t happen overnight, so being motivated to move forward is key a component.
- Ask for help — it’s unlikely that I’d be where I am at today if it wasn’t for other’s who have helped me, mentored me, and guided me in the right direction. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help, no matter what it is. Out of 100 people you ask, at least one is going to be willing to give you advice, and that advice could easily change your life forever.
The human nature can be very stubborn, we’re species that don’t want to admit that we’re wrong, not to mention admitting that someone else was right, but it’s not always that other’s are trying to forcefully teach us something, they’re only sharing what has worked for them in the past. You don’t have to listen to everybody, but once in a while it might be truly helpful to try something new, and see what kind of results it brings.
True success in life is all about failure, and how well you can learn from your own mistakes. A mistake is only a stepping stone for refining and polishing your own approach, so that when you do it next time, you know what to expect, what to avoid, and what to look out for. Only when failure is embraced as a requirement for success, only then you can truly flourish.