Central PA's LGBT News Source
Have you failed at anything? That’s an interesting question. If you’re like the majority of people who get asked that you’re already feeling some kind of emotional reaction.
Guilt, shame, anger, disappointment and denial are just five of the most popular you’ll encounter. The denial response is often found among New Agers and even some New Thought students who believe failure is impossible; or worse, unthinkable!
But here’s the kicker with ignoring or explaining away failure: we miss the gift in failing.
By ignoring the fact that something didn’t work out the way we planned we gloss over the problems that most need our attention. Our ego will rise up through a dramatic entrance to any situation that even mildly alludes to us being wrong, incapable or inadequate. Guess what? We can be all of these things at times no matter who we are.
Ever watch a toddler learning to walk? She tries. She fails. She tries again. She falls down, probably giggling. Eventually, after many unsuccessful attempts, she stands on her own power and takes her first tentative step. That shows strength and character. Her ego hasn’t developed enough yet to be judge and jury for every minor or major foible she will encounter in growing up.
It’s not solely from the disappointment alone that we learn from our failures. It’s from recognizing what didn’t work and knowing that we have within us the power to do better next time. No matter how badly we screw up we have the assurance that we did the very best we could with the information available to us at the time.
When we have improved information, perhaps from failing at a task or relationship, we are better prepared to make more informed decisions in the future. Knowing that it was our decisions that created the situation with which we are now dealing assures us that we are empowered to change our thinking and enjoy results more to our liking.
And, even if the outcomes we come across appear to have been creating by others, we still have the choice to be at the effect of those situations, or draw upon the power within us to change our experience.
More than one person has said that if we aren’t failing from time-to-time then we’re probably doing very little and taking few chances. Step out now and move forward. If you’d like to be further encouraged by the successes of others who have dealt with failure, click But They Did Not Give Up for a link to a truly inspiring webpage from the University of Kentucky.
Terry is an author, speaker, licensed social worker and flight attendant. He is also the director of Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation.