Failure is Your Friend
One of the biggest mistakes I have made in the past, is working with the belief that things in my life should and will be easy. To be sure, this is a subtle, easy to ignore state of mind, because everyone ‘knows’ that nothing good comes easy, but on close examination of myself, I realise that there’s a part of me that deeply wants things to be easy.
I say it is subtle because it is not an outright thought, just attitudes that I have observed in myself. For example, I find it difficult to remain consistent, but I want the results of the things I should be working towards. In theory I know nothing can come at the snap of my fingers, but that doesn’t always translate to reality.
The explanation for this isn’t as simple as laziness. There are few people that are truly, just lazy. Most are either afraid or unmotivated. Why would anyone be afraid or unmotivated to apply themselves to what they desire? I think there are multiple layers of fear. Chief of which is often a fear of failure, which then translates to not starting at all or quitting at the earliest sign of distress. You cannot fail at what you aren’t doing.
If you notice, there’s a usually a pattern to giving up. You start something all energised and you build the momentum. Then there’s a disruption, maybe two and you don’t get back on the wagon - It’s too late. There’s no point. It doesn’t matter anyway. The question we often fail to ask is - for whom? For whom is it too late or pointless? If you were not self-conscious, perhaps it won’t be too late. But when you have all these expectations- real and imagined- you think you have failed, so you quit.
What happens when we factor in “failure” as part of the process ? Or if we say, I’m going to start doing this. I expect that I will slack off after some time and this is okay; it’s part of my experience. What if we decide to engage ourselves when we do fail? I’ve stopped doing this thing- why? Am I scared? Have I convinced myself that it is pointless because I am unsure ? Have I genuinely lost interest or realised that I’m not really engaged in what I am doing ? Basically have a conversation with ourselves, where we can learn what is really going on.
We often don’t do this. We tend to shut down and ignore the answers to these unspoken questions. We avoid avoid avoid and feel bad because we haven’t quite settled with ourselves, why we’ve given up.
It is not always straight fear that causes this desire for the easy life. Sometimes, it is an inability to take responsibility for oneself and the hope that someone would just know you are brilliant at something, without you taking the time and resources to show them. A diamond is a diamond is a diamond. Nothing can stop it from being so. But before the diamond is found, there is a process of mining that takes place. If you do not mine the diamond, it will stay in the ground. It’ll still look and be as sparkly as a diamond, but no one will see it.
So sometimes my behaviour is akin to a diamond that hopes to be sold to the highest bidder without having being mined. Or a piece of gold, that hasn’t been refined/purified, but wants to be used to create a jewellery set. Nobody can deny that it is gold, but until it is refined, it can’t be used.
I have been thinking about all these things - my fear and hope that someone will just notice my latent talents. And I can see that this attitude will not get me anywhere close to where I need to be. There’s only so much an external force can push me. The rest remains with me. Much in the same way I can receive the best education and opportunities, but if I do not use them and apply myself, there’s only so far they can take me. I have to use everything in me to push myself. No matter how much someone else might want it for me, I still need to do the work. The laws of nature are always obeyed. This means that you get out what you put in.
And as for fearing the future or fearing the possibility of failure, what I keep reminding myself is this - God’s got my back. And for as long as I do my bit and remain honest with and true to myself, the rest will fall into place. Part of being true to myself is realising when I need to step up and doing so, without any time spared for regret or self pity.
Life is what you make it. You can shift all the blame in the world to the position of the sun and the phase of the moon. Either way, the role you have to play remains significant and it doesn’t go away. That’s why the same patterns will repeat themselves until you get the message. And this is why ‘failure’ is your friend - it is a guide for co-creating the successful you. So embrace it and use it to your fullest advantage. Before you know it, you will begin to see the guiding light it provides.
Have a great weekend everyone.