The Importance Of Failing Every Day And Owning It
We all fail. Every single day, we fail.
It might be something simple, like failing to wake up when your alarm clock rings or forgetting to wish your friend a Happy Birthday.
It might be something heavier, like failing out of college or pushing friends and family away because of your pain.
It might be something silly like forgetting to buy toilet paper or pretending your dog didn’t just take a shit because you forgot poop bags at home.
It might be something that requires reconciliation like betraying a loved one or betraying yourself.
Either way and regardless of the degree in which we fail, there are always only two outcomes. There are only two ways to embrace failure – as the victim, or as the victor.
As the victim, we pity ourselves when our home isn’t clean or when we forget to buy milk at the store. We pity ourselves when we hurt people and when we hurt ourselves. We pity ourselves instead of taking responsibility for the ways we can be better friends, better workers, better parents, better kids, and better partners. We spiral into cycles of blame, or “not good enough”, and we often rely on our victim attitude to get us validation from others. Victim may temporarily feel comforting because it can cause the people around us to comfort us too. This is because victim often relies on how others perceive our pain. This takes us away from what truly matters – not what people think of us, but instead, what we know of ourselves to be true. In the long run, victim spirals keep us from seeing ourselves honestly. They help no one. They especially don’t help the one cycling in them.
As the victor, we take responsibility for our actions, our imperfections, our failings, and we rise to meet them with love. We see them for what they are – a part of what it is to be human, a part of what it is to be an inevitably imperfect human, a part of us that may still hurt, a narrative we tell ourselves that isn’t serving us. Whatever it might be, we must acknowledge our failure and take the following 4 steps to transcend it.
Step One: See
See it for what it is – Is it laziness, lack of self-love, lack of commitment to your purpose, projected pain from your past, a story you keep telling yourself, impatience, criticism, reactiveness?… the list goes on. Whatever it might be, notice it for what it is.
Step Two: Honor
Honor it – Accept what it is. Just accept it. Don’t judge. Don’t rationalize. Don’t defend. Don’t deflect. It’s not enough just to see it. We must accept that it happened.
Step Three: Investigate
Honestly Investigate it – Investigate why it happened. If it’s laziness from not waking up to your alarm clock, why do you feel lazy? If it’s throwing a tantrum, why did you feel the need to express pain that way? If it’s performing poorly at work, is it because you aren’t following your bliss? If it’s getting angry with your partner and holding a grudge, why can’t you forgive? This part of the process is the inflection point. This is where we actually learn from our failure.
Step Four: Rise
Rise – Not in spite of it – but BECAUSE of it. Take action steps to transcend the failure. If it’s laziness, find what motivates you. If it’s pain, shift the narrative that causes you pain. If it’s performing poorly, find your passion for work again, or change the work itself. If it’s an inability to forgive, love yourself enough to know it’s never personal. This is where we actually take action to change our behavior. Here, we can choose to laugh our forgetfulness, we can unlearn negative habits and patterns, we can take responsibility for the ways we hurt ourselves and others, and we can find the places to love ourselves harder.
When it comes down to it, it’s fairly simple. There are only two choices. We can choose to pity ourselves, or we can choose to move forward with the zest to be better. When we choose to be a victor, we choose to wake up when our alarm clock rings. We put our friend’s birthday on our calendar. We remember poop bags every time we walk the dog. We take responsibility for our pain when we hurt others. We look at where our pain comes from and take actionable steps to transcend it.
You see, what is important is not that you fail. What is important is that you embrace each and every time you do. From the little moments to the big ones. It’s much easier to sink into being a victim than it is to rise as a victor. It’s much easier to blame or to say, “Damn it, I fucked up and I suck”, than it is to say, “I take complete responsibility for this, and will reap my lesson for growth from it. I will take this failure as a way to improve my everyday habits, my healing of pain, my commitment to myself and my purpose. I will take this as a lesson to reinvigorate my life force, and I will no longer shy away from my imperfections.” Because the reality is, your imperfections are your greatest teachers. And the beauty is, you will always have them. No matter how much you grow, no matter how much you learn, they will always be here to remind you that you can keep growing. And that’s what makes them perfect. If you allow them to be, they are tools for greater empowerment. The key is to choose to see them as such, to choose to be the victor of your failures.
The truth is, you will fail every single day of your life. It’s a beautiful inevitability of what it means to be a human alive on this earth. Now, you can either run from your failings and feel bad for yourself because of them, or you can embrace them fully with love and gratitude, for they are the ignition to your fire, the seeds to your growth, and the wings to your flight. So go on… Fail. Rise. And Fly. Fly on you beautifully imperfect human. Fly on.
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