I have admittedly vacillated back and forth on the subject of failure and more specifically, the notion that failure is synonymous with success. I have toyed with this belief perceivably being a constructively positive concept, let alone embracing it as truth. I have listened to and read many articles written by notable experts and thought leaders; many of whom I respect and share space with in this arena of personal development, who have uniquely discussed and shared their views and perceptions as it relates to their own ideological interpretations.
As someone who talks at length on the subject of the profoundness and impactfulness of self-talk and mindset, I had previously been more apt to dismiss the word failure from my vocabulary – deeming it to be counter-intuitive and even a form of subconsciously self-sabotaging. I have really only chosen to use or reference the word failure in context to reminding people that those who are classified to be a so-called overnight success, are in actuality, people who have simply chosen to plough through many an obstacle, many a hardship, and who are continuously met with challenges and setbacks, and on a regular basis. I can personally attest to this as someone who is perceived and characterized as successful when in fact, my journey of choosing to non-negotiably rise no matter the circumstance or the disappointment is not derived out of everything having been a bulls-eye, or an instantaneous win or always having received a ‘yes’ regardless of my relentless work ethic – rather, I have obsessively chosen to calibrate/re-calibrate my mindset; shift my focus and thinking as often as what is required in order for my thought processes to remain in alignment with my massive action-taking.
If goals, outcomes, objectives or intention-setting I had blue-printed and road-mapped for myself took longer than I had initially planned for in which to achieve or obtain – a tangible action-item I could eventually scratch off my to-do-list, rather than getting consumed by unending frustration or allowing my state to plummet, or have myself believing I had somehow ‘failed,’ – I would then make it (and still do) my priority to take ultimate responsibility for whatever the results or lack-thereof and if legitimately important enough for me to continue proceeding forward with whatever my goal or action-item – back to the drawing board I would go.
I am of the mindset and belief system that when things do not result for me in the way I had envisioned, regardless of whether I believe I invested 150% of my time, effort, and energies to forge something into existence or to manifest it ‘showing up’ for me – rather than construing or misconstruing (depends on your perspective) the outcome as a failure, I have personally found it to be more constructively intuitive to instead go deep within and dig deeper than perhaps I previously ever had, to question myself to the degree I really ever wanted this in the first place, and churn over the so-called importance or relevancy this in fact holds or does not hold for me. I question myself on how authentically purpose and passions driven I am with respect to my identified intention/goal. I am a firm believer that the Universe at different junctures within our individual lives, will force us to stop in our tracks, get off the treadmill of life, and challenge us to have these deeper conversations with(in) ourselves. I believe the Universe IS my sounding board. I truly believe that the Universe has my best interest at heart and ultimately has my back and so, even in-spite of when moments or projects or outcomes go awry or do not produce the desired result – I then choose to view this as the Universes way of simply offering me the additional gift and opportunity of clarity, and always much needed introspection, evaluation, and self-assessment. For me, this is can only ever be interpreted as an invaluable tool, lesson,and exercise in expanding upon my own level of self-awareness and personal commitment to growth and evolution of self. How can this then, and to my own way of choosing to think, not be indicative at the deeper core level, as only a WIN WIN as opposed to a so-called ‘fail?’
I recently came across (no coincidences) a video on one of my favourite social media sites, GOALCAST, and it was the ever-inspiring Will Smith who spoke on this subject of failure. The way in which he so eloquently and succinctly spoke to this was what became the conduit for this subject matter of failure having ever completely resonated with me. When I heard Will Smith reference failure as a PHASE for success and paralleled it with the adaptation of someone working out in the gym, whose muscles could not push more or lift more and yet the continuation to keep going until one could exceed those initial limitations or having once upon a time having hit the proverbial wall (I am of course paraphrasing based on my takeaway and breakthrough from what I heard and sponged up) – the light bulb went on for me! You can never up your own game if you are not fiercely committed to pushing through the previous barriers of what you may have fallen short on. Will Smith’s video on failure, and the brilliance of his message, allowed me for the first time in my life, and throughout my many decades of being immersed in the world of personal and professional development, to truly grasp the word itself and the concept of failure as a necessity. Failure breeds practice…practice breeds success. Based on ones commitment to practice and the consistent art and skill of practicing – your limit for what you can accomplish will only ever increase and intensify. The more committed you are to consistently outgrowing your limits the more limitless you become. Just WOW!
I do in fact practice, break limits, and defy my own barriers all the time. I am a former competitive swimmer and had practiced six days a week/twice a day for many years, and of course as a result of my ongoing regimen, I got better and stronger every day, and yet, I have somehow up until the recent watching of Will Smith’s video, had managed to remain blocked in my processing of the word ‘failure’ to mean anything other than negative or counter-intuitive. I get it now. And although, I have used different terminologies to deliver and execute on my goals and intentions, more importantly than the jargon itself, I am grateful for having still always applied the adaptations and the correlations between practice and limits hence failure and success. With my newfound and deeper understanding and appreciation of the word and concept of failure – I now choose to internalize and channel ‘failure’ more from the perspective of contrast and contrasting ones own results as opposed to viewing it as an ultimate state of self-defeat or equating it to quitting, imploding or interpreted as self-deprecating in relationship to inner dialogue/self-talk. I am immensely grateful for this gift, this lesson, this insight, and for Will Smith’s message. I am equally grateful for all my moments of failure. I am grateful that because of all my experiences of personal and professional failure, I now have an even deeper understanding and appreciation for my own areas of success. They have all along only ever played together and existed as one and the same on the continuum from one end of the spectrum to the other – conjoined at the invisible hip by perseverance, resiliency, attitude, self-discipline, and fortitude and bound by my relentless attitude and mindset to consistently practice and smash my own limits. As I have always said, and as I wholeheartedly believe…beyond the sky is my limit!
I will fail as many times as is required to succeed in honouring myself for what I inherently know to be my purpose.
Love & Gratitude ~ Lisa
Uplifting you to fear less and to live more!
Originally published at livingfearlesslywithlisa.com