My business failed; I failed my driving test; I am a failure. It doesn’t have to be like this. When I was young I was always falling off my bike whilst learning to ride. No one ever said each tumble was a failure. We applaud people when they are young for trying and trying again. What happens as we grow up? Why does the courage and determination to get back into the saddle become a weakness to be derided? No wonder adults become increasingly risk averse, we don’t want to be held up as a failure for all to see. And of course, the more often we’re told we’ve failed the more likely it is that we come to believe that we are indeed a failure.
For me the only failure is not to try. Whatever the outcome, there is something to learn. Any perceived failure is just mental baggage to be left behind. Peoples’ expectations, your own and others are the most likely culprits. ‘It’s not going to end well”. ‘Anything less than perfection is just not good enough”. ”You always mess up”. We set ourselves up to fail or allow others to do it for us. But what if you couldn’t fail, how would that change things? What would you do tomorrow that you felt unable to do today for fear of failing to meet your own or someone else’s expectations? Let me know in the comments.