Seeing the word failure, typing it, saying it, just thinking about it, is enough to make a person queasy.


I’ve been told that the more you are exposed to it you eventually get used to it.  Maybe. I’m still having a tough time with that theory.

What makes failure so hard is the fact that it’s so easy to take it personally. We are lead to believe that at a certain point in our lives we should finally have things figured out and be able to stop struggling.  Once we achieve happiness we’ll never be sad again. Once we are “enlightened” then we will never have to worry about darkness. I’ve this in yoga classes where practitioners have some really good breakthroughs and then think there is something wrong with them when they inevitably have a “bad” class. I’ve seen this with clients when old patterns or feelings they thought they got past repeat themselves times of stress.

Once we experience ease, we seem to expect to live “happily ever after.” But, as we have all learned, this is not the case.

Anytime you step outside your comfort zone in the direction of change or growth or achievement, you are walking straight into failure territory.  It’s impossible to avoid it. In fact, failing is something that should actually be celebrated. Failure is an indication that you are getting somewhere.  Failure only becomes a problem if at the first taste of it you put on the brakes and crawl back into your comfort zone where nothing shifts and expands. Where you can just stay in one place and never grow.

Look at the failure, learn from it, and move forward from it without taking it personally.  When we fail, it’s easy to think, “I’M the failure” as opposed to the truth which is, “this didn’t work.”  We need to take a step back from our actions and not attach them so directly to the core of who we really are.  Failure should not have an effect on our own self-worth.

You are stronger and more resilient than you think. Try things out and see how they go. Adopt a mentality of experimentation. If your theory doesn’t work, make some adjustments and do something different that serves the purpose better. As long as you are willing to keep trying, failure will begin to serve you well.