Failure. It's a big, scary, intimidating word. Failure can rear its head at the most inopportune times in any area of life, be it personal or professional. But, I realized something recently.
First off, I'm a verbal processor. For me, this means I love problem solving and talking through challenges and achievements with other people to help me give more concrete form to my thoughts. At one point when I was talking with someone recently, I said "I don't even think about failure anymore." To be honest, I hadn't even realized that until I said it out loud, but it's true! This year I have learned to give myself so much space to be, and this is one of the ways it's paid off. It was such an unexpected relief to say this out loud, and have a reminder that life is all a process. There is no success or failure, as far as most of my life is concerned. Putting myself in those boxes of "failure" and "success" is so constricting and leaves no space for the "gray areas" where maybe you didn't meet your goals exactly how you thought you would, but solutions came from unexpected places. Or maybe your goal wasn't met at all, but you learned something about yourself, your relationships, or your work, that you wouldn't have discovered otherwise. Those times are still a total win and deserve to be appreciated, because they shape who we are! Otherwise, life feels like "three strikes and you're out" (or even ONE strike and you're out!). That isn't what I want my life story to look like, and that certainly isn't the perspective on life that I want to teach others or demonstrate by example.
I want to say though that I didn't always used to think like this. I'm basically a recovering judgeaholic where I was constantly under my own scrutiny, and if I made a mistake, that made me "bad." It's a quick downward spiral from there! Choosing to omit "failure" from my vocabulary towards myself has been super helpful as I navigate my health, happiness, relationships and work, but it's still a work in progress! If this sounds like your journey too, know that there are ways to move through feeling like a failure and you're not alone! Choose to make use of words that encourage and strengthen you, and help you appreciate the person you are. And those words that feel judgey or bring you down? You don't have to use them. You can make your own rules, friends!
Would you ever eliminate the word "failure" from your vocabulary? How do you think it would change your life? If you've started doing this already, I'd love to hear about your experience!
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