Do we grow more through success or failure? I’d venture that it’s failure that not only teaches us more, but teaches us how to be successful.
Of course in yinyang terms, ‘failure’ and ‘success’ are simply two sides of the same coin. And life is about flipping (hopefully success comes up more often). BUT.
I could pepper this post with plenty of examples of failures in my life, including Parenting – EPIC FAIL at times – right now I’m kept awake at night by a simple ‘failure’ at work that in many ways is not my fault, still I feel I’ve let people down.
I guess I have two choices, regret or growth. Growth is hard, regret can be comforting in a ‘nursing your pride’ with a melancholic drink kinda way (and believe me I do that pretty well). But the choice is obvious.
Zen Habits wrote about failing and how to deal with it, and when the post pipped in my inbox, I found inspiration for this post when I had failed to find any previously – out of failure, success! Houla!
So here’s my zen-like, yinyang take on how to make success and failure happy bedfellows in your life and importantly, how to grow through both.
After all, we stop growing, we die.
1) Find acceptance in failure – it’s not hard to accept and celebrate success of course, but in being OK with our own failings, not beating ourselves up over them but simply admitting and accepting our humanness and learning from failure, we succeed at self-acceptance, and this is the starting point for success (and the path to contentment, which is far more important IMHO)! We can’t succeed if we start from a place of lack, of ‘not being good enough’.
2) Find compassion in failure – ‘to err is human, to forgive divine’ – follow that famous piece of wisdom. When we accept that we fail, we can accept other’s failures too. When we forgive ourselves our own failings, we can forgive others – and apparently that makes us ‘divine’ (I quite like the idea of being divine!). We become more ‘human’ through failure – the societal layers that separate us on the ‘road to success’ are stripped back. Failure feels more ‘real’ than success.
3) Find connection in failure – following on from the last point – we are brought closer together through our failings when we find compassion instead of comparison. Especially when failure brings us down rungs on the ‘success ladder’ we encounter people we may not have connected with on the climb. We open ourselves up to real, authentic connections when we are humbled by failure. And who knows where these connections might lead us?
4) Find strength in failure – after we have got over the ‘why me’s, poor me’s and the bad me’s’ to realise that we are just human; after we have given ourselves acceptance and forgiveness and find it easier to forgive others through learning the lesson of compassion; it is then that we realise that we have actually grown stronger. We are prepared to risk failure in seeking ‘success’ because we know we can not only cope with it, but learn so much from it. We are strong because we have been prepared to learn and we realise that fear of failure is worse than failure itself.
5) Find success through failure – As self-accepting, non-judgemental, compassionate, connected, strong and brave individuals, because we have failed, we are bound to succeed if we remember the lessons.
I do believe in the Law of Attraction, in manifesting BUT the law only applies when we accept the Law of Contentment, the Law of Gratitude and the Law of Forgiveness first (I don’t know whether these are official laws, but I reckon they should be).
We must come to attracting positive things into our lives through accepting and forgiving what has happened to us in the past and being grateful for who we are and what we have now. And that means not only accepting how we have failed, but that failure is an option (or a possibility at least).
So here’s to your ‘success’ and finding the good when you fail! Linking up for FYBF with the lovely With Some Grace.