Failures — Or Opportunities for Growth?
When we "fail" at things in life or in our jobs, we often feel shame and can be incredibly harsh on ourselves for less-than-perfect outcomes.
Failures are only “failures” if you view them as such. You can also choose to view failures as opportunities to grow, learn, and become smarter or stronger than you were before.
We will not always achieve the exact results that we wish on our first try. Instead of viewing this fact as a shortcoming of your own, instead try to see what gift or advancement can come from any situation.
Whether it’s a big project that tanked, your bank account is in the negatives, or your children are angry that you keep missing important events — we can apply the following to any area of our life that can use growth.
1. Acknowledge and affirm:
Okay, so I didn’t do it perfectly the first time. That is OKAY. That is fine. It’s not the end of the world. I am not dead. I am still breathing. I still have many things to be thankful for. I still have a job. I have a chance to do something different. Use phrases of gratitude and positivity to remind yourself that you can and will surpass this temporary setback.
2. Gather information, this is a LEARNING experience:
What went wrong the first time? What pieces didn’t fit? What can I do in the future that will make this successful? What do I need to allow in my life in order for this to happen? Can I get advice and feedback from others? Can I research more? Can I practice more? Let’s look at the situation for clues on how to do it better the next time.
3. Apply Information to your future OPPORTUNITY:
I am better equipped now to handle this situation in the future. I now know what is needed from me in order to achieve my goals. Knowing what can happen, I know what steps to take to become successful. I know what didn’t work, so now I know to try with a better plan in place.
Labeling situations as failures is what leads to negative, “I am a failure”-like feelings. We want to instead empower ourselves and know that we are powerful beings who are designed to navigate the ups and downs of life — we are designed to grow through experiences rather than just go through them.
You’re not a failure. You’re a learner, as we all are. Give yourself credit for all of your accomplishments and patience for areas that you have yet to grow in. Let’s grow together.
The EMPA Team