05 May 2014

Now Is My Time #18: Turning Failure Into "Good Job You!"


I mentioned in last week's Now Is My Time post that I am removing the word "failure" from my vocabulary. I've been thinking about this word and events that are easy to dump under this heading. It seems to me that so often things we consider failures are really just moments where we were brave and took a big risk and things just weren't meant to work out the way we hoped. We didn't fail. It just didn't happen as we'd hoped. But it doesn't mean we blew it.

Where would we be in life if we were afraid to take risks. We would never have learned to walk because we might fall down, we would never have had the courage to go off to kindergarten or learn to ride a bike. A lot of amazing things have happened because we chose to be brave...and them sometimes we've been brave and things haven't worked out.

It seems we humans need to be able to pin a reason on why things don't work out. Sometimes we just can't do that, especially in situations where other people and their actions and sometimes their baggage influence the situation. Having a few good blanket statements we can turn to for why things didn't work out as we wanted is a way to comfort ourselves. They empower us to move on -- instead of getting stuck in the "failure" equation. The failure equation leads to a lot of over thinking, meanness and blame towards ourselves or others or both, it leads to fear and often an inability to move forward in life.

Here are a few great comfort statements:

It wasn't mean to be right now.
That person could not be there for me in the way I had hoped right now.
There is something better coming.
God knows better than I do what I need right now and going forward.
I am not able to be in that place or be who I need to be for that situation right now and that is okay.
Taking care of my well-being is the best use of my energy right now.
The lessons I have learned are preparing me for future success.

Notice none of those statements include anything resembling the following:

If only I had tried harder it would've been okay
I can't do anything right.
Everything I try fails.
Bad stuff always happens.
I wrecked the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I am a failure as a ____________. (fill in the blank with any title under which you operate: friend, employee, girlfriend, wife, mom, daughter, etc.)

So what do you think, can we throw out failure from our vocabularies and start saying "Good job you!" instead? Can we celebrate our bravery and courage to take risks in our lives and for being brave enough reach for things that seem good. We could all use a little less meanness toward ourselves and a lot more kindness and understanding.

My goal for Now Is My Time this week is to tear up any signs of the word "failure" in my life and start building more signs that say "Good job you!" I'm challenging you today to toss out one thing you've considered an embarrassing failure that haunts you. Turn it around to "Lady/Mister, you were awesome just for having the courage to try!" Let's celebrate our courage.

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