“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” ― Steve Maraboli
Do you believe that?
I didn’t used to. I used to think that as I got older—as I acquired more skills, knowledge, wisdom, tools, success, time, etc. that life WOULD get easier.
But the more time that passes, the more I realize this isn’t the case.
The truth is, I have acquired more skills. I’ve acquired more knowledge, wisdom, tools and success—but life isn’t easier because of my abilities.
What has made life easier, though? Learning how to show up. And more importantly—learning how to fail.
The more I fall down, the more I’m forced to get back up.
As a recovering perfectionist (and a human) I used to really resent and shy away from failure. It’s tempting to let a failure become a part of our identity.
And failure FEELS terrible, even if I intellectually know it’s valuable. So how do I align the thought and the feeling so it serves me?
I practice failing.
A few months ago I started making note of my failures.
I got the idea from Ramit Sethi, a financial advisor and entrepreneur who connects primarily through social media. He once mentioned keeping a folder of his “failures” on his desktop, and I was so intrigued by the idea.
So, I decided to strive for 5 failures per month. Notice the language… strive for?Yes!
I actually set a GOAL to fail!
Throughout each month, my goal is to encounter 5 failures that I can note and add to that folder. It’s hard to confront our failures, but this system gives me a way to embrace failure—to succeed by failing!
When I fail (which happens way more than 5 times per month, by the way), it definitely stings at first—I’m human, after all. I let that sting happen.
The feelings are valid and it’s okay to be hurt/sad/upset. But it’s so nice to then also be able to recognize that this failure is serving me—it’s an opportunity to practice resilience.
It’s one more failure to go in my folder of failures.
It’s an opportunity to get back up.
Some failures are big and some are small. But taking the time to acknowledge my failures, I’m actually appreciating myself for leaning into them, instead of away.
It’s a way to practice failure, resilience, and patience.
I look back at some of the folders over the last few months and chuckle. I can now see how they served me…
Not getting a business deal I thought I needed—but I made it through anyway.
Sending a text to the wrong person—but ultimately connecting with someone that I hadn’t in a while.
Not meeting a sales goal—but being inspired for the next project because of the shortcoming.
Scheduling a video to launch at the wrong time—and seeing that life goes on.
There isn’t always a lesson from the specific failure—but I ALWAYS see that it wasn’t the end of the world.
I’m still here, and I’m stronger because of it.
Have you failed recently? Have you let yourself, and have you acknowledged it?
I encourage you to take a second to acknowledge a failure, and appreciate yourself for getting through it.