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Value your Failure

30 Nov 2015   Shanti Gowans

At what point did we make failure not OK?

If you weren’t allowed to fail, then you would never have walked as a baby, never ridden a bike, never asked someone out on a date, never would have contributed an idea to a discussion, never would have gone to school or done a course, never would deliver a speech, or stand for something you believe in.

When you limit failure, you limit effort.

The real problem here is when we make failure a finish line, instead of being a stepping stone. When failure is being used as a measurement of progress, then you feel terrible whenever you don’t achieve, what you expect to achieve and this can stop you trying the next time. As a result, you may even choose to put yourself in fewer situations where you might fail, and only engage in activities that you might succeed in – thus not allowing you to have new experiences, learn new skills, meet new people, or achieve new things.

When your mood and self-esteem determines your effort, you are forever restricted in your comfort zone of achievement and potential.

Staying emotionally centred, and not allowing your emotions to run your life and make your decisions gives you the courage and ability to stretch your comfort zone and to apply yourself when you continually face off failures and setbacks.

The key is to turn up (and tune into) the emotions that drive activity and effort and turn down (and tune out) those emotions that make you fear failure and are self-punishing when you don’t succeed. 

Even your troubles. Remember that whatever the trouble is, it could so much worse… Also, our troubles make us who we are, and help us take the next step.

Just recently I had a conversation about this with a friend. We were talking about how we can always look at everything that happens in a positive light.

 “In that case” she said “Help me to see how you can look at your accident that broke bones in your foot etc. in a positive light, because I am really having a tough time trying to figure out that one."

When I look at my life today, I can see that my live and how I run our business is taking on entirely new directions we never thought of before. This is a direct result of the physical condition I am in, that forced me to use my mind in creative ways. I just couldn’t physically continue to do things the same way, nor did I want to, but was too comfortable to rock the boat. Today our business potential is so much more promising than what it was before.

The biggest problem people have is that they don’t fail enough. By failing and making mistakes do we learn and grow and stumble upon incredible opportunities that we would be unaware of when we're sailing smoothly through life. Dare to fail, and be grateful for it. Great things will come of it. And with that I leave you to find the silver lining in your own past failures. Especially look at how far you’ve come because of it.

High performance teams need to be agile and self correcting.  By not demonising failure, you learn faster and implement with confidence, knowing that you have breathing space to refine and improve your process without fear of reprimand.

Keep bouncing back!


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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