FAILURE

FAILURE

“If you live through defeat, you’re not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won. Lose yourself to improve yourself. Only when we shed all self-definition do we find who we really are.”
- The Rza, Tao of the Wu

Failure.

The word itself is loaded with a multitude of emotions. For some its fear, for others its dread, and for one or two of us it may even remind us of simpler times with our old friends struggle and sacrifice. Whatever feelings the word brings to mind, the act of failing is efficient at cutting to the core of who you are.  Failure exposes your truth by allowing you to clearly see your strengths and your weaknesses and use that insight to understand what is important to you and what you need to change.

To manifest your truth you must experience failure and embrace the feelings that come with it. By embracing and understanding these feeling’s rather than avoiding the pain that comes with them, you can fully process the lessons from your experience. If you avoid the pain, similar to beginning a new exercise at the gym, you prolong your process. Eventually the universe will bring this lesson to you in a different form and you will have to deal with it again and again until you face and overcome the challenge. There is no shortcut to achieving lasting fulfillment and dealing with the evolutionary experiences that are an unavoidable part of your growth. Therefore the key is to maximize the positive impact of the lessons learned and minimize the time it takes you to pivot and apply these lessons to your personal journey.

In our society “failure” is a dirty word because it comes with shame, regret, and other negative emotions and connotations. But this thought process is misleading because when a proactive person fails they are actually succeeding at their overarching goal, which is getting closer to manifesting the purest version of their purpose.   While you don’t want to make a habit of failing, the act of failing means that you are trying, that you are putting yourself on the line. When you do something challenging, new, innovative, or special, inevitably you are going to have to have to try things that do not work. Therefore failing is part of the process of attempting to do something great. Furthermore, what is life without the excitement of new experiences, experimentations, and challenges? Therefore the real question you need to ask yourself when you are presented with the opportunity to fail is, do you have the courage to push through failure, trust your instincts and arrive at your success?  Greatness, innovation, leadership, magic, all of these things come from the people whose passion and desire are great enough to overcome failures and challenges.

Personally, I have failed many times and I am sure I will fail many more because I am relentlessly dedicated to the manifestation of new and exciting projects.

But I still have a fear of failure.

This fear used to bother me because I didn’t understand why. I knew it wasn’t because failing hurt too much, as failure usually causes much less pain and suffering than one would expect. I realized it is because fear is the body’s mechanism to protect itself from danger, and therefore must be ever-present. So instead of avoiding fear, I am now learning to embrace the fear and allow my relationship with the emotion to evolve with me. Now I use fear to help me to make better decisions instead of forcing me to make worse decisions. I am aware that I am not doing good work unless fear is present, but I also know that I cannot panic and react to fear. Fear is now my partner.  It is a clear sign that I am challenging myself to do my best work, which more often than not that leads to success. And on the rare occasion it manifests in failure, I am able to avoid the shame or regret by knowing I pushed myself and was true to my beliefs. I process the lessons of my experience and as quickly as possible get back to the task of manifesting my magic.

The legendary director Francis Ford Coppola sums up my feelings about failure in one statement, “the things that you get fired for when you’re young are the exact same things that you win lifetime achievement awards when you’re old…. So you have to realize, especially when you’re struggling to try to have some sort of success, that the things that get you in trouble are also the things later on that are remembered as being exceptional.” There is no exceptional or remarkable work without failure.

No one knows your true self, your essence, better than you. Your best shot at success and lasting fulfillment is to understand what makes you special and manifest a reflection of that in the world. While failure is a tough experience to go through, it is a requirement of the process and one of the most valuable tools to help you grow and manifest your truth.

Remember, wisdom is winning.

The Someday Sermon uses real world experience, philosophy, creativity, and spirituality to assist and inspire individuals and organizations on their journey to manifest their magic and achieve sustainable fulfillment. It is released weekly on Sunday mornings.

 

  • Sophie Hauptfuhrer

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