We are our very best champion and yet, we have the capacity to be our worst enemy. Our ability to succeed, often constrained by our own limiting beliefs. ..
Ever said: “I can’t pursue my dreams because I may fail”? I certainly have, a time or 2 (or 100).
Before I really dug in and started pursuing my dreams, there were many moments where I worried about failing. What if I fail? Will everyone see me as a loser forever? Will I disappoint those I care about the most? What will happen to my life?
And then it hit me: My fear was unnecessary. If I properly strategized, planned, and took action accordingly, there was no reason I should fail. Start S.M.A.R.T! Before acting on your dream, make sure you have an S.M.A.R.T. (Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Time-Specific.) goal plan in place. And even if I did “fail” I could try something else. Yeah, too much weight is attached to failure in our world. A little truth nugget: People fail all the time. Yep, I said it. The big thing isn’t whether we fail, it’s how we proceed if we do.
Strategies for thriving in failure:
- Learn from your failures. – Reflect on the action steps you took in the journey. If you can pinpoint those steps that were challenging and/or led to undesirable outcomes, you know have information that can help you formulate a better plan for next time.
- Look deeply inside the big picture and recognize the achievements you had along the journey. While you’re there, give yourself a huge pat on the back! – Nothing is wholly a failure, even if it seems that way at the time. I repeat: Nothing. Nothing. Nothing is ever a complete failure. Somewhere along the way, likely many, many times, you found success. It may not have been the success you hoped for but each achievement, no matter how small, it is something. So congratulations!
- Try to inspect your failure to see if some piece, part, parcel can be salvaged and turned into a future plan. – You don’t have to wholly reinvent the wheel when it comes to strategizing/planning for your dream. While you may have to significantly adjust your original plan, you will at least have a base to work from.
- Have a strategy for what to do if things don’t go according to plan. – Don’t wait until it’s on the floor before you start goal planning for your dream – have a solid idea of what you’ll do “if”.
- Keep breathing. – When things don’t go according to plan, fear begins to rear its ugly head. This often leads to overwhelm and limiting beliefs. When these set in and take hold, it can negatively impact our breathing. Breathing is necessary to our survival. The process of breathing allows your blood cells to receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide waste. Improper breathing can upset the, very necessary, oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. This upset can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, and other physical, psychological, and emotional challenges and even paralysis. Yes, when we become very afraid to dream or act on our dreams, we can literally become unable to. Just keep breathing. I mean, really breathe.
- Try, try, try again. – Maybe this time wasn’t your time, but that doesn’t mean next time won’t be!