I completely forgot to write an article for today. I woke up this morning, wrote for something else and midway through the day, I realized it was Wednesday. I failed. I hate feeling like my writing is rushed because I like to think and really feel my writing. So instead, I thought I going to post a question from our recent book.
"Wait, what? You wrote a book?" - Everyone
Recently, Steven and I wrote a book called “Not So Frequently Asked Questions.” If you haven’t heard of it, it’s because clearly we’re just writers and failed at marketing. We were so focused on the content and quality of the book that we forgot to build anticipation. Here is one question from our new book:
“How do I stop internalizing failure and beating myself up? I have this problem. I internalize everything! If I fail at something even if I worked hard at it and even if some things were out of my control, I get really down on myself for a long time. As this happens I doubt my capabilities, motivation, intelligence etc. and blame myself for every failure in my life. I try to not be like this but it’s just in my nature.” - Angela
I’ve personally failed at a lot of things throughout my short life. I’ve failed school courses, businesses, writing, and worst of all, people. I’ve gotten down on myself. It’s hard to pick up and start something knowing all my past failures.
But through all my failures, there is always one thing that stands out. Failures are just another facet of life. Everyone fails. The majority of people, including myself, share your position, so take comfort in that.
There are a few things that I’ve figured out along the way to stop internalizing my failures. It begins and ends with your perspective. If you change the way you perceive failure, you alter how it impacts you.
Failure is okay
You can learn valuable life lessons from every failure. Without them, there wouldn’t be lessons and without lessons, there wouldn’t be successes. Don’t let your defeats be in vain. Learn, progress and strive for something better.
I’ve realized that failures are significantly more common than successes. Life is a series of disappointments peppered with miniature successes. Even the most accomplished person has had more failures than successes.
There’s so much we can learn from our defeats. The moment we see them as opportunities rather than embarrassments, we no longer fear encountering them. Welcome your failures with open arms. Appreciate your failures for what they are: an integral part of building a better you.
Don’t be afraid of disappointment
It is interesting that failure is something everyone experiences; yet most people are afraid of it. They are afraid of screwing up or disappointing someone, or worse, themselves. Sometimes I am afraid too, but we have to rise above these fears.
If you play it safe and stay in your comfort zone, your life will be a basket full of regrets. You will have more regrets about things you didn’t do rather than things you did and failed at. You will regret not allowing yourself to fail more.
When I started working out, I was timid. I was afraid of what people might think. I couldn’t get over the hump of the judgmental stares. I limited myself to certain activities to avoid ridicule.
I was afraid to try new things because people would laugh if I failed. In most cases, your failures only matter to you. In the brevity of human life, failure does not matter.
Failure is necessary in order to succeed
You must fail consistently, for long periods of time. Falling flat on your face is the best motivator. When we started the YouTube channel, I failed consistently. I still fail consistently. Steven is a good actor and compared to him, I’m a peanut.
I made the same mistakes over and over again. I couldn’t wrap my head around certain lines. My bloopers were almost endless as I struggled to achieve a few good takes.
But as I made the same mistakes repeatedly, I slowly learned. Through failures you slowly gain and hone abilities, one at a time. Use each failure as a plank of wood; eventually building a bridge that leads to your goals.
We often get wrapped up in past thinking. The thoughts hinder us from reaching our full potential. It is a barrier designed to prevent you from achieving great things. It prevents you from moving forward.
I hold on to certain aspects of the past, which prevents me from progressing. But in the end, never doubt your capabilities and never doubt the power of failure.
This is just one question out of the nineteen others in the book. I consider my goal achieved if I can help just one person. The value in this book will bring me closer to that goal, but more importantly, it will help you.
I'm sorry again. I promise I will make it up to all of you next week with something spectacular. Until then,
Be bold, be free, and love on.