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I Am a Failure

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

Certainly one of the most moving and important experiences I've had in life is the experience of failure. I've spent a ton of my life not trying things out of fear of failing, out of an insecurity centered around what other people must think of me when I fail and anticipating the emotional hole that I have to dig myself out of after failing.

It sucks to suck at something. It sucks to fail. It sucks to be a failure. That's the story we tell ourselves, anyway.

Failure creates a contrast though. Born from failure can be a desire to succeed, a desire to have the opposite feeling of failure. So it's important to try, it's important to fail, it's important to learn more clearly what you want through failure. Failure reinforces and strengthens your desire and more clearly defines for you what that desire is. The more clarity with which you see your desire, the more likely you'll achieve it.

Failure can be avoided, but it requires actively not trying (which if you ask me, is the true meaning of a life not lived). Not trying means never failing, but it also means never succeeding.

I have avoided failing, I've lived in the middle, the "safe" place, in many aspects of my life: my business, my relationships, in the pursuit of many of my goals. This very moment, now, I continue to live in the middle and not try BUT, I know it now and acknowledge it, and in that I feel powerful.

"Trying" or being available to failure is not a switch you can flip to suddenly be fearless or reach your goals, but like so many things, you can begin by taking an action and putting in a deliberate and conscious effort. You can practice trying, you can practice failing, you can practice coming back from failure. You can get better at it all!

What I'm working on now is failing fast and failing often. I am conditioning myself to reduce the time between failures. That is, I try and then fail...and rather than sulking I look for feedback and try again, and then fail. This goes on and on until the "try" manifests as something other than a manifests as progress, it manifests as success, it manifests as a result that is enabling for the next try, whatever it looks like is whatever the story is that you tell yourself. Practice telling the story that your try is worth it. That your failure is worth it. That trying again is worth it. 

PS: there are little and big "tries". There's "practice" and there is "showtime". Practicing, like in anything else, makes you better and more prepared for when it's showtime. Practice being bad at something - a sport, an instrument, a dance move, then when you get good at it...stop and go do something else you suck at!

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