Tuesday, August 6, 2013

365 Inspirations—218: Failure and Mistakes

"If you never try, then you'll never know just what you're worth."—Coldplay.

This was post 210 from my 365 Lessons from 2010, which will become a book soon. I'm digging up some of my old posts and I really like this one. Here it is:

Rejection, failure and mistakes are sometimes the name of the game in life. If you are afraid of these then chances are you are afraid of living. Most of us don't live in protective bubbles keeping us out of harms way. Did you ever notice that if you try real hard to avoid certain situations, they end up happening anyway. Do you know how powerful your thoughts are? If you sit there and think, "I know my kids are going to drive me crazy today, but I don't want that." Guess what ends up happening. Or you say in your head, "I probably won't find a parking spot, but I really want one." Well, guess what, no parking spot for you. It's like you're afraid of what's to come and you don't want it to happen and at the same time, in your head, you are already giving it energy.

Let go. Just let go. Stop trying so hard to fight the current and just go with it. Then, when mistakes and failure happen, you are much more able to roll with it. Here's a story you'll appreciate:

So, when my agent sent out my book proposal to various publishing houses, I didn't get an immediate acceptance. In fact, I got quite a few rejections. When the first rejection came in via e-mail, I said to my husband, "Well, I got a pass." He almost started jumping up and down. He said, "Congratulations!" How could you blame him. The English language is so weird like that. A pass can mean you made the grade or someone passed on you. He thought it was the former. Kind of like passing your driver's test. You passed! I had to explain to him that a pass in the publishing world means something entirely different. He looked at me and said, "English is a strange language." Don't I know it. I teach English as a Second Language. I can't tell you how many times my students have asked me "Why?" about the idiosyncrasies of English and all I can tell them, when there is no formal rule to explain it, is "Well, I don't know, that's just how it is."

My husband changed everything for me with that story. I started to look at rejections and mistakes as passes. If I got rejected or I made a mistake, I began to look at it as a pass to a new level of understanding. Instead of seeing failure and mistakes as something to be avoided, I saw them as tools to learn from. By using them I uncovered more of what I needed to do and where I needed to go.

When you hit rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up and if you ask people who seem to have it together if they were always that way, you'd be surprised to learn that many of them hit rock bottom or struggled and had to go through very painful life experiences. Instead of letting those experiences get them down and remain forever stuck at the bottom, those people chose to strap on their climbing boots and, step by step, make their way out of the hole they most likely dug for themselves.

We've all been in that hole at some point in our lives. Life is not smooth sailing all the time. Sometimes there are storms and waves and lightening and thunder and you think, "How am I going to get out of here?" The truth is, you aren't going to get out of here. Not alive anyway. But one thing you have going for you is the fact that you are alive. YOU ARE ALIVE!

It's very easy to forget. You get a big PASS if you're able to recognize how amazing that is. Now, the question is, what are you going to do with this life you have here? Are you going to live in fear of what doom lies around the corner for you? Are you going to stay put in a life situation that just isn't working for you anymore because, well, you don't know what to do and are afraid to try anything new because you might make a mistake or fail? It's your life and it's your choice how you want to live whatever time you have left here.

News flash: Not a single one of us on this planet is perfect. We've all made mistakes and failed at one point or another. Knowing that, what makes you so different from anyone else? 

What do you have to lose? Will you lose your life from making a mistake or failing once in a while?

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