People often confess to me that they are scared of being wrong. They don’t want to give the wrong answer, or have the wrong idea, or make the wrong move. Sometimes we fear failure before we ever start! Out of all the things that could possibly go wrong, fear is like the dementor’s kiss. It can leave you paralyzed, lacking the will to fight for what you want in life. Steps need to be taken, and mistakes will be made. Lots of them.
Making mistakes reveals weakness you can work on developing. It’s like a muscle. If you want big guns, you’ll have to train hard. Mistakes need to be exposed, examined, and dealt with accordingly. Denying it exists, covering it up by blaming, cheating, or hating on anyone doing better than you won’t lead you to a life of personal or financial success. It will only keep you in the monotonous cycle of stagnation, forever toiling through time until all you have left are the scattered memories of a pipe dream.
Mistakes lead to progress. Every mistake has made me resilient. Don’t get me wrong, failure sucks. You feel dumb and disillusioned. You might resent the hard work you put in because it feels like it’s not good enough. So do you crawl into the fetal position and start sucking your thumb? Maybe for a little while. But time is money, and feeling sorry for yourself won’t get you any closer to your goals.
Lessons are best learned through trial and error. If you fail a class, get fired from a job, or get dumped, that doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means you’re human. Shit happens. Take some time to reflect, own up to your mistakes, and learn from the experience. That’s the best we can do. We literally have no control over anyone or anything but ourselves.
Focus on what was in your control. Ask yourself what could be done differently to succeed next time time. Life is a sport. When that next opportunity arrives, hit that shit hard; give it all you got. What else is there to lose when you feel like a tadpole in a shark tank?
The secret to successful adulting is simple: don’t give up. Giving up is the only true failure. No matter what goal, never stop working towards it. It takes time and lots of energy; it takes sacrifice. But if you keep focused on the thing you want, it will come to you in the right time.
Often we have these expectations for ourselves. We have a vision of what our lives should look like and feel disappointed if it’s painted in a slightly different shade of blue. We think if we make a time line of events, it’ll just naturally work out. And sometimes is does. More often it doesn’t. Life never ends up how we envisioned it. Some goals take longer to reach than expected; setbacks happen in a circus of happy and sad events. Expectations can make you feel like a failure when in actuality you might be closer to reaching your goals than you think.
So learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to fail. If you want it badly enough, you’ll make it happen. If you find yourself not wanting to work for it, it’s probably time for a new direction.
Once you’ve reached the promised land, the only thing that will matter is you made that shit happen.