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I was on a meeting this morning where the leader got choked up acknowledging team members. She was growing present to the fact that she always had our support, and that gave her the space she needed to rise to new levels in her own growth and business.
She mentioned that she found herself able to move through challenges and breakdowns with more freedom and ease. And she found herself resisting less and less.
In my observation, though, it wasn’t just breakdowns she wasn’t resisting anymore. She was also less resistant to hearing what others had to say in contributing their ideas to her success.
See, failure is not bad. But we have it as a matter of morality, where everything can neatly fit into our personal definitions of “good” or “bad.” We’ve been taught to judge the world around us since we were young. And we begin to assume the way we judge things is the same way others judge things. In due course, we’re surprised to find there are people in the world with different perspectives!
Because we have it as a matter of morality, we make others wrong for having a viewpoint that’s different than our own. “How could they possibly think that?”
Most of the pain you associate with failure is coming from this space of morality. You were taught to judge everything as good or bad, and you have it that failure is bad. And the pain you assign to “bad” is proportional to the intensity of your emotions.The pain you assign to “bad” is proportional to the intensity of your emotions. Click To Tweet
In the intensive leadership program, I’ve been taking, I’ve been discovering that failure and success are just different sides of the same coin. Or, more accurately, breakdowns and breakthroughs are just different sides of the same coin.
When you start to see this for yourself, you’ll have less and less resistance to breakdowns. If there’s always a breakthrough on the other side of a breakdown, how could it possibly be wrong? And when you see this for yourself, though it may not be imaginable from where you’re standing, eventually, you’ll begin inviting challenges into your life.
I remember assembling a banner at a community event I was tech hosting at. The leader watched as I was making error after error and said, “I thought with all your experience being an audio / video tech, you’d know your way around a banner.”
I said, “I do, but this banner is a little different. I’m making all the mistakes upfront, so I know what to avoid next time I need to set it up.”
And from then on, setting up the banner was a breeze.
There would be less pain associated with failure if you gave up the idea that it was bad or wrong. After all, you made plenty of mistakes learning to walk, swim, or ride the bike. And more than likely, no one made fun of you (if they did, they’d just be making fun of themselves!).
Everything else in life is the same. Trying to avoid mistakes is just some version of trying to look good or avoid looking bad. There’s freedom away from any concern for what others might think of your mistakes.
Mistakes and failures aren’t good or bad. They just are. And there’s always something to be learned from them.