Failing or Learning, Which Do You Believe?



“We’re so afraid of failure that we would rather be hit by a car than make mistakes in front of others.”  Matt Lieberman Ph.D

I’m not sure how you’ve all been brought up and what the expectations have been from parents and other care givers, siblings or grandparents. These expectations create beliefs about who we are, about our self-worth and whether it is okay to make mistakes or as some would say, have failures. Some people accept mistakes as just part of the learning process and an essential part of learning anything in this life.  In fact I have heard of Leaders in big companies believing that it is important that all their staff have had an opportunity to ‘fail,’ that they don’t actually want to let go of staff that they have just spent a lot of money training & giving them a chance to ‘fail forward’ as they say.

But is this your reality? Have you been encouraged to learn by the experience of things not working out as you would have liked, or as others have expected? Do you honestly feel there would be no judgement, criticism, or negative consequences if you didn’t get the perfect result that your spouse or boss would have liked from you? It can be hard to stay out of the trap of shame especially if our belief has also been one of an expectation of a perfect job done. Do you actually do the judgement and criticism of yourself? How long are you going to have to keep putting the red pen through your work, to allow the critical self to have a field day or allow the self-worth to slip a few more notches? It’s time to speak to that inner critic and ask it to let go of the need to be perfect, and be ready with some positive affirmations that you can believe. I’ve made this suggestion before, to put up post it notes that say empowering things. We only learnt the negative through repetition, so why not do the repetition thing around positive thoughts and self-talk.

Enjoy feeling okay about ‘failing!’

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