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Failing Your Way to Success

Today’s post is about finding your motivation for your best life. So often in life we hold ourselves back because of our failures. We think, “I really screwed up (fill in the blank), so I’m not going to try that again.” OR “I messed up so badly last time that I don’t deserve another shot.” Thoughts like this are so toxic to our growth and general well-being. In fact, if we think them often enough, we internalize them—we don’t even realize they are running on repeat, just looping in our brains. They become our way of life. Once a negative thought about our past creates a pathway in our brains, we “fall into a rut”. We usually talk about a rut in a metaphorical way, but often, the “rut” is the negative, damaging pathway that has been cut in our brain. It’s easier to stay in this rut once we’re in it, so we just skate through life never questioning the belief that caused it in the first place.

In order to tolerate the rut we’ve made for ourselves, we begin to buffer—we find things that make our lives tolerable and we rely on them to distract us from the negative thoughts. Some people buffer with food, some with alcohol or drugs, some with TV or unhealthy relationships. We use anything we can to remove our focus from the failure and to find a bit of relief. I know a couple of people who go all in on other people’s problems when their own lives are at their most chaotic. They buffer by trying to save other people from problems they see as worse (or at least more urgent) than their own. Do these situations sound familiar? They probably do. Most of us buffer to some extent in an attempt to make our lives more tolerable.

But what if we could find a way out of the ruts we’ve made in our brains? What if we realized and truly accepted that our failures were the first steps to our successes? Instead of quitting because of shame or embarrassment or confusion, we decided to look at that failure as one more step closer to success. When Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, he went through over 3000 designs in two years before finding the right one! That means he and his team averaged more than four failures a day! It would have been so easy to quit, but instead of epic failures, Edison saw each attempt as one step closer to the goal. One step closer to creating the thing he knew he could create.

What is the thing you know you can create for yourself? Is it a successful business? Weight loss? A better plan for work and family time? Less drinking? Whatever it is, YOU have the power to get out of the rut you have worn into your brain. You can change your thoughts and view each step you take as one step closer to reaching your goals. You can create awareness of your buffering and stop doing it. Your amazing brain has the power to do all of that, and all you have to do is take the first step by changing the way you think. Much love to you!

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