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.