Whenever we stop to think about what we could have done or what we would have done, eventually nothing ever gets done. We are always thinking of excuses to not do something instead of thinking WHY we should do something. How many times have we felt excited about picking up a new sport or activity but after contemplating and procrastinating we would give up without even trying. If we are always avoiding new experiences, how will we ever know what we truly like?
It could be fear which pulls us back at times. The fear of failure or the fear of putting ourselves in uncomfortable positions that stop us from doing things. Ultimately, it’s because we do not want to be perceived as incapable that we shun away from doing things that we are not used to. Our ego gets the better of us each time that happens, we would rather see someone else fail than to be the one failing.
Which is why it is imperative that we learn how to accept failure. Most of us hate to fail because it reveals our weaknesses. We are fearful that during that particular moment of weakness, we will be branded a loser for eternity. However, that is purely how your ego wants you to think, that a moment of weakness will dictate you forever. Ignoring your ego is tough, most of us struggle with that almost every day. We need to understand that failing doesn’t make us a loser for eternity. It is about accepting the failure for what it is and acknowledging that it is only temporary. Just like how the ink from a non-permanent marker can be erased easily. Our failures can be erased easily when we are able to bounce back from it as well.
Now, most of us would have qualms about accepting failure. Which is why we need to start by failing at something we are interested in. A hobby. We never seem to dwell on our failures that much if we are failing at something that we enjoy. We didn’t care about how we were being perceived when we are having fun even if we were bad at it. If we treated each failure as how we would when we failed at our hobby. We can accept failure for what it is. None of us could walk exceptionally well without falling at the start. However, we do not give up and think that we will never be able to walk. Likewise, in the real world, we need to accept that we will fall, sometimes even really badly. Believing that we are able to grind it out and get back on our feet.
If we can acknowledge failure through our hobbies, we would be able to acknowledge failure in our everyday life. The paradigm shift worked for me and it should for you too.
Whenever I had to write a composition in school, I would shy away from topics like my hobby or my favorite past time. Because I never enjoyed anything that much that I would consider it as a hobby. Even though I liked playing computer games, I would get tired of it after a few months. It never occurred to me that I needed to find one until I had to go for job interviews. I realized that I didn’t have anything interesting to say when I had to give an introduction! I was living in auto-pilot mode for most of my life. Doing what society thought was practical, finishing my education and get a decent paying job. Until I was 23, I realised that I needed to become the pilot. It wasn’t because I was devoid of interests, I had many interests, but I just lacked the courage to pursue any of them. I convinced myself that I would rather fail terribly than to regret the decision of not trying.
I had to try, and try I did. I started learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which ultimately became my hobby. I was terrible at it at first, I struggled to even complete a full class. Getting submitted by someone lighter than me was a humbling experience, a real knock on my ego. If I did not tap, I could get hurt or choked out. It made me realise that it is perfectly fine to tap, it just means that I got caught and I had to learn how to prevent it from happening again. Instead of feeling embarrassed about failing, I acknowledged that failure and went back to the drawing board. That was when I knew that failure did not dictate me especially when I was having fun.
Now, I am able to complete a class without much difficulty, I can pull off a submission occasionally and I even took part in a competition for the first time in my life! (I lost each time I competed, but that will only make me more determined to do better each time)
It made me understand that failure can only teach me to improve, it is the greatest teacher one can ever have. If I managed to acknowledge failure through my hobby, I would be able to acknowledge any other kinds of failure that comes my way.