Make Failure Count with Self-awareness
Several blogs I’ve written before this one point to self-awareness, so I thought I could expand upon it now. Have you ever thought about what that means? To be truly aware of your essence and what you bring to the table in any situation? Your qualities, your talents, and your way of being are needed. You were created on purpose and for a purpose.
What we don’t want to do is take that information and be down on ourselves. That can lead to a sort of analysis paralysis and judging yourself too harshly will never serve you. You don’t want to try to motivate yourself by guilt or shame. There are ideals you may want to shoot for, and that is a good sign. We want to wear those ideals not too tightly, but more so as a loose garment we wear that’s not too constricting as if there is no room to breathe. And it would serve you even to ask friends how they see you because sometimes we need to be reminded of how good we are and learn where we need to improve.
How Failure Serves Us and How Self-awareness Saves Us
Speaking of areas in which we may need to improve, sometimes after a failure, a person can doubt their vision and their dreams for the future. Taking a risk is worth it and when something falls through it can be a harsh blow to an attempt to create and innovate something new. But in our journey, we will find failure along the way. There is a common idea of failing your way to success, and that is helpful. This may be a novel approach to one that’s never heard it. It can be embarrassing and painful to pick yourself up from that, but it’s a step in the right direction. If something fails, then it was not meant to be, and hopefully, it happens early enough where one can recoup the losses and try again with lessons learned from the first attempt.
Self-awareness can save us from the pit of doubt and potentially despair. How? When you let go of what others think of you and honestly get to know yourself instead, you can become one with the lessons you are learning and embody what it is you were meant to understand as a result of that experience. How can you learn if you don’t fail and all is smooth sailing? A calm sea never made a skilled sailor, but rather turbulent waves does the job. Know you are not alone in failing even though it may feel that way. Others have failed before you, and many will fail after you. Get to know you and the experience will solidify inside you. Learn and grow from it. Let the failure serve you in this way and know you are better for it happening.
A Pen to Paper Exercise
Here are some questions to help you get to know yourself in times of failure and success. You want to remember that the more you know yourself in these times, the better you can trust your intuition and gut instincts. Having that awareness will aid you in making better decisions in the future. You’ll want to absorb and acquire new skills from your experiences of victories and disappointments. It is best to put pen to paper for the following exercise. Our real aim here is self-awareness.
- How can you benefit from self-awareness?
- What is your definition of success? Of failure?
- Do you need to rewrite your definitions of these two ideas? Are they serving you well?
- Do you put more weight on how others feel about you rather than how you feel about you?
- Does that thought help or hinder you? If it hinders you, how do you think you can reframe the thought of others’ opinions to serve you better?
- How do you react when you have reached an achievement? How do you respond to criticism?
- How can you reframe what you’ve been given as far as criticism so that it helps you instead of breaks you down?
- Can you benefit from reframing any of these answers to a more positive version? (This assumes they need to be more favorable of course.)
These questions serve as a way to catch the thought with awareness, check it for evidence for or against (validity), and change it if need be. The catch it, check it, change it method is used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and will help you rewrite old tapes around thoughts that cause you stress.
Acceptance of where you’re at now will help, and then you can work to do something different. If these thoughts struck a chord with you and you want to know where to start, feel free to read the other blogs and see where you may want to dig deeper with the help of a coach.
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