Failure is an integral part of evolution and yet, many of the people I know, including myself, are afraid of failure. Failure is a system breakdown. It demands that we slow down, that we question our beliefs and values, and that we take a closer look at ourselves. The etymology of this word can be traced back to the Latin “fallere,” which implies a deception, a fall, a going astray.
A few days ago, as I was getting ready to come back to the U.S. after spending a month in Italy with my family, I met with Failure (with a capital F, Failure is the archetype of all shortcomings). I had to acknowledge the fact that, in my life, I have failed myself many times. I also had to acknowledge that this is ok, and that there is no learning without error.
The seed of systemic failure is lack of awareness, and awareness has to be cultivated. As you can see, this is a circular type of reasoning, always leading back to the self in relation to others.
When I was in my teens, I dreamt to become a famous rock singer. Over the years I made various choices on how to lead my life except for those choices that would lead me towards the realization of this dream. In a sense, I betrayed myself. I know this may sound very dramatic but it is how it feels. I did not stand by my side, by my dream, by my vision. I was afraid. Fear is the mother of Failure.
THE PROCESS OF BUILDING FROM ONE’S FAILURES
- Two questions: At some point, and for me it’s the age of 42, it becomes important to visit with Failure and ask two questions: Where did I fail myself? Why?
- Letting go: After listening to these answers (it may take a while to hear anything), let go of the disappointment. Most of us don’t even know that we carry hidden disappointments. Let go.
- Start fresh: Use Failure as an ally. Ok, we failed but we are here and we can learn from past events. Start fresh: Where do you want to go from here? No one else can do your work (practical and creative) so JUST DO IT!
- Thank your failures for being such great teachers.