The Secret to Success is Failure

November 22, 2018

 

I've always been a sucker for a good quote. 

 

In fact, if you looked on my phone right now you’d probably find about 300 quotes from books and articles I've read over the years.

 

The reason I love quotes so much is because they can literally change someone’s life. It’s amazing to me that just a few words put together in the right order has the power to shift someone’s perspective on everything. 

 

Right now, I’m loving a quote I heard from the "Finding Mastery Podcast" where the performance psychologist and host Michael Gervais states:

 

“Discomfort is why we grow, and pain is why we change.”

 

Wow, what a powerful statement!

 

I don’t know about you, but I hate being uncomfortable! I hate feeling like I’m not the best at something and I hate being in a position where I don’t feel like I’m not in control.  

 

Furthermore, I hate pain! I mean who wants to voluntarily put themselves in a position to feel pain?

 

Wouldn’t that be psychotic?

 

Well the truth about life is that those who live the fullest, fail the most. And those who live the smallest, fail the least. 

 

Now, that might sound counterintuitive but hear me out:

 

 

 

You play to win the game

What if life was a game and at the end of your journey every single one of your failures was stacked against every single one of your victories?

 

For those who play the game “safe” and never put themselves in a position to feel uncomfortable the score might say 0 in the failure column, sure. But more often than not, the 0 in the failure column is accompanied by a 0 in the victories column. 

 

Why?

 

Because, you might play great defense but you have ZERO offense!

 

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t like watching football games that end with a final score of 3-6. In some ways I feel cheated of a greater experience that could have been had both teams taken more risks. 

 

What’s the point of playing the game if you're only going to play it safe?

 

What’s the point of watching a football game if everyone punts on 4th & 1?

 

Don’t we want to see someone go for it?

 

Don’t we want to see someone take a risk?

 

 

 

Time to fire your coach

The truth about life is that success comes with a lot of failure and those who “win” are usually those who aren’t afraid to feel uncomfortable and fail.

 

According to Mr. Gervais’ quote, personal growth is an equation built on how often we make ourselves uncomfortable on one side and how we respond to failures (pain) on the other.

 

So then, in order to grow we MUST make ourselves uncomfortable and when we’re in pain, we must be resolved to change and learn from our mistakes.  

 

Unfortunately though, most of us live life afraid. 

 

Afraid of making ourselves uncomfortable and afraid of feeling the pains of failure. 

 

Too many of us let the head coach of our life (aka the mind) play scared. We let the voice in our head talk us out of doing the things that are hard but also rewarding.

 

But what ultimately happens to coaches in the NFL who play scared?

 

They get fired!!!

 

If you’re like me and you’re tired of playing scared then maybe it’s time you fire your coach and start looking for a new one.

 

Because the best coaches are those who push us and get us out of our comfort zone. In other words, the more we stretch ourselves the more we grow.

 

It’s that simple!

 

 

 

How to win

One of the best ways to get used to being uncomfortable is to just sit with yourself.

 

Most of us have a hard time being alone simply because we’re afraid of truly feeling what we’re feeling. 

 

But in order to be the best version of ourselves, we must be okay with whatever it is we're feeling at any given moment. 

 

To do this, we can meditate on what it means to be uncomfortable.

 

If you’re like me then chances are you have a low level of tension in your body at all times. Without practicing mindfulness my brain will avoid this tension at all costs! 

 

But that’s part of the problem because the only way past the feelings of fear is to push THROUGH the feelings of fear. 

 

So then, in order to grow, we must first seek out the tension and fear in our bodies and then lean into it as much as possible.

 

What’s great about meditation is that it allows you to test and expand your comfort zone with little to no risk because it's just you and the feeling of discomfort. 

 

In other words, there’s not a lot at stake. 

 

Eventually, learning to sit with our discomfort in meditation allows us to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations away from our practice. 

 

So, if you’re feeling anxious about a career move, then lean into that feeling and see what happens. 

 

If you’re feeling down about a failure you recently suffered, then lean into that feeling instead of pretending you can ignore it!

 

Ask yourself:

 

Did the failure kill me?

 

Is the fear part of me or just a feeling?

 

It was definitely challenging, but what did I learn from this experience?

 

The more we do this in our lives the more we learn about ourselves and the more we grow. 

 

When we realize that being uncomfortable won't kill us, it only makes us want to stretch ourselves further because it's natural for us humans to want to test our boundaries.

 

With every failure comes the opportunity for us to get back up and do it again! 

 

Every time we dust ourselves off we become more resilient and the next round of fear isn’t so powerful. 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The longer we can sit with our discomfort in meditating the more discomfort we can endure because we see the unease for what it is: just a bad coach giving us bad advice or perhaps a necessary part of becoming who you are destined to be.

 

So this week I encourage you to sit with your discomfort.

 

When you’re scared, allow yourself to be scared but DON’T RUN!

 

Lean into the feelings and see that feelings (just like thoughts) are a small part of who we really are!

 

Because the truth is we are much bigger than our fears and much greater than our failures!

 

So remember, “Pain is why we change and discomfort is why we grow...”

 

Thank you as always for reading this weeks blog!

 

We hope you enjoyed our topic and would LOVE to hear how YOU deal with being uncomfortable and failing!

 

Drop us a note and let us know because chances are, one of your failures could lead to someone else’s success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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