Toddlers don’t give up on walking no matter how many times they fall. Would it make sense for them to say: I can’t do it? Not at all. They just can’t do it YET. They don’t give up, regardless of all the failures. There’s a lot that we can learn from children, especially resilience.
Before the world influenced our thought patterns and self-doubt, we were creatures of adventure, experimentation and playfulness. We kept messing up until we got things right. We weren’t afraid of what people thought. We only realized how disgusting sand tasted after we gobbled down a handful.
I want to talk a little about how we can learn to overcome failure. About how that influences the way we tackle problems and chase our ambitions. About the way we thrive in discomfort. And how a little change in mindset alongside some consistency, will help us flourish.
I’ve spoken about the concept of growth mindset in my previous blog post; The Journey IV. I thought it would be important to bring it up again because of how we’re constantly faced with difficult tasks and exhaustive schedules.
How often have you faced a challenge and thought: “This isn’t for me, I can’t do it”. Well that’s okay, you can’t always overcome obstacles when you encounter them immediately. Don’t ever give up on yourself though and say that you can’t do it. You just have to keep trying until you get it right.
“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”Henry Ford
That it one of my favourite quotes. When you realize that there’s always going to be challenges, your approach to them can start to change. You don’t always have to resist and try to run away. You can develop the ability to embrace challenges and learn to accept them.
Life can oftentimes feel quite paradoxical. In the book “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts, he mentions a concept called the ‘Backwards law’. It talks about how we always end up getting what we’re running away from. And what we chase just gets further away from us.
“What you resist, will persist.”
This obviously doesn’t speak about pursuing goals and passions, but rather attaching yourself desperately onto certain emotions. Chasing what feels good as ‘pleasure’. Avoiding what feels bad as ‘pain’. We don’t realize that we can’t enjoy one without the other. The Yin and Yang of life. We should try be more accepting of the fact that life is meant to be challenging, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it.
The only way to grow? Out of your comfort zone. What does that imply? Seeking frightening and uncomfortable experiences!
This isn’t masochistic per say. It means training your mind to embrace discomfort. Re-wiring your neurons to effectively deal with all the struggle. That’s why cold showers and waking up early in the morning are such holistic habits. They help your brain adapt to the inevitable sufferings of life.
I’m just trying to help you understand the concept of acceptance. When you’re truly able to accept your feelings, they no longer hold you down. Which is why it’s so important to learn to accept pain. It’s an inevitable aspect of life.
Look at all the major events that have shaped who you are today. You were most likely ‘going through the most’ or have had to struggle intensely. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and scared. It’s okay to fail and make mistakes. Just accept that and learn from it. Seek to be better each and every day.
The previous sections essentially fosters a growth mindset. When you start seeing setbacks as opportunities to learn, the world becomes your school. You need to watch the self-talk and the negative thought patterns. You need to tell yourself ‘not yet’ for the skills you don’t have or the goals you haven’t achieved.
The pathway to success is filled with failure. Sometimes major, sometimes minor, oftentimes both. But that’s the quickest way to grow. To just keep trying and to avoid repeating the mistakes that have held you down.
How many times does life have to teach you the same lesson before you actually learn?
The more time you spend gaining experience, the better you get at tackling the problem. That brings me to another crucial concept; consistency.
I bring this up again and again and again. Because it truly is the most important skill-set to obtain. You need to be consistent to grow in any aspect of your life.
Whether it’s love, friendship, work, academics or business, the key lies in being consistent. You don’t even have to take it from me, look around you at everyone who you consider ‘successful’. They had to show up and do the work repeatedly, not only when they felt like it.
What differentiates the ordinary from extraordinary isn’t just talent. It’s the hard work, dedication, seizing of opportunities and deliberate practice. That means always trying. No matter how many times you screw up, no matter how many times you fall, no matter how many times you get hurt; don’t stop.
You can do it. You are capable. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are worthy. You will achieve greatness. You will make an impact. You will get through this; faster, stronger and better than ever. YOU CAN DO IT. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially not your own voice.
DON’T EVER GIVE UP!
“He who sweats more in training, bleeds less at war.”Spartans