So, I know you have a long day ahead of you. And the fact you are reading this means that you are looking for something quick and meaningful. For the next couple of entrees, we are going to focus on a word or phrase, and then we are going to break that word down into something digestible. You are going to internalize this word, utilizing it as fuel when your energy is low, or you feel overwhelmed.
This is not to just increase your vocabulary, but to strengthen your self -awareness, and encourage positive paradigm shifts. So you ready? Of course you are!
So what’s the word of the day?
One of the scariest words in the dictionary.
A verb that you often, in your own minds, make a noun. A person, place, or thing.
Because just to fail isn’t punishment enough. No, you must embody the very essence of failure and carry it around. You are an over-achiever. Having a dark cloud follow you around is not epic enough.
You must BE the dark cloud.
You ARE a failure….
But are you?
Fail , as we know it, means to “ be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose” or “ to cease to exist or function, come to an end” . It has gone through a number of slight changes throughout the centuries. For example In 13 century France, the word was falir, “ be lacking, miss, not succeed; run out ,come to an end. And a few centuries before that fallere, meaning “to trip , or cause to fall”. This was literal. We all trip sometime, right?
But thanks to the wonders of lexicology, fast forwards a few centuries or two, and it’s evolved yet again.
Now, you believe failure is synonymous with YOU.
And you are mistaken.
To fail is no more of a descriptor of your identity then tripping. We have all tripped before. We don’t see tripping as proof that we don’t deserve to walk. Rather, we see tripping as a reminder to not get careless in our ability to move. A reminder to respect gravity, to be cautious, but not as an indicator that walking isn’t for you.
Similarly, when you fail, it is not a description of your identity. Failure is not an indicator of if you should have even started. Failure is a part of every beautiful solution. We all have failed before. Don’t see failure as proof that you don’t deserve to try, or that you don’t deserve to succeed. Rather, see failure as a reminder to improve. A reminder to not take your gifts for granted, or to take your opportunities for granted. Sometimes failure is just a test to see how bad you really want what you desire. To fail is to create opportunity, even if it is just an opportunity to try to do something else. (https://www.enterpersonal.com/when-times-get-tough-do-something-else/)
Fun fact: failure as a noun wasn’t added until much later. “Thing or person considered as a failure”. Do you know what this tells me? That failure is not a personality trait, but a mindset. And if you believe you are a failure, no amount of victories can free you from your self-imposed prison. Failure happens. It is the evidence that a particular approach or conclusion needs further tweaking. But it is not you.
You are a winner. And you know what winners do? They take failure as fuel, trips and falls as motivation. Failure is an opportunity to improve. Failure is an opportunity to perfect. Running from failure, being afraid to fail is a breeding ground for mediocrity and stagnation. Don’t just fail, fail well.
Happy tripping my friend.