For many of us the word "failure" has been enshrined with shame, and we can quickly recall the multitude of failed relationships, businesses, exercise programs and spiritual endeavours. No failure is permanent unless we allow it to be, and by feeling shame about it, we make it's permanency more probable. In fact after this you will begin to question whether failure even exists in your vocabulary. This is the case as much for our spiritual growth, as much as it is for the material experiences of life.
"On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear."
I have experienced many failures in my time, but none of them were ever permanent and that is why I want to share the following tips with you. They helped me, and I believe they will help you if you are still burdened by the past. All my failures were slight detours from which I learned many valuable insights.
Here are some tips I have for any of you who are caught up in your negative frame of mind about experiences of failure:
1) Let go of the feelings of shame. Shame yourself for the failure and you will stay down, unable to find the inspiration to continue forward. Accept the failure as a temporary setback, as part of the course you are taking, and you give yourself the opportunity to make another attempt. As long as you shame yourself for it consciously or unconsciously, the valuable lessons, the nuggets of gold, remain hidden beneath a low density shield of energy. It is more than OK to experience failure, in fact it is part of the pathway to any kind of success, material or spiritual. You may need some help releasing those feelings of shame if it is a new process to you.
"The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success."
2) Be aware of how you talk to yourself, there is a big difference between "I have failed" and "I am a failure." "I am a failure" is a statement about you and when you carry that in to every experience you will create more of what you say you are. If you have let go of the shame, saying that you have three failed businesses behind you does not burden you in the same way. Many of those who have enjoyed great success talk about the previous failures with non-attachment but they do not believe that they are failures. Be aware of how you talk about your past experiences with failure, and remember that it does not define you. Your efforts in any previous endeavour will help you make choices in your next one. Others may you call you a failure, but it is up to you to decide whether you agree with them or not.
3) Acknowledge your successes often, expressing gratitude to your higher power for blessing you with them. When was the last time you said "I am successful."? I can guarantee you have experienced successes in your life. If you cannot recall any successes, I would recommend starting to pay attention to them. Grab a notebook, and for the next month at least, keep a track of every success, big or small. If you have spent a lifetime conditioning yourself to notice only the failures it will take a bit of time for you to begin to notice the successes. The more you are grateful for your successes, the more you will notice. With gratitude you will have humility in the victory too. It is a fear of our own arrogance that keeps many from enjoying success. So next time you tell yourself that you are a failure, do this exercise, and read over your previous success experiences.
"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else."
4) When you can talk about your failures without feeling down, depressed or angry, then your story is a gift to you and others. Making peace with your failures will send a positive message to all those you meet along your path, inspiring them to risk failure. I remember when I started sharing the stories of my failures, without the shame in the story, and realising how many people appreciated it because for so long they had harboured their failures as deep dark secrets. But while they are secrets they cast a spell on our life, one we are not aware of, and one that draws situations to us that ask us to heal the wound.
Sometimes the experiences you call a failure are simply the universe prodding you in the direction of your true calling. I can happily say that for myself, and I am willing to bet this is a nugget of truth that resonates with you when you call to mind certain failures in your life. So lift your head up, accept the experiences you have had, find the gift in them, and move on!
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