To stare failure in the face...
Failure scares us. Why? we are programmed to perform, to succeed in everything that we do from cooking a good decent dinner to being a top employee at work. We have to succeed from the word go; when we learn to crawl, walk, run, swim, count, write, read and the list goes on. This continues into adult life day in and day out. We are questioned and challenged, pushed and pulled sometimes in so many different ways we don't know what way to go.
We love the feedback that is positive... hearing that you have done a good job at something is like telling a labrador its been a 'good boy', it makes you happy even though sometimes you don't even really know why you are good because the feedback has not been specific to anything, but it still makes you feel like you aren't failing. When we don't receive feedback of any kind it is like being in limbo, you wonder is there any reason for what I'm doing, a purpose?
Self-doubt creeps in every now and then and can become such a prevalent daily occurrence it starts to rule your every being. On the other hand, you can be moving along ok, plenty of nice feedback but then you get THAT ONE SLIGHTLY NEGATIVE comment that instantly pushes you backwards and over the edge. You start to question yourself as a failure, doubt that what you are doing is worthy and right, maybe you should get a real job (which is what exactly?!). Why is it that one small comment, from someone who isn't necessarily significant in your life, can throw you backwards with such ease and grace? Why don't we look at the positive comments that have been coming our way for weeks and hold them in higher regard?
I believe this is because failure loves to have centre stage in our lives, it likes to be in the front row as in a staring contest trying to wear you down all day, every day. It wants to challenge your thoughts, actions and decisions. Its the why man, the 'you shouldn't do that' voice in your head, the 'are you sure that's a good idea' voice and its truly honestly brutal in its actions. The thing about failure though is that it happens to everyone and it is the thing that defines success. If we can have the courage to fail then we can also have the courage to succeed. We cannot expect to know what success is or how to measure it if we do not, in fact, understand what it means to fail.
We need to take failures eye gaze and stare right back at it with meaning and stature, challenge it right back and tell yourself that you can produce success off the back of failure. Failure simply means that you tried. You tried really damn hard no doubt but maybe it didn't work... this time. Does it mean you will fail again? Maybe, maybe not. Does it mean that you will fail forever? No, it absolutely does not.
Feedback to yourself, tell yourself what you are doing well and what you could improve on. Don't rely on others around you and their comments to justify what you are doing as good, bad or otherwise. You and only you are the gate-way to your own courage and future. Use the learnings from a failure to teach yourself something new and broaden your horizon to something better that is around the corner.
So next time you have that 'failing' feeling creep in... learn from it, use it to your advantage and for goodness sake win that damn staring contest on your way to success.