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How Reframing Your Failures Will Actually Bring Success

How Reframing Your Failures Will Actually Bring Success

How do you view failure? Do you see it as a life-stopping, dream-ending catastrophe, or do you see it as a valuable experience that moves you one step closer to finding success?

If the first one is your current mindset, then a change in perception could bring major, positive transformations to your life.

Below are a few ways you can reframe your failures to bring success. If you implement these ideas into your life, you’ll not only have an easier time dealing with failure, but you’ll also be able to grow as person every time you do fail.

1) Failure Makes You a Stronger Person

“A smooth sea never made for a skillful sailor”

This couldn’t be more true. You need failure in your life. If you can make it through a failure and continue to press forward, you strengthen your ability to persevere.

If you never experience any setbacks in your life, it means one of two things. You’re either living life in your comfort zone and not achieving much, or you’re setting your sights so low that succeeding is easy.

Neither of those scenarios results in you living a life you’re excited about. Neither of those scenarios results in you achieving your life’s most important goals.

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Set bigger goals knowing that even if you fail, you’ll be a better person because of it.

Every time you fail, you get stronger.

2) Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” 

Every successful person you can think of has failed at one point in their lives, and most of them have failed more times than you can imagine.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, was denied by 242 banks before one finally gave him the funds he needed. Walt Disney’s theme park concept was denied 302 times before he finally got a yes. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company.

Imagine what the world would be like today if those men had let failure stop them.

It wasn’t the fact that they never failed that made them successes, it was the fact that they kept failing and kept moving forward that made them successes.

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Every time you fail, you move one step closer to success.

Failure is just the price of admission, and everyone has to pay the price.

3) Failure is the Best Teacher

I’ve learned more from my failures than I ever have from my successes. When you fail, you learn what doesn’t work, which is just as important as knowing what does work.

That way, the next time you try, you have the knowledge of what to avoid, and it’s that knowledge that will move you closer to success.

You can almost never predict how things are actually going to turn out. The only way to know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work is by taking action. Sometimes you make the right move, sometimes you make the wrong move.

But there’s still value to be found and lessons to be learned when you make the wrong move and fail. Don’t miss out on those valuable learning opportunities just because you’re afraid of a little failure.

4) Failing Doesn’t Mean You’re a Failure

Failure is a result, not a way to describe yourself. Just because you’ve “failed” at something doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a person.

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You have to separate your self esteem from your failures.

If anything, failing means you’re a step above the average person who only dreams, but never takes action because he’s too afraid to fail.

Wear your failure as a badge of honor because it shows that you were bold and brave enough to take action.

5) What Other People Think of Your Failure is Irrelevant

Everyone has an opinion, and most of them don’t matter. And the moment you start worrying about what other people think about your failure, you’ll be too caught up in defending yourself to find all of the value there is in failure.

Unless someone is giving you constructive criticism that’s going to help you grow, ignore it. Some people give “advice” with the result of causing you harm, whether it’s intentionally or unintentionally.

Pick and choose who you listen to very carefully.

6) Failure Shouldn’t be Scary

We usually overestimate the devastation that failure will cause. We think that if we fail, our life will be torn apart and we’ll never be able to recover. But most of the time, that’s just not true.

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Most failures are not fatal. Instead, they’re minor setbacks.

7) Some Failures are Beyond Your Control

There are so many factors influencing the direction of your life. Some, you have control over, others you don’t. Stressing over the latter is a recipe for disaster.

Let go of the things you can’t control, and let them work themselves out.

Instead, focus on what you control and understand that even if you do fail, you gave it all you could and that’s all that matters.

Featured photo credit: Refraction through glasses via en.wikipedia.org

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Tony Robinson

Tony writes about mental strength, happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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