Anyone who has tried and failed and gotten up to try again, adding something different. will tell you, failure is your friend and a mighty teacher and motivator.
Have you heard this quote by the novelist and poet CS Lewis?
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
Here’s two by Zig Ziglar – Author, salesman and motivational speaker.
“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”
“Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.”
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins
What is the common thread here? It’s what we do with our failures that counts.
Fear of failure in the horse owner world is paralyzing many into inaction. If we try, we will fail and we will succeed, all on the same ride, walk or training session with our horses, it’s inevitable!
Learn from those mistakes. Observe, compare and remember. Keep what’s working and stop doing what doesn’t work over and over again. Learn to become a keen observer by removing our filters and seeing what is actually happening. The filter of “I can’t, this is hard, my horse doesn’t ___xyz______, and so on.
Tomorrow is not a promise for any of us. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
In Traditional Western Psychology – Identify and defeat limiting beliefs are the norm. Shoma Morita, MD (1874–1938) developed a model of psychology now known as Morita Therapy. Rooted in Zen and borrowing from an Eastern worldview
Consider this point of view!
“Give up on yourself,” Dr. Morita advised. “Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator or unhealthy or lazy or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.”
If you’re ready to end your habit of procrastination, here are the next four steps:
1. Identify an important, beneficial project or task about which you have been procrastinating.
2. What’s the next step you need to take? Name it, even if it’s just a small task like making a phone call.
3. Noting and accepting any uncomfortable feelings that come up, decide to take action anyway. When are you going to do this thing? Identify a specific day and time. You’ve just made an appointment with yourself.
And now the fun part …
4. Accompanied by trepidation, fear, doubts, indecision, shyness, anxiety or any other demon that happens to show up DO IT. Enjoy the experimental feeling of doing it even in the face of your other feelings.
No question about it: Taking action isn’t always pleasant. But in many ways, it is exhilarating, particularly when it is difficult!
Plus, look at the payoff over the course of a lifetime: a lot more accomplished and a lot less suffering, fretting and regret.
Feeling overwhelmed and underpowered? Do something anyway. As Joan Baez once said, “Action is the antidote to despair.”
Morita on Emotion
“Action precedes feelings. Many of us devote considerable time and attention to “correcting” our feelings so that we will be free to act. When we overcome our ambivalence and “feel ready,” we say, we will improve our diets. When we overcome our fear, we will leave the job in which we have been miserable for years and look for work that calls upon our true interests and talents. When we learn to love ourselves, we will be able to establish an intimate relationship with another human being. Moritists approach the action-feeling connection from the opposite direction. They take action and correct the outside first, knowing that the inside, the feelings, will follow.”
And in the horse world, people say, when I have enough information, I’ll go out and work on that problem I’m having with my horse. When I buy the right horse trailer, I’ll address that trailer loading problem my horse has. When my horse has enough trail riding lessons, I’ll go trail riding. When it’s not windy, I’ll go work with my horse, when it’s not cold, hot, buggy, muddy, snowing, I’ll go _xyz__. All alternative ways to avoid emotions.
In Morita’s view, it is most often our focus on our imperfections, rather than the imperfections themselves, that prevents us from realizing our potential and living the most useful, meaningful and enjoyable lives possible. So if you are ready to make a change in your life, start with action, not by trying to change your own nature.
Notice, no one is suggesting “fake it until you make it” here, instead, “take you with you and do it.” Also, do not use this strategy to override real fear for your physical safety.
There is value in the struggle!
When you struggle with a problem and find failure but keep your problem present and struggle through it again and find something different, you’ll find a piece of the solution and as you continue to persist, over time, you will find more and more pieces of the solution, again using the skill of Observe, Compare, Remember. This is how you build confidence in you and your ability!
The only way you will not succeed is if you quit.
We are right in the middle of the 2018 Winter Olympics where Shaun White just won the gold medal in 1/2 pipe snowboarding. He was the oldest competitor, physically hurt and scared. Listen to his mindset shift here if you want to be inspired to overcome your demons! The only competition Shaun White is in is the one with himself.
Olympic and Paralympic stories are full of people who overcome, only to fail while daring greatly! And they get themselves back in the game only to win and they will tell you, it’s what they learn from their failures that have them daring greatly again! This doesn’t happen magically, it happens by doing the work.
All the best to you on your journey!
International Horsemanship Coach and Author
“Changing Lives, One Relationship at a Time”
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2 thoughts on “Failure – Creates Confidence. If you let it!”
Great article! I like the quote, action is the antidote of despair!
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Ahh, yes, Joan Baez!
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