“If you’re going to learn how to fly, you have to get comfortable with the idea of falling down a few times.” (SNY, 2017)
In the last one year I have had more failure falls than I have had in my first 19 years put together and that’s because I have tried more things than ever before. I used to have a very hard time accepting rejection, but now, I’m almost a pro at it because I’ve realized that it comes with growth.
If you’ve ever had a baby around you, you’ll notice that whenever they start learning to walk, they take a few wobbly steps and then fall down. What captivates me the most is their reaction to their falls—except they hurt themselves in the process which leads to crying, they tend to laugh it off and before long they give it another shot.
Babies, regardless of how little knowledge they have, understand that the end result (which in this case is achieving the milestone of walking), outweighs the falls that come with it. They’re so focused on their goal that they don’t get deterred by the falls and then before long their steps become stronger and the frequent falls fast become a thing of the past.
Listen, if you’re going to grow, you are going to go through a few failure falls and they’re by nature uncomfortable. What’s important is not the failure fall but your attitude and reaction to it! Will you laugh it off and give it another shot or will you crawl into a cave of defeat, shun growth and remain in your comfort zone?
I know how hard it can be to deal with the blow a failure fall comes with; as I mentioned before, I’ve been there way more times than I anticipated, but hey! those failure twists along the road all make for a more entertaining life story. So next time you encounter a failure fall or in case you’re going through one now, accept it and learn from it fast. In fact, I’ll say, don’t just accept it, own it.
Here are a couple of ways you can accept and own your failure falls:
1. Speak About It.
One of the reasons people detest failure falls is the shame that they feel whenever they occur. Failure falls are nothing to be ashamed of, and even if they are, shame will not undo the fall; on the contrary it’ll magnify it in your head. So what’s the best way to kill the shame feeling? Speak about it! I did that when my application for a program fell through and I’m so glad I did because that single gesture not only made me feel better, it opened up so many doors of opportunity for me. I dare you to speak about your most recent failure today.
2. Try Again
Another reason people shy away from failure falls is pride. You’re so scared of history repeating itself that you run in the opposite direction of that thing you once failed at. That’s counterproductive. If you actually want to move forward, take another shot at it! Recall that program I mentioned in the point above? I tried again and failed again. LOL. Can you imagine I got turned down twice for the same thing? Well guess what? I actually won because with that experience I’ve grown thicker skin and taught myself resilience.
3. Find Alternative Ways To Achieve What You Want
When you fail repeatedly at something, it’s important to take a step back and do some introspection. Ask yourself exactly why you wanted to achieve that goal and think of alternative routes to it. For example; If you apply for admission to a particular university and your application falls though, ask yourself why you chose that school in the first place; if it’s for the prestige/academic standard, an alternative route can be to find another University that can give you same value or even simply change your application structure.
Except you have decided to stay on that spot you’re currently at forever, you’re going to encounter failure falls every now and then. Whenever they come up, I dare you to do the 3 things listed above. Cheers to 2017 being a year of immense growth for us.