News flash. You are going to fail at something. You probably already have at some point in your life. If you are out there, trying to learn and grow, you will sometimes fail. And most of the people you see succeeding wildly at something have failed many times before.
So in order to succeed, we must increase our tolerance for failure. This is true in every aspect of our lives; even our health and well-being. We want results but sometimes we fear and avoid failure to the point of not even trying, or trying for a while then quitting. Failing at something is simply part of the learning process. Think of it as failing forward.
Have you ever been prescribed an antibiotic for an infection and after a week you determined it was not working for you? Did you give up and stay sick? Or did you call the doctor and try a different approach?
It’s the same thing if you are trying to eat healthier or save money or enhance your relationships. Extraordinary results typically come from a number of attempts. When we accept that, we increase our failure tolerance. Then a fire ignites within us that makes us want the thing even more, and we try harder. Be all in, and let it be hard. If you want results, multiple attempts are usually part of the process.
If we are unable to tolerate failure, we can get caught up in “paralysis by analysis” – we are planning, thinking, deciding, actually procrastinating and becoming stagnant. We can get stuck in that hamster wheel, thereby avoiding trying the thing at all. This is failing ahead of time. Actually failing deserves more credit than that because at least we have done something.
One key to increase our tolerance for failure is to separate ourselves from our actions and results. If the results of an attempt were not successful it does not mean that YOU are not successful. Results are just data and are independent of who we are. Take the data, learn what worked and what needs to change, and move forward. Success is not the only thing that moves us forward. ATTEMPTS also move us forward.
Think about babies; they fall down 100 times a day and get up 101. They just keep trying until they get it. Maybe we should all be more like babies. Fail more and it will sting less. And eventually we will be up and running.