We all know that feeling.
Remember the last time you failed on something you’ve poured your whole heart and soul into? Perhaps you remembered the one time you made a mistake, albeit silly or consciously, like moving towns when you can’t afford it.
Maybe too you remembered some of the bad decisions you made in the past that led you to suffering and anxiety in the present.
It’s painful, isn’t it? Is it worth remembering? Do you even wish to go back to that past? My guess is yes, no and no.
We have all been there. It’s natural and almost mandatory for humans to make mistakes. It sets us apart from being an animal, or plants and other non-living things, obviously.
But the good thing is, it allows us to grow. It allows us to make better decisions in our humanly life. And it allows us to look forward to an even better, although unknown future.
Contrary to what you might have heard sometime in your life, failing and making mistakes is not that bad after all. Now how do I know that? Because I’m very sure I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the past, carved my own set of failures and dropped down a million times over. But I got up a million and one times, still carving a beautiful portrait beside those set of failures, and I equalled those fair share of mistakes with memories worth keeping today and in the future.
Failing is not fun. But it’s okay. It definitely is. Here are seven things I want you to remind yourself of when life seems to throw you a curveball, when you’re failing or have just made a mistake. Remember these. You never know when you need it.
FEEL YOUR HEARTBEAT
Last Saturday, I visited the Anatomy wet labs in University of Sydney, as part of my curriculum in finishing my Exercise Specialist certificate. Just to make it clear, this is not the first time I’ve done this. In fact, I studied two years of anatomy in college about four years ago and with that, I attended wet labs and studied the parts of the human body and it’s function every single day for twenty-four months.
But, last weekend’s visit opened my heart to something I’ve never felt before.
It made me feel alive. It made me think. And it made me value life, our bodily functions and our purpose in this universe a lot more than I previously did.
Why? Because seeing those cadavers (and I genuinely am not putting this in the wrong way) gave me a shot in the head reminder that life is short and that we will definitely pass on one day.
How we live our life now will reflect on how we leave this universe in the future. Do you think beating yourself up for a bunch of failures and mistakes for the rest of your life is worth doing?
If that still don’t resonate in you then let me ask you this… Can you feel your heart beating? Can you feel the muscle contracting and relaxing somewhere on the left side of your body just underneath your chest?
If you do then don’t you think that is well and truly a good basis to tell yourself that everything will be okay?
Give yourself time to heal emotionally, a day or two. Maybe even a week. Allow yourself to cry it all out every day. And remember this, moving on takes time.
But as long as you can feel that beautiful heart of yours beating, remember that you will be okay. And I mean it. Today might be painful but it doesn’t give you an indication of how your life is going to be tomorrow. And while you’re on your path of self-healing, remember this — it can’t rain forever. Life will soon blossom into a beautiful garden of sunflowers and things will be okay again. Your heart and it’s synchronised sounds of beating will get you there.
LEARN THE BEST FROM THOSE UNEXPECTED MOMENTS
I would like to take a moment here and share with you a video from one of my favourite Disney’s classic — The Lion King. Spare a minute of your life and watch it. It has the power to change your life and thoughts.
Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I have to face my past
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It is the past.
Simba: Yeah but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes. the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it… Or learn from it.
Who would’ve thought a movie best suited for my little niece can be so powerful, right?
That aside, here’s the thing. Making mistakes or failing is ugly. It tears you down. It makes you want to just stay in bed all day without any contact with the world. And more often than not, it is unexpected. We rarely see it coming.
But the greatest life lessons are learned from those unexpected moments. You can run away from it, but life is like a cycle. It will come back to you in one way or another. The only way you can break it is to learn from it. And the faster you can learn from it, the faster you can get back to living a life full of potential and brilliance.
Identify the reasons why you failed and get down deep into it’s core and make it a lesson. It’s true when our parents or teachers used to say “I hope you’ve learned your lesson”. Let that embody you and feel your life getting better.
THERE IS NO SUCCESS WITHOUT FAILURE
Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before finally succeeding.
The greatest people in this world succeed because they failed. They missed their shots. And they crumble over and over again. But instead of giving up like most of us would, they leveraged on their failures to get themselves back up again. The results? The light bulb we all use every single day in our life.
You might think life is harsh for throwing us a curveball but those are some things in life we cannot change. As much as the successful future needs you, the successful future needs failures too. It’s better to live a life full of failures than live a life you will regret not trying. And as far as my believe goes, the former makes the future worth looking forward to. You just have to believe it.
GOOD TIMES DOES EXISTS
In the midst of it all, don’t forget to remind yourself that good times does exist no matter how much life sucks right now. Instead of reminding yourself that life is unfair and it always gets the worse of you someway, think of the good times you have had over the past couple of years.
You might think that isn’t possible and if that’s the case then lower your expectations. You don’t have to try and squeeze your brains out and recall the last time you had a proper vacation. Sometimes thinking about the last time you made someone else smile is enough to put a smile on your face.
Think of small successes. Perhaps the one that you woke up that morning without feeling stressed out. Just one morning can make a difference.
Think of the people you can potentially give a positive impact to. Your parents for example, when you finish your degree. Your body for example, when you change your eating habits.
And then think about those good times over and over again. It makes you feel good because it shows you the beauty that is life. Sooner or later, your worries will fade away.
THE BLESSING OF NOT GETTING WHAT YOU WANT
When something bad happen to us, almost rarely do we think about the positive consequence behind it. While it is normal to start blaming ourselves first when things go wrong, give yourself a chance to discover the blessing behind not getting what you want. Let’s put this into perspective a little bit more.
You have been trying to lose weight all this while and went on to go on a 1200 calorie diet because someone told you to do that. After a week of following the plan religiously, you started to go on a binge eat fest the week after — putting all your hard work to shame.
Initially you might beat yourself up for being a failure but think about it. Going on a 1200-calorie diet can seriously mess up your metabolism (scientifically backed), leading to future binge eatings and other undesirable disorders (experience backed). You can read about my experience here.
The blessing in it is simple. You failed because it is just simply not right for you. It is not right and, in any worldly power, possible for you to even consume that little calories over the long term without having some sort of negative effect.
Knowing this, would you still go ahead in doing just that? Maybe not.
Not getting what you want forces you to reevaluate things, look at it at a different perspective and perhaps learn more about things you might’ve previously overlooked. Remember this, bad things in life happens to make way for better ones. One day you will see it.
YOU ARE (STILL) MOVING FORWARD
No matter how slow you go, or what happens in your life that stops you at your tracks, remember that you are still ahead of those who did not try.
If you’ve been wanting to run a marathon but can never seem to hold on running longer than ten miles, you’re still progressing.
If you’ve been wanting to fall in love but yet find yourself heartbroken every single time you try, you’re still progressing.
And if you’ve been working real hard to concentrate on what you’re working on but still catch yourself procrastinating, you’re still progressing.
More than those who are on the couch having pizzas and beer all night long. More than those who never give their heart a chance to open up. And more than those who spends hours doing something else instead of working on what they’re supposed to.
If you failed and made a mistake, be kind to yourself. Sometimes the only person you can depend on is you so give yourself a chance and tell yourself that you are progressing and moving forward.
LIFE STILL GOES ON
At the end of the day, every failure is an experience and every good memory is going to be wonderful. Over time, these mistakes you make now and failures you’re being thrusted upon today will, in its own way, contribute to your success. It’s what makes life fulfilling, wonderful and full of joyful memory. One day when you look back at these setbacks you’re going to smile, knowing that you have done everything you can in your power to create your own journey.
And best of all, whether you like it or not, life still goes on.
We’re all fighting a hard battle. I don’t have life handed to me on a silver platter and I still have to work hard to make things happen. Sometimes I stumble and fall. Somedays I wake up feeling like I should just give up and stick to being ‘normal’ (as opposed to working on my business). But then I realise that these hardships will give me a good memory someday. I tell myself that one day I have an epic story to tell and that perhaps someone will be inspired by my story.
Because making a difference to your life can start from a failure and a mistake. You just have to take that right foot forward and open up your heart to discover the unknown future.
Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. Don’t give up on your dreams and the things that matters to you. You will get there. I know you will.
What are your thoughts about failures and making mistakes? Do you have any experience in failing and getting back up again? Share your story in the comments below. I will be happy to read it. :)
Have a great week ahead. To those in the US, have an awesome Memorial Day. Stay healthy.