Failure is part of the process
It’s not rocket science that the very first time we aim to learn a new topic, skill or trade, without any previous experience, we’ll undoubtedly not meet our expectations of learning it quickly. But before we throw in the towel after countless struggled attempts, we should move past the initial stage of self-doubt and ask ourselves more pressing questions: How do I define failure? How can I move past my own excuses and self-criticism, and instead put more faith into my own learning process?
Isn’t failure really just a measure of your own faith in yourself, commitment to your goals and perseverance to keep focused? No matter your background – if you’re someone who immediately sets boundaries around your capabilities before you have taken a chance, you’re also limiting your capabilities of embracing and overcoming challenges. It’s all about trusting the process. Learning something new can be surprisingly enjoyable if you keep a positive attitude. For example, you can try to look at the learning process as a chance to discover your own limitations by trial and error. Most likely, the fear of failure will continue to lurk in the back of your mind, but over time you will notice how tackling failures in this way can build long-lasting habits to attack problems quicker and increase your resilience.
I use the following four points to help me move past my fears and give me the courage to embrace failures:
First: learn to set small, short-term goals. Goals should function as guide posts along the long, bumpy road.
Second: join a community with like-minded individuals who are on a similar path as you. Nowadays, local nonprofit groups, meetups and even online groups are surfacing in almost every subject, trade and industry. A community is essential to help you connect with the right individuals to keep you motivated, ensures that you are not the only one struggling and encourages you to embrace the learning process, even during your most frustrating failures.
Third: practice, practice, practice. You’re not properly invested in your learning process if you don’t apply what you want to do.
Last and most importantly: discipline yourself to rest and realign yourself. Crossing the finish line won’t give you the satisfaction you’re looking for it you’re exhausted once you get there. You need to both rest and sleep to learn efficiently.
Remember that revisiting your goals will help you dampen your fears of failure and give you the courage to face your challenges head on. Why not write your goals on a note and stick in on the fridge? That way you’ll get a daily reminder of why you committed to this process in the first place.