Being afraid to mess up, make mistakes, confront challenges – these are all very real feelings for us to experience on a daily basis.
Oftentimes, it can be so easy to succumb to “imposter syndrome.” Feeling that we aren’t good enough in a certain setting or that we aren’t meeting the world’s expectations of what we should be can be difficult to deal with. We can begin to feel incapable, stressed for perfection, and even depressed. These things weigh down on our mental health and distort our self-image.
We’ve all heard the cliche, “failure is life’s greatest teacher.” Is it really a cliche, though? Or is it a truth that we can really live by?
By failing, or experiencing what we perceive as “failure,” we first go through a series of steps that aren’t always pleasant. We feel upset, vulnerable, maybe even angry at first. We start to think “what if I did this better?” or “what if I wouldn’t have done that?” We conjure up the worst set of consequences in our minds. We create a poor image of ourselves.
These feelings and thoughts can sometimes rage out of control, especially as we begin to close our minds off to any glimpse of positivity that is out there.
When I start to feel these things, I like to remind myself that that glimpse of positivity is still out there, it’s just a matter of finding it. The hardest part for me is the transition between “I won’t ever be able to do it,” and “you know what? I’ll get it next time.”
There is no perfect science to NOT instantly being upset after “failure.” Where do we even begin? Well, to start, it could be a good idea to try to avoid words like “never,” “won’t,” and “can’t.” These stir up even more negativity when we are already feeling pretty crummy to begin with. Let’s try to put ourselves in a neutral mindset. It’s okay not to feel sunshines and rainbows right away, but let’s work towards getting out of that dark place first. That’s step one.
Next, we can choose one of two things. Either we keep reflecting on the past, or we try to persevere and look towards the future. Instead of focusing on potential consequences that might never even unfold, try to picture your world as happy. The reality might not actually end up being as bad as we thought. Life still goes on, we will strive to do better, we will make some more mistakes, we will learn from them.
Finally, find your people. What does this mean? Find the individuals who always tell you what you need to hear. “Everything is going to be okay.” “You can do this.” “Everything happens for a reason.” Hearing it from somebody else might really drive it home, and that right there is how you can begin to pick yourself up and feel your strength again.
If you can’t find your people right away, that is okay! Remember how important it could be to be that person for somebody else. To be there for someone when they feel like the world is against them is life-changing.
For now, I’ll leave you with one thing. You CAN do it. You HAVE before. Don’t lose hope just yet. And it would feel wonderful to be that positive light for somebody.
What is something that you feel like you have failed at before? How did you react? In what ways do you think you have grown from failure?