Remember when you were a little kid and you put your hand on the stove? The coils were beaming red and the smoke was being released and your parents weren’t looking. You knew you would get yelled at for doing it and despite the clear signs of danger you had to touch it anyway. So, you pressed your hands on the coils and your hands shoot up instantly and you appear to be genuinely shocked at what just happened. You begin to cry and your parents yelled at you because they told you dozens of times to be careful when the stove was on. Time went on and your hand no longer hurt but your uncontrollable curiosity has gone away and you and your parents are even able to laugh about it.
As odd as it may sound, you would have never learned your lesson had you not let your curiosity get the best of you. From the moment you felt the heat searing the blisters in your hand you learned to be more cautious and heed your parent’s advice. You had to get burnt to grow and that is absolutely OK. It is necessary. How can we grow if we do not shed our skin?
Learning to perceive your “failures” as an opportunity takes time, this is also ok. It is the lessons we need to learn the most that take the longest to learn. We feel comfortable tucking our mistakes in at night next us, it gives us a reason to hold ourselves back. The reality is we like to dwell on the past because it feels easier than having to look forward into the unknown. Why go down a road whose path you are unfamiliar with when you could go down a road whose traumatic terrain you are already familiar with? Because it feels familiar no matter how bad it is.
But what if you did something kind of crazy and gave yourself permission to explore the unknown (again) so that you could learn a new lesson? What if on this new adventure you met the love of your life or found your dream career or simply laughed hard enough to power yourself into doing something you never imagined? That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Reframe your interpretation of failure and invite yourself to see life through a different shade of glasses. Remind yourself how strong you are and remember that the only reason you learned not to play with fire was because you got burned in the first place. Perhaps, its OK to try something different. It may be a good idea to learn from your failures and see how you can try to do it better next time. Learn from your mistakes. There is growth in all that we do wrong.