Failure is like a handstand
As my friend received a great honor, she wrote these words on facebook “our lives are not measured by the number of times we fall down, but rather how many times we find the strength to get back up.”
I was proud of her for her success and amazed by the truth of her words.
Remember that silly 90s Chumbawamba Song “Tubthumpin (I get knocked down)”?
“I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down.”
It’s so easy to find the moments that put you down, that seem like failures, and LET them be failures. Or you can choose to have those be the moments that pull you back up again…bouncing higher and further than ever before!
I meet so many people who said “I wanted to do this BUT…” Or “I wish I could do that BUT…” or just flat out “oh, I CAN’T do that.”
They have experienced what we know as a failure. Something not going the way they envisioned it in their heads. And as a result, they let fear get the better of them and don’t want to try something again.
Here’s the key stuff to know:
- Stuff happens! Life happens. Things don’t always work out the way you have them planned out, which is why you need to accept what is and find the present moment.
- Failure is only failure if you let it defy you. If you don’t allow it to be a learning moment. What happens if you use failure to grow? If you learn from your mistakes?
- Go after your goals. Persistence is key. When something is right it will happen AT THE RIGHT TIME. That may not be the time you have in your head or even remotely close to the way you thought it would happen…but it will happen when it is right.
- TRY AGAIN!!
I practice yoga to help me know how to handle failures. To know that when something goes wrong, we get back up and try again.
For years I had a chronic fear of handstand. I mean I was absolutely petrified of handstands. I couldn’t even remotely kick up. I was afraid of falling. Of landing on my head. I let my fear get the best of me. And, when fear is in control, failure is often inevitable.
But one day, I decided, “I got this.”
And I tried to kick into handstand at the wall. Over and over. And over. I rested. It took days. Days dragged to weeks. I kept practicing. I kept trying. I kept trying to kick up at the wall.
Then one day, I made it up! I was so excited that I immediately fell right back down.
But I tried it again.
And now I can kick up into handstands at the wall..most of the time.
I still can’t do handstands in the middle of the room. I’m practicing those because, to be honest, I’m super scared of doing handstands without a wall or another person to catch me and make sure I don’t fall on my head. So what does that mean I need to do? Feel the scary and keep trying! One day, even if it is a decade from now, I maaaybe will get to balance in the middle of the room. And if I don’t? There is value and merit in the act of trying. (And hovering for a second can be quite exciting!!)
What if we look at our failures like handstands? So we don’t balance the first time. Can’t we just try to kick up again?
Eventually, one day…you will find ease and balance. And of course–once you kick up at the wall, you move to the middle of the room, once you kick up in the middle of the room, you try to kick up with both legs, then once you do that you try to jump up and back from handstands…every success always leads to new failures. And every failure paves the way for new success.
The important thing is to keep on trying. Keep kicking!! And one day… maybe we will find the balance, even if just for a moment. 🙂
“I can accept failure. Everybody fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan