I've heard a saying several times over the years that's really stayed with me, “Failure doesn’t exist."
It’s something I’d shared in my 3-Day Workshop “Your Creative Voice”. I spoke about it in the context of some of the most common creative blocks - it’s something that has been my mantra for a long time.
Have you ever been asked the question What would you do if failure wasn’t an option?
I get the idea behind this question - it forces you to dream big and move past your fear of failure. But it doesn't work for me. Here's why:
It assumes that failure exists in the first place.
After living momentarily in an imaginary failure-free world, I'm brought back to reality where the fear of failure is just as real as before.
Let’s try something. Try saying each of the following sentences to yourself with eyes closed and notice how your body reacts. What is the first association you have?
Here we go.
Sentence #1 Failure is not an option.
Now try this.
Sentence #2 Failure doesn’t exist.
What did you notice? Which one feels more empowering?
Let me break this down a bit.
We as humans are more complex than we could ever understand, and so is our environment, the universe we live in, as well as the trajectory of our lives.
Yet, for our convenience we’ve decided to put labels, parameters, rules and finite concepts that help us simplify our existence in a way we can understand it.
Failure is one of those labels that we use so we can easily validate our negativity bias.
Failure is the label we put on a situation when something didn’t turn out the way we wanted or when we didn’t reach a certain goal at the time frame we wanted.
The bigger and harder truth to understand is that what we label as failure is actually a lesson, and most often, an incredibly valuable lesson.
It’s the lesson we need to learn at that exact moment to grow and move forward in our life, rather than the seeming setback that we first see.
The more you avoid putting the failure label on any given situation and the more you start looking for the lesson there instead, the more curious, empowered and happy you’ll become in your daily life.
When you remove failure as an option, then life is no longer about winning or losing, making it or not making it, it becomes about how much you can learn and grow in any given situation, and there you are limitless. This is true empowerment.
Anytime - ANYTIME - you think you’ve failed there’s a lesson waiting for you to pay attention.
No you'd didn’t fail when you burned that omelette. You just learned you need to cook on a lower heat. No you didn’t fail getting the dream job. Maybe there’s something else that’s trying to get your attention where you’d be even more aligned with your purpose.
So my only question to you is: What are you going to do now, that you know failure doesn’t exist?
As always I'd love to know your thoughts! All my best, Stani
P.S. I had the pleasure of being interviewed for Unison Orchestra on their IG page with the wonderful Eddy Malave. Catch our chat on IG here and follow @UnisonOrchestraLive for more inspiring conversations.