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It is more painful to walk away from an idea or experience than it is to charge forward and get bruised, banged, hurt, and defeated along the way.
How many of us would take on success if we knew we could not fail? And, if we do fail along the way, is it the act of failing or the emotions behind feeling that we failed which cause us to not push forward and continue to work on success?
These are the thoughts that have been working their way through my mind for the past few months. This past year has been one of change and growth for me. I decided to take on endeavors both professionally and personally that I had been afraid to do for a good long while. It had taken me years to step out of my comfort zone and to begin to lead myself and others in a way that only I knew how.
In my past, I had tried leadership positions and, to me, had failed horribly and dishonorably. I did not want to put myself in a position of failure again, so I stepped back and only attempted to achieve what I knew I already excelled at. I knew there was no benefit in not exploring my skill and mindset, but also knew that there was a possibility of failure again. I do not like feeling that my efforts are not able to create the success that was envisioned; I do not like feeling the emotions of letting others down, especially if I feel they are relying on me, professionally and personally. I took a step back from that and only relied on myself to make it from point A to B.
What I have finally learned is that failure is the key to success. All of those times that I feel I did not succeed have led me to the position where I finally feel right in what I am doing. When we step out of our comfort zones; that is where real learning takes place. Instead of searching for comfort and stability, we should be looking to push ourselves to allow for growth.
Yes, growth is a hard, painful, utterly messy process. But, doesn’t staying the same also cause those same feelings? When people are stagnant, discontent creeps into the mind and heart and allows for monotony, and possibly anger, to take over. To put it simply, no one wants to feel stuck. That is why we approach life differently during different stages in our lives. If we continued to live the same life every day, we would never see the amazing outcome of what we can achieve when we push past our comfort zones.
The question I would like to ask people is: Are you setting up your life efforts to avoid failure, or are you setting up your efforts to approach success? Do you allow yourself to continue learning, push yourself, and acclimate yourself to step outside of your comfort zone? And, are you able to disconnect yourself from the emotions of letting go?
This year, I have learned I am able to write a new story about my life and that nothing is permanent and written in stone. The anxiety that has been there about my future is falling away because I have been working diligently on pushing myself to grow. The origin of anxiety is stress and fear of self. Eventually, when you continually step outside your comfort zone, it becomes your new normal. And, with a new normal, comes a new way of thinking and a more open, grounded life.