Getting past a setback looks different, and asks for different things of every one of us. I watched a video by my absolute favourite @nathanieldrew_ today that offered a refreshingly simple way of looking at “failure”.
Whether it’s a minor transgression or what you might deem a serious failure, there are two parts to it — 1) the event in and of itself, 2) the psychological additions (feelings) that we pack on as a result of the event. Like, self-doubt, regret, shame, guilt, fear, sadness, and so much more.
It is well worth learning to separate the two. We can do the work to get comfortable with and make space for feelings that come up, and learn to accept our humanness. Knowing, understanding and getting in touch with our vulnerabilities, experiencing our limitations is an important part of understanding what progress means to us.
Focusing only on the feelings around failure on the other hand , may not be useful. Setbacks and mistakes are a part of any journey and they are sometimes the most pivotal opportunities for growth/change, simply because they bring us face to face with the vulnerabilities we otherwise keep at arm’s length. Most of these moments are not going to feel good. If we stayed with how they made us feel, and let them guide the way, we’d never get to making progress.
In order to truly absorb the learnings from the event, we have to accept the feelings as the come, and this takes time, effort and work. But it’s also crucial to understand what is then required of us to move to the next step, so the feelings don’t keep us stuck or unable to move. In order to change, to break an old pattern, to switch streams, to do something differently.
When great waves of feelings come over you at such a time, it’s useful to momentarily drop the view of the larger goal or end point. And just look at just the next step. Progress then, becomes about an immediate, smaller step, rather than an intimidating success right off the back of a misstep.
What does the next point in your journey look like?