Failure is really a subjective label or judgment. When you say, “I’m a failure”, you have just labeled and judged yourself, when really it’s counter productive to success. “There is no such thing as failure, just unwanted outcomes”, Dr. Wayne Dyer; Anthony Robbins.
A healthy way to analyse and understand a situation is to be curious and kind yourself. Try to reflect: “Is this good for me? How did I get here? What can I learn? What can I be grateful for?”. Unwanted outcomes is just that you ended up somewhere you didn’t want to be, so try a different route. Take responsibility and do something different. Negative thoughts and self doubt only rob your brain of dopamine and serotonin and then steals your motivation. Seriously unhelpful!
Here is a story a friend told me when I stuck in stuck in an ‘unwanted outcome’. It’s an old Buddhist tale.
One day a man was walking down the street, he didn’t realise, but there was a huge hole in the road and fell into it… it took him a while to get, muttering to himself how it was possible he couldn’t see the hole.
Another day the same man found himself wandering down that same very street, he remembered there was something he was meant to remember, but the street lured him and he fell down the hole and it took a while to get out.
After some time, he was walking down the same street, looking out for the hole, but still fell down the hole.
Guess what he did the next time he came upon that same street? He turned down another street and never fell down that hole again.
What do we focus on here… the falling down the hole or that learning is a process. In Solution Focused Therapy, the emphasis is on observing when you are doing something that works and stop doing the things that don’t work. We will all fall down a hole, that’s just human, but we can be kind to ourselves and see it as a learning experience and be grateful for the good things in our lives.