Today I am thankful for failing forward.
If you are new to this blog you may cringe and think that this is going to be a sad and depressing post. You’d also be wrong. Today I am thankful for the upside of failing. Yup, I am glad that I occasionally fail.
Yoga tonight was by far the most intense yoga session I’ve been to (counting tonight please keep in mind that the lifetime count is 5). There were tougher poses, everything was held longer, it was hotter than ever, and I started the session with the desire to push myself as hard as I could. Early in the night I was dripping, by the end I was completely water-logged. It felt great!
As the night went on I tried to do things that I hadn’t done before (Eagle pose?), fell out of it several times, and got right back up and tried again. As Nick kept pushing us to lift higher, twist more, hold longer I fought until my whole body was shaking and then finally fell out of it. I took a couple of breaths and got right back at it. I failed several times on these poses. By the time the class was over I figure I failed at least a dozen times…
But you know what? I caught myself smiling as I realized just how much I had pushed myself. Each time I failed I also knew that I was getting stronger and would the next time I would be able to push a little bit further, twist a little more, hold a little longer, and balance a little better. When I failed at a new pose I paused, looked around the room to see how others were doing it and then jumped back in using what I had just learned. Each of these failures was a building block for future success.
That’s why I’m thankful for failing forward tonight. I didn’t just fail and quit. I failed and used it to push myself further. I failed and grew as a result. I am getting stronger because I failed.
I also welcomed failure because it meant I was pushing myself beyond my normal boundaries. It would have been very easy for me to not push as hard, to not stretch further than ever before, and to just skip the new stuff. There were many ways I could have played it safe and avoid failure. Instead, I found the edge of what I was capable of tonight and have pushed that edge further away for the future. The funny thing is that I’ll have to work even harder to fail again next week!
To relate it back to some previous posts, failing is truly about your attitude. You can fear it and avoid it. You can fail and then quit. Tonight I chose to use failure as an opportunity for growth and to push my boundaries to become better. I may have failed today, but I will be more successful in the future.
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash