My day started with a post form a friend on FB. He wrote about the vicious circle we create around our failures. We compound the impact by replaying our mistakes in our heads endlessly. Been there, done that?
Well, me too; no, not the one with the hashtag. And until I kept replaying those clips, my mind kept calling me a failure. But there always comes a right time, when you are so fed up of the negative monologue in your mind, you open the doors to your brain and let some light in. It may have been one of those moments when the better half spoke to me about the difference of feeling like a failure versus learning a new lesson from a mistake.
There was no looking back after that. I have failed at plenty of ventures. But every failure has been unique. It revealed a shortcoming about myself and a different perspective about the world. And are we not the sum total of our experiences and perspectives? They help us form a self-image that tells a two-fold story.
The positive story renders us heroes in our own minds as well as in the eyes of others. The negative story hands us a set of self-limiting beliefs, much like the ticket given by the traffic department for a lack of attention on the road. And just like driving, where we are not only responsible for our own lives but more for those of other drivers and pedestrians, these self-limiting beliefs rob us of self-confidence and success for a long long time.
When I thought about my failures in retrospect, I recollected how each one, no matter how small told me I couldn’t attain that feat ever again. Years ago, when I was in the real estate market, losing a few deals back to back sent me rolling into depression, self-doubt and labeling myself with – ‘I wasn’t cut for Sales’.
It wasn’t until years later that I was able to sell my first corporate training package, that self-doubt finally left me. But I spent almost three years believing I could never sell. That is a huge price to pay. Why did I not think of it another way?
Like, why didn’t I work with a mentor? Why didn’t I try to analyse my clients in a different way? Did I need to rethink my marketing strategy? What about my paperwork, did I need any more help there? What did I lack?
But when your head is clouded by failure, it is difficult to think otherwise. However, one strategy has worked for me over the years. Clear your head with meditation. Then, reframe your reflection question. Think of what went wrong and how to turn it around. Read about others who have tasted success after entertaining plenty of failures.
So, this morning, I sat thinking about a new initiative that has been hovering over my head for a few months now. Thanks to some self-limiting beliefs, I had given up on it. But the morning post on FB followed by a chat with a couple of friends cleared the air. It felt like a lightbulb had suddenly switched on.
I am back on track. That initiative looks like a possibility yet again. I am glad it didn’t take three years this time. The universe conspired and brought me back my lost confidence and a plethora of starting points. Time to cut the flak from self-limiting beliefs.
Today’s Lesson: Self-limiting beliefs is your most powerful enemy. They sit in your head and shut all doors to light. The antidote lay in following tried and tested routines like meditation, talking to positive individuals and reading success stories before deciding to give up. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.