Why Failure IS an Option
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
I asked myself, "when have I failed?"
My answer, "When I've tried something outside my limitations, gone beyond my knowledge."
When have I succeeded? What did that look like?
When I've done a behavior that has worked and repeated it over and over I saw success. Sit with that a second...
How did you figure out how to do the "thing" that worked? Did you try other methods that didn't work first?
When I exhausted all my known ways, I tried something outside my comfort zone with no concern with failure I found some interesting results. That's not to say I wasn't aware of failure, I chose to not let that stop me. I pushed past it, until I found something that did work. I kept at it with a tenacity that helped me to get the results I wanted, despite any hinderances. The desire to keep at the task out-weighted any idea of failure.
When I photographed Mark Rashid horse clinics, I learned so much about life, along with horses. I have read many of his books and found his calm demeanor and level headed approach to horsemanship inspiring. I remember him saying when a horse answers a question you didn't ask, to step back (literally) and say, "Isn't that interesting?"
If Mark can do this with a horse, can I do it with myself?
“Once I quit fighting with him and began rewarding his efforts to respond to my cues, he became extremely willing to do what I was asking. The fight and confusion just seemed to melt away,”
― Mark Rashid,
Can I treat myself with the same kindness, curiosity and calm attitude as I was taught to treat horses? If I reward my efforts what results will I see?
I moved past all my excuses to quit. Setting excuses aside I realized finding an answer much more interesting than sitting in the failure.
I kept at it until what I was doing couldn't be quantified as a failure. No matter how I looked at it. Not from someone else's point of view, but from my observation. Did I learn from the situation?
I found a repeatable result and called this "success." So, Success is a repeatable result and failure is not finding the answer. That's it. No more, no less.
When to Quit
There are times to quit. When I've tried everything possible, within my awareness - tried new methods and the situation causes more harm than good or I cannot find joy in the search for the answer - it might be time to try another path.
That looks like quitting to the outside world.
I might need to take a larger view. Maybe this is a piece to the greater puzzle, but not the end just some hyper-focused step in the larger journey.
I have quit many things in my life that no longer served me. Isn't it how we look at it that matters?