How to Make Mistakes, Fall & Fail From a Place of Vulnerability & Strength
Raise your hand if you're hard on yourself when you make mistakes, fall or fail.
Yup, me too.
Making mistakes, falling and failing are are all a necessary part of being alive.
If we don't take the risks necessary to make a mistake, fall and fail, then we're stuck.
If we believe that we have to always do everything right and there's no room for mistakes, then we're stuck.
Paradoxically, we live in a world that often punishes us for making mistakes, falling and failing, and then, as social creatures, we punish ourselves.
And before we're even consciously aware of it we internalize the damaging and limiting belief that making mistakes, falling and failing are to be avoided, and we go straight to beating ourselves up each time we do.
It's automatic. No thought required. Like a reflex. You failed, made a mistake, or fell? Bam! You're talking sh-t to yourself.
And so it's not the falling or failing or making mistakes that messes us up, it's the stories we create around falling, failing, and mistakes.
As Brene Brown says,
"The most difficult part of our (failures or mistakes) is what we bring to them - what we make up about who we are and how we are perceived by others. Yes, maybe we lost our job or screwed up a project, but what makes that story so painful is what we tell ourselves about our own self worth and value."
We become our own worst enemy, caught in a vicious cycle of beating ourselves up for being imperfect when we make a mistake, or for taking a risk that doesn't result in what we thought we wanted, and we fall or fail.
What we need is to take a step back, unspool the story, feel the experience, and drop into that inner reservoir of strength that allows us to be vulnerable.
To say, I'm sorry, or I fucked up, if you made a mistake. To own it.
To feel the failure or the falling if you tried something and it didn't work out as proof of your courage, and not a diminishment of your value.
And the key is to feel. To let the story go and to feel the experience in your body, in your heart, in your breath, in this moment, and the moment after.
As Pema Chodron says, "This is where tenderness comes in. When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something. We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality.
Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."
It's the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we were told, the stories we carry, that stop us from dropping into our inherent bravery and courage and being vulnerable, being present, feeling it all, letting it all come so that in time, it can all go, and we don't continue to carry it around like a heavy burden on our back.
Forgive yourself. Take responsibility for yourself. Mea culpa. I'm sorry. Feel yourself. The rawness, the tenderness, the vulnerability.
Be with yourself.
This is love in its purest essence.
True strength isn't a lack of vulnerability, it's a stepping into and owning of your vulnerability.
Because we are vulnerable.
This evening before my yoga class I lay on my mat with my eyes closed and asked myself,
"How can I open my heart?"
How can I be brave enough to fall and to fly?"
And then it came to me that there is no strength without vulnerability, and no flying without falling.
As Rumi says,
"Birds make great sky circles of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
And falling, they're given wings."
Here's to your falling and flying, to failure and bravery, to making mistakes and being brave.
Because we cannot have one without the other.
So the next time you make a mistake or fall or fail allow yourself to feel it all.
Let your heart open.
Allow yourself to fall, and then to fly.
I invite you to practice inviting in what you're feeling in this moment, and letting go of what no longer serves you, like the stories you carry about your self worth when you fail or fall or make mistakes in the video I made for my Yoga Immersion online course, Letting Go & Inviting In, below...
Surrender into each breath, into your body, on to your mat. Let go of the past. Any failures, mistakes, past pain or hurtful beliefs, and begin to create space for what does serve you, for what you want.
Feel your wings begin to unfold.
There's some silliness and laughter in this video, FYI! 🙂
Take care of your beautiful, sacred self today.