Have you decided to break a habit or change something in your life? Some of my friends have given up certain things for Lent and today, on day one, wrote and said they’d already failed. What do you do when you fail at something? Many will try something once and then give up when they fail or “fall off the wagon”. The inner voice tells us “See I told you, you couldn’t do it, so just cut your losses and stop now”. The problem is that voice often comes from a negative force in our life, past or present and we have to learn to ignore it.
Tonight I went to my first Toastmasters meeting and I contributed by speaking about the “Table Topic”. This is when you are given a sealed question to answer and you have only 90 seconds to prepare your mini 90 second speech. My old inner critic would have said “Fail” as soon as I finished speaking because my speech was not very interesting or cohesive. Luckily, my new critic is much more forgiving and is happy for the chance to try, to see how I stand up under pressure and gain a little valuable experience. I didn’t have to speak tonight, but decided to do it anyway. I pushed a little outside the comfort zone and spoke in front of a group of strangers who all have more experience speaking than I, and I survived. To me, as a first time Toastmaster, this was actually a success. It’s all about how you look at it and I’d prefer to see the positive side.
When you fail or are rejected, the old motto of try, try, try again holds true. It is only with perseverance that you will ultimately achieve success. Change your perception of failure. Think of your failed attempts as lessons learned and then move on to the next attempt.
The truth is that you have only truly failed when you stop trying!