You and the ancient Greek hero Hercules have a lot in common.
Sure, maybe you’re not a demigod with superhuman strength. But depending on your worldview you probably consider yourself a combination of the divine (a soul) and the mortal (the body). By that definition, you’re just as miraculous as Hercules.
But more importantly, you and Hercules both make mistakes. Sure, maybe you weren’t cursed by a goddess and tricked into killing your own family. But you still make mistakes.
Mistakes aren’t a downside of being human. They’re a benefit, an awesome “standard feature” of life. (Tweet this!)
Why? Because mistakes make you better. Unfortunately, we’ve created a world where mistake is a dirty word.
Failure is Human, Discomfort is Divine
Shying away from taking chances for fear of failure is often worse than failure itself, because it keeps you from pushing beyond your comfort zone and taking the calculated risks that drive personal growth.
It’s natural to want to avoid risk. Whether or not you believe in evolution, there is an undeniable part of ourselves that is still a “caveperson.” We have survival instincts that give us a negativity bias: the caveperson inside wants us to avoid risk in order to stay alive.
But in order to grow, you need to train your brain to fight off your inner caveperson.
Otherwise, you can look forward to many years hiding away from your personal saber-toothed tigers. Think about it: what’s your personal “cave” you run to when you’re scared? (post a comment below to share where you go to hide)
Ya Gotta Believe!
It can be hard to let go of the fear of failure, but like the great Tug McGraw used to say, “you gotta believe!”
In other words, you have to let yourself believe your human fallibility has a purpose and function in life. Belief is the foundation of all achievement. Period. Without belief, you’re self-sabotaging.
Belief must come before everything you attempt in life. Without it, you have no secure footing. If you don’t let yourself believe that something is achievable, you might as well not make the effort.
This is not just motivational poster fluff talk, either. Belief has always had an important place in human well-being, especially when it comes to the placebo phenomenon, which is not just important when popping pills.
The need for belief in yourself has to be an ongoing “self-treatment.” Sure, there will be days when your limited pool of willpower runs out and you just can’t sustain your belief until you recharge. But again, that’s normal. What’s important is to be committed to your beliefs, so that you can return to the pursuit of your goals.
Accept Your Fallibility and Check Your Beliefs (Worksheet Included)
In life, you will stumble. You will fail. But like Bruce Wayne’s father said in Batman Begins: “Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
So, here’s my challenge to you (first, download the Boost Your Belief Worksheet):
Accept your Fallibility – Practice telling yourself that you are fallible and that’s normal and necessary for growth.
Check your Beliefs – Think about your current beliefs about yourself and your capabilities, your situation, etc. Do you find yourself thinking negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “People will think less of me”?
As you go through the two steps above, be sure to use the Boost Your Belief Worksheet to help the process.