Have you ever failed at something? When you think of that failure, does it sting a little bit, or even a lot?
When I was in college, I had a part-time job as a receptionist. One day at work, I headed to the back room to do some inventory, and took a phone call from my then boyfriend (now husband) and time got away from me. One of my colleagues confronted me in a very irritated manner for not being where I was supposed to be (the front desk) for a longer than expected time. Boy, was I embarrassed! I had let her and the rest of the staff down by not being attentive to my duties, and caused her to take a break from her work to come and find me. To this day, the memory of that incident still makes me cringe, even though it was probably quickly forgotten by everyone else. To me, that small infraction of inattention was a failure.
Winston Churchill tells us “(s)uccess is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” What he is suggesting is that to achieve success, you must fail more times than not. Isn’t that a scary reality. I don’t know many people who are enthusiastic about failure, but I admire those who can wipe away those failures and move onto the next challenge.
We aren’t always anxious to relive experiences that cause us discomfort. In fact, we tend to stay away from experiences that put us in situations that are all too familiar with failure as the end result. What if each time we failed – big or small – in addition to learning from that failure we were able to wipe clean the memory of the pain of that memory and start fresh. Would that make our effort to try again more profound?
To move forward you must first wipe it clean. Wipe away the feeling you experience when you remember a failure, and replace it with something positive, or even nothing at all. A blank slate is the perfect medium for pure creativity.