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How to Embrace Failure

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey, welcome back to

your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, we're going to talk

about how to embrace failure.

So when I was in college, I got

interested in Brazilian jujitsu.

If you're not familiar with jujitsu,

it's a ground martial art that

focuses primarily on submission.

So no striking.

I found it to be a beautiful martial

art and essentially got addicted to it.

The first summer of training, I

trained twice a day, six days a week.

And that first month was pretty

demoralizing because I got my butt kicked.

Now, obviously when you're starting

out in anything, you're going to

be one of the least skilled people

there or alongside a number of other

people at the same beginner level.

But the time slots I trained in always

had people with higher belt ranks.

So every match I went

into, I got submitted.

I would learn something new at the

beginning of class, then we would grapple

and I would tap out every single time.

It would be an arm bar, a

rear naked, choke, a Kimora.

And of course in the beginning,

this was fine because I was new

and expected this to happen.

But after a month of this of

exerting, so much effort, so much

energy to still be getting tapped

out each time was tough and it often

brought up a lot of emotion for me.

Maybe you've noticed this

with things in your own life.

You have something you care about,

you're pouring your heart and time

into it, really trying to get it right,

but feeling like nothing's happening.

You're not making any movement and

it can take the wind out of your

sails, at least it did for me.

But I continued.

And one day something

interesting happened.

I was grappling with someone ranked

higher than me and for the full five

minute session, he couldn't tap me out.

So I went back to the sideline,

tried to play it off cool like

that's what normally happens.

But inside I was like,

Whoa, what just happened?

That was interesting.

Uh, so I took a sip of water,

went back into the next match

and again, went the full five

minutes and didn't get tapped out.

This time, I'm like looking around

seeing if anyone's noticing.

This hadn't happened before.

And so I'm starting to think, wow,

like something is shifting here.

Went back to the sideline,

took another sip of water, went

back out with more confidence.

This time got tapped out.

So it wasn't happening every

time, but something was shifting.

And shortly after this, I developed

a reputation in the jujitsu

school as someone that was very

difficult to get a submission on.

I wasn't doing much offense.

I was basically just spending five

minutes in a ball, protecting myself.

But, uh, that first month of making all

of these different mistakes is what led to

an understanding of the things not to do.

And for me, it created

a bulletproof defense.

Eventually I was able to move

on the offense and start getting

my own submissions as well.

So what does this have to do with you?

Well, I'm sure you can resonate with the

idea of, of something that you're going

into in your life that you're struggling

with, having a hard time getting it right.

And it could be stuff with a relationship

or wondering why you keep falling into the

same patterns with people, communication

struggles, or maybe a new role in your

work not getting the best feedback or

as a parent feeling like you're not

always saying the right thing and getting

angry when you wish you could be calm.

I think there's something to, keeping

in mind the story of me going through

my jujitsu journey, uh, and when

you're in those moments of what you

perceive as failures, perhaps you can

see that as a learning opportunity,

as your learning experience, as the

thing that's developing the defense

against those things happening again.

See if you could try out that

perspective and notice how it shifts

your relationship to those moments.

Thank you for your practice.

I'll talk to you soon and take care.

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